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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Our Last Day at Pancho Villa State Park, NM

Yup, it's true, our Tracker is FINALLY finished!  I posted a short blog a while ago from my cell phone, with two photos of the Tracker and the engine.

We are more than pleased with the repair job.  Art Miller did a good job, and he was frustrated a few times about the wrong parts being delivered etc. to get the job done.  But it is finished and we were able to go over the list and pay for the work done.

  • turned the crank shaft
  • new piston rods
  • new piston rings
  • new rod bearings
  • new main bearings
  • cylinder head reconditioned
  • new oil pump
  • new water pump
  • new clutch, throw-out bearing, pilot bearing, pressure plate
  • new belt
  • new gaskets, oil, filter
  • new antifreeze coolant to our radiator

The engine is very clean now and they even did tiny things like replaced some wires and clips, even replaced our missing cap on AC fill nozzle for the freon. And he came in with a final price $100 below his estimate, and we were quite pleased with the work. The bill was $1,500 plus tax.

We put on over 80 miles tonight to make sure all was good.  It ran perfectly, and we are going to be able to move on in the morning!

For supper, I made up a pan of an old family favorite... Tater Tot Casserole!

  1. mush ground beef in the bottom of a pan 
  2. sprinkle chopped onions or dried onions
  3. spread a can of cream of celery (or mushroom) soup over the hamburger
  4. arrange frozen tater tots on top
  5. season with Lawry's, pepper and parsley flakes
  6. cover with tin foil and bake half an hour at 350
  7. uncover and cook 15 more or until brown and bubbly.

OH, we did have rain yesterday... it poured twice for a good 15 minutes and then some drizzles.  The most rain we have seen our entire six weeks of vacation!

Our sweet RV neighbor Hazel took out a recumbent trike to let Steve air up the tires
 and we got to give it a spin around the park.. 
what FUN! 

I peddled around and got the hang of it. 
strange to kinda steer from the rear, like a boat! 

Steve took a turn around the park too,
and got a kick out of this big boy toy!

On our way back from our Tracker Test Drive, 
we saw the amazing clouds hanging low over the mountaintop,
actually covering the summit.

and this sunset just breathtaking as it was reflecting off the clouds....

Our final night for a sunset here in Pancho Villa State Park did not disappoint us, and it was in it's glory as it went down by our site....   it almost felt like an eerie space ship!

Our plan is to get north tomorrow as far as we can and start heading east at the northern end of NM into TX, OK and then into KS.  We hope to hole up for a day or so with friend Rosie in Bethel, MO. Then the final mad dash home to Wisconsin, where hopefully all of the snow and ice are GONE! 


  1. Wow! good news! Your bill was super....ours was over 2X your total. That's the difference between small town New Mexico and big city San Diego.....be still my heart. Do need to talk to you re: CSM. Having a bit of a problem.

  2. That price for the engine repair sounded very reasonable indeed. If that cloud covering the mountains is to your north then those are the Three Sisters Mountains & can be seen from I-10. I always look for them when we travel I-10 down that way. Mountains on your right when you leave are the Florida Mountains. Safe journey home & may the travel Gods be with you............

  3. glad you guys are back on Track-er.... A really fair price for all that work!

  4. Glad things worked out so well with the Tracker. Have a safe trip back home.


  5. Art Miller is going to be the go-to guy for Tracker repairs/overhauls! It's so cool that he even took care of some of the little things. Excellent work for a reasonable price--that's unusual these days! We miss those Columbus sunrises/sunsets--we don't see them here at Riverside. We had rain yesterday too & during the night--things are going to green right up here in New Mexico. We may see you on I-25 this morning. After brekkie, we're going up to T or C to do laundry.

    Take good care; safe, happy travels!

  6. You are happy to finally be on the road again, but you will be missed here at Pancho Villa

  7. Great news. Your Tater Tot dish is not one I can have much of on my renewed effort to once again lose weight , but I will be in charge of cooking for my grandsons again a few times in the next week, and add a nice salad it looks like something two boys will love. One doesn't like anything with tomatoes, and the otherwon't eat fish or chicken. This looks like it will fill the teenager nicely!

  8. I haven't had tater tot casserole in years and years. Glad you're good to roll.

  9. Glad your Tracker is fixed! Travel safe and enjoy the rest of your trip!

  10. The snow is GONE! Can't wait to see you!


  11. We are happy you got the Tracker back, the bill was below cost and all works well. I prayed a lot for you two yesterday hoping all would go well. Safe travels and we will see you back in good ole Wisconsin! Where we can be cheeseheads! LOL!


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