Wednesday, October 23, 2013
DODGE CITY KANSAS TO RATON NEW MEXICO & AWWWWW NUTS WE BLEW A REAR TIRE!!!!!
THE ROCKIES AS SEEN WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM MY 300mm LENS…TAKEN FROM TRINIDAD’S WALMART PARKING LOT IN COLORADO
COLORADO TOWN OF TRINIDAD & THE ACTUAL DISTANCE AWAY OF THE MOUNTAINS
Our day was rolling along just fine until we blew a rear driver’s side outer dually Michelin tire. We both heard a short escape of air sound but there was no change in the handling of the rig. I even thought the ‘pssssshhhh’ sound might have come out of the stereo. We were on a paved 2 lane highway with no shoulders. As it was we had been looking for a place to pull off for Pheebs to have a run anyway. Spotted an old derelict building ahead with enough room to pull across the highway & in. Good thing we did. Stepping out of the rig we saw right away the outside driver’s side tire appeared down. On closer inspection I saw a big slit in the sidewall so knew the tire was totally ruined. And it was hot!! We assessed the situation & decided it was safer to stay where we were & call our COACHNET for roadside service. This was the first time we have ever had a flat RV tire & the first time we have ever had to call for roadside service involving any of our rigs.
Kelly spoke with the Coachnet folks & gave them our location. Our Garmin GPS told us were 26 miles northeast of Trinidad Colorado on highway 350. Just south of a place called called Thatcher. Knew it would probably be a couple hours before things got organized & the tire service place would reach us. Spent that time removing a bunch of stuff from our rear storage area so I could get in & unbolt the spare tire. Happy to see it was a brand spanking new Michelin tire same as what is on the rig. Also took the time to check the generator oil & the Winnie Wagon’s oil as well. Just a wee smash of oil for them both. Also sat down & started on tonight’s post while waiting for the tire service fella to show up.
ADOBE WALLS & TIN CEILING
THIS OLD BUILDING WE WERE BESIDE WITH IT’S ORIGINAL ADOBE WALLS WAS PROBABLY BUILT IN THE 1800’S & MAY HAVE BEEN A STAGE STOP ON THE SANTA FE TRAIL
Aside from our new toaster setting off the smoke alarm this morning we had another quiet start to the day. Oh, there was the guy who cruised by with a noisy muffler heading into the Casino. Got money for one arm bandits but not enough money to put a new muffler on his car. Priorities eh!!
THAT’S US UNDER THE BOOT HILL CASINO PARKING LOT LIGHT JUST BEFORE PULLING OUT
We got out of Dodge around 6 a.m. & headed west on highway 50 in the direction of Garden City & points beyond. Our casual destination was Trinidad Colorado. Watched another Kansas sunrise filling my driver’s side mirror. Big orange ball of fire lighting up our way ahead. My eyes were on the horizon when just west of Holly Colorado I caught the faintest dark object in the distant haze low on the horizon. Mountains?? Maybe:))
EVER SO FAINT BUT THERE ARE MOUNTAINS IN THEM THAR HILLS
Past couple of days we have been following the Santa Fe trail. I think we may have picked it up around Dodge City somewhere. How great it was today when there we were heading west on the Santa Fe trail while on our rig’s Ipod playing through the rigs stereo the Sons Of The Pioneers were singing one of my favorite songs, ‘Along The Santa Fe Trail’. For me that was special happening today.
‘ALONG THE SANTA FE TRAIL’
MORE PHOTOS FROM THE DRIVER’S SEAT TODAY
At the town of La Junta Colorado we picked up highway 350 which headed us south. Coming out La Junta’s southern end I spotted snow capped mountains right away far to the west. No wondering this time, those mountains were the Rockies. I would say in all travels west this was the best first mountain sighting I can remember & it was the snow that made such a striking impression. Rolling through Colorado’s Comanche Grasslands on 350 we were reminded of the rolling hills & trees around Hillsboro & Chloride New Mexico. Felt we were truly back in the West again. Flat top mesas, distant plateaus, Aspens & Cottonwoods in their blazing Autumn colors, scrub Pines & Junipers. What a beautiful land this is. And then………………’pssssshhhh’!!!!!!!!!!
Our tire service guy arrived & got himself right to work on our flat tire. Mexican fella with lots of Tattoos & a big friendly smile. Took him about 20 minutes to wrestle Winnie’s flat tire off & Winnie’s new tire on. And there right in the middle of the flat tires tread was a Phillips screw imbedded in the rubber. The rip in the side wall was opposite of where the screw was imbedded. He said we were lucky we found a spot to pull off before the tire shredded & caused damage. Also before the other dually, overburdened, also blew. The thing I take away from this experience is that if one dually goes flat you don’t even know it until it’s too late. Had we not heard the ‘pssssshhhh’ we would not have suspected a thing.
OF COURSE EVERYTHING I TOOK OUT OF THE WINNIE WAGON I HAD TO PUT BACK IN AGAIN INCLUDING THE FLAT TIRE & RIM
Tire fixed we headed 26 miles into Trinidad, hopped I-25, & slipped off exit 11 at Walmart to buy some bug spray & make a decision. We were at the top end of the Raton Pass & it was 3 p.m. Our Mountain Directory said we had some 6% downgrades in front of us. Did we want to spend the night at Walmart & do the downgrade in the morning or did we want to do it this afternoon. We are always up & on the road early so we did not want to miss the scenery heading down the mountain in the dark. Decided to keep on & enjoy Colorado’s afternoon colors. Off we went. Despite some scary comments we had read about the Pass we did not find it much of a challenge at all & I was surprised at how the Ford geared itself down in the grades. With the Damon I had to do that manually pulling the gearshift down into lower gears as grades steepened. Compared to Arizona’s Mingus Mountain, Borrego Spring’s Montezuma Grade, & the Yarnell Hill, the Raton Pass was a Pussycat.
Decided to pick up some gas in Raton. Spied a K-Mart & figured we would spend the night there but it turned out to be too scruffy & not a level spot to be seen. Kelly spotted a KOA across the road. We don’t normally do RV Parks & speciously not expensive KOA’s but we were tired, it was getting late, & they had electricity & water. And cable TV. And nice to grab a hot shower. And so that is where we are tonight. In a KOA in Raton Colorado. Tomorrow we will enjoy the scenery all the way down I-25 to maybe Albuquerque. After all, scenery is what it’s all about for us……………………
YIKES, NOW THAT IS TOTALLY WAY TO CROWDED FOR US
GROANER’S CORNER:(( Here's a short one for all you texter's out there........Can you read the following?
YY U R YY U B I C U R YY 4 ME
Too wise you are, too wise you be, I see you are too wise for me.
- Tourists see the world, travelers experience it.
- Home is where your pet is:))
- "If having a soul means being able to feel
love and loyalty and gratitude, then animals
are better off than a lot of humans."
- The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails -William Arthur Ward
- The only thing better than right now will someday be the memories of right now...AL.
- It is not so much having nothing to do as it is not having the interest to do something....AL.