Saturday, March 19, 2016

GALLUP NEW MEXICO TO TUCUMCARI WITH A BIG ‘AWWWWW NUTS’ WEST OF ALBUQUERQUE

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With I-40 only a few hundred yards south of our location & a service road running between us & the Interstate I had to stuff a few small pieces of paper towel in my ears to block out some of Friday nights traffic noise.  With both of us being so tired ww easily fell asleep anyway.  Had to get up at 2 a.m. & kick the furnace on.  Maybe by next winter we’ll have our Legacy Blue Flame heater hooked up again.

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JUST ONE OUR ONBOARD YUMMY MEALS FROM THE RIG’S GALLEY:))

A sunny cool morning as we rolled out of Walmart’s parking lot heading for I-40.  It was 7:35 a.m. & minutes later we were eastbound heading in the direction of Albuquerque.  It was about 9:15 with all going well when a dark blue older Jeep Cherokee pulled alongside in the passing lane, tooted it’s horn & the lady in the passenger seat pointed down towards the back of our Motorhome & made a flattening gesture with her hands.  Sensing something was wrong I immediately put on my right blinker & moved ourselves off onto the fortunately wide paved shoulder.  We were about 2 miles east of the Route 66 Casino & just a few miles west of Albuquerque.  I could smell rubber & figured we had blown a tire on the rig.  Kelly was already out the door & as I came down the steps she came back saying there was a flat tire on the Jeeps front driver’s side.  Well it was more than flat alright.  Most of the tire was gone except for some shards of rubber still attached around the rim.  Didn’t appear to be any damage to the Jeep or rim but did see some scuffing & scraping at the bottom of the fender.

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With traffic going by just feet away at 75 mph & because of the angle we were on I decided not to try & change this tire myself.  We pay for COACHNET road side service every year & I figured we’d best leave this hazardous job to the fellas who are out here every day dealing with these kinds of things.  Lady at Coachnet was nice & told us it would be at least 2 hours before anyone could get to us.  No problem, we weren’t in a hurry & we had our computers & recliners to soak up the time not to mention a washroom, stocked kitchen, & solar panels on the roof supplying us with all the power we might need for whatever.

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EVERY TIME ONE OF THESE BIG BOYS BLEW BY OUR COACH ROCKED TO & FRO…..I’M GUESSING ABOUT 10 RIGS A MINUTE

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Much sooner than expected a knock came to our door & it was the tow truck driver from NEW MEXICO TOWING//ACME TOWING sent out by Coachnet.  Luckily for us we had said ‘NO’ to 2 other vehicles that had stopped wanting to change the tire for us.  They were sketchy looking characters in older trucks with about 3 of them in each truck.  I already knew about ‘characters’ who troll the Interstates.  We were glad to a ‘real tow truck’ show up.  Of course I forgot to get our legitimate drivers name but we couldn’t have asked for a nicer fella.  He had the ragged tire & rim off in no time with our spare put back on.  Knowing we would need another tire right away we asked about a nearby tire place in Albuquerque & he said we were not far from a Walmart tire center.  Good enough for us guys.  Said to just follow him & he would take us right to it & he did.  Two big thumbs up for Coachnet & the New Mexico towing company today:))

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NICE FELLA & HE WENT OUT OF HIS WAY TO BE HELPFUL

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The Walmart tire center at I-40 & Coors was a very, very, busy place with cars lined up at 3 bays.  Fella told us it could easily be a couple hours before our shredded tire could be replaced with a new tire on the rim.  The spare was in pretty good shape so we left it on the Jeep & put the new spare on the back.  We’ll maybe just leave that combination the way it is until next Fall & see if we can get a set of off-road tires at that time.DSC_0016

ALBUEQUERQUE WALMART TIRE CENTER

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DESPITE THE LONG LINE UP AT THE SERVICE BAYS THIS FELLOW WAS VERY HELPFUL & HAD US OUT OF THERE IN LESS THAN HOUR

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THERE GOES OUR RIM TO GET A NEW TIRE PUT ON IT & WOULDN’T YOU KNOW IT I TOTALLY FORGOT TO TAKE A PIC OUR SPANKIN NEW GOODYEAR TIRE

It was about 1:30 by the time we pulled out of Walmart’s parking lot & heaved ourselves back up onto I-40 heading east.  Hadn’t expected so much traffic on a Saturday but it was heavy with a 20 minute bumper to bumper slow down in a construction zone.  Good thing we weren’t in a hurry today.  Finally made it through the city & began our climb into the mountains.  Because the rig had been running flawlessly we decided to push our luck & leave the Jeep attached.  I had a lot of anxious moments though waiting for a red engine light & loss of power as we climbed through the long grades.  Happy to say my anxiety was for not as the Big EEE pulled us up those grades with power to spare.  Even in the steepest grades our speed never once dropped below 55 mph.  Chris, I was sure thinking about you & that Mass Air Flow Filter today:))

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EASTBOUND ON I-40 SLIDING UNDER I-25 IN ALBUEQUERQUE

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BUMPER TO BUMPER STOP & GO THROUGH A 20 MINUTE CONSTRUCTION ZONE

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WE ARE FINALLY CLEAR OF THE LAST MOUNTAIN RANGE & THE LAND AHEAD BEGINS TO FLATTEN OUT

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SPOTS IN THESE PHOTOS ARE BUGS ON OUR WINDSHIELD

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EVEN WITH TELEPHONE LINES & A BUGGY WINDSHIELD IT’S STILL A BEAUTIFUL LAND TO BEHOLD

Despite our tiredness with the days events we decided to push on to Tucumcari NM.  I had looked up an RV Park there & figured it would be a good place to stop & take on some water once the mountains were behind us.  We had been traveling with less than a quarter tank because I didn’t want to be hauling a lot of heavy water through the mountains.  Rolled into sleepy Tucumcari late afternoon & found the quaint little CACTUS RV PARK right on old Route 66.  We liked this place right off the bat because it is an original page right out of the old Route 66 days.  Nothing glitzy or glammy or commercialized here & the RV sites are very neat & clean.  The original Motel from the 30’s, 40’s & 50’s is still standing & in reasonably good shape although the doors were probably closed & locked years ago.  Weather has taken it’s toll but that is what made this place appealing to us.  I like old places with all their so irreplaceable histories.  These old units talk to you when you walk by & I like when that happens.  Check out the old photos on their website from a time when this place was in it’s heyday.

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How nice to be in a quiet place tonight with no Interstate traffic just a few hundred yards away.  Five other units parked in a line beside us & in another section of this surprising large RV Park I saw other rigs parked as well.  Something of note here though.  ‘50 amp service only’  No step down dog bones to 30 amp.  We hadn’t noticed that on their website & seeings how we don’t travel with a big heavy 50 amp cord we had to rely on our solar/generator power tonight which we are accustomed to anyway so no big deal.

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THAT ROAD TO THE LEFT IS THE ORIGINAL ROUTE 66

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IF ONLY THESE OLD WALLS COULD TALK THE STORIES THEY COULD TELL

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Been keeping an eye on the weather & we’re still kicking around where we’ll go from here.  Either up highway 54 heading in the general direction of I-70 further north or stay on I-40 heading for & around Oklahoma City.  We’ll figure it out in the morning I guess.   Meanwhile it’s Saturday night in quiet little Tucumcari New Mexico & we sit surrounded by memories of days gone by right on old Route 66 itself.  And beaming across America’s air waves tonight came decades of old music to my little Patrolman SW-60 radio which once belonged to my Uncle Fred.  A nostalgic moment for me & one which I know will stay with me for many many years………..

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OUR SPOT FOR THE NIGHT

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GROANER’S CORNER:(( Aunt Bessie loved to visit her nieces and nephews. However, she had relatives all over the country. The problem was that no matter how much she enjoyed seeing them, she hated flying. No matter how safe people told her it was, she was always worried that someone would have a bomb on the plane.
She read books about how safe it was and listened to the stewardess demonstrate all the safety features. But she still worried herself silly every time a visit was coming up. Finally, the family decided that maybe if she saw the statistics she'd be convinced. So they sent her to a friend of the family who was an actuary.  "Tell me," she said suspiciously, "what are the chances that someone will have a bomb on a plane?"  The actuary looked through his tables and said, "A very small chance. Maybe one in five hundred thousand."  She nodded, then thought for a moment. "So what are the odds of two people having a bomb on the same plane?"  Again he went through his tables.  "Extremely remote," he said. "About one in a billion."  Aunt Bessie nodded and left his office.  And from that day on, every time she flew, she took a bomb with her.

24 comments:

  1. Great Groaner tonight.
    You got lucky on that tire, no fire and wheel saved.
    No shore power?? What is plugged in in your last pic?

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    1. Had plugged in before taking the photos not realizing we didn't actually have any power happening inside.

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  2. I'd say you got off pretty lucky with no damage done to Libby! I've heard horror stories about the amount of damage done to a toad and even fires....YIKES!

    Glad all turned out well and you were able to get on your way safely :-)

    By-the-way.....I might have found a typo in your blog just as you left Albuquerque - "Happy to say my anxiety was for not as LIBBY pulled us up those grades with power to spare." You pull LIBBY don't you....ha ha!!

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    1. Hmmm, third time I've made that mistake in 2 days. Thanks Paul:))

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  3. Whew.. getting flat tires along the road is never funny and we have had our fair share of it. Good thing it looks like your rim wasn't damaged, thanks to the lady warning you. We were in the very same RV park in Tucumcar a few years ago.

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  4. You got lucky with your flat tire, glad nothing serious.
    If you plugged into the 30 amp plug did you not turn the breaker on?
    Seems strange they would have the plug there and not hook it up.

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    1. Yes it seems strange & we did turn the breaker on. This is what it says on their website...."We have adequate 50 amp that will run your RV's needs, so we do not allow people to use downsizing pigtail adapters".

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  5. How come your TPMS didn't start make a noise to let you know of the flat on your towed car?

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    1. We don't have a 'Tire Pressure Monitoring System'.

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    2. I highly recommend a TPMS. The peace of mind is certainly worth the cost. We have it on all trailer tires and the tow vehicle as well.

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  6. Sorry to hear about the flat tire on Libby. Glad someone flagged you or it could have been worse.

    You should look into getting a 50/30 amp plug for about $20. Amps are pulled based on your coach's usage and since you don't ever pull 50 amps you don't need the larger cord.

    We are having no weather problems here in Olathe; just a little drizzle. We will be getting home today. Hope the rest of your journey goes well.

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  7. Sorry, I just read your comment on pigtails. Forget my advice. Have a safe journey.

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  8. When I was a wee lad our family lived in Arizona and traveled route 66 back to our Ohio homeland every summer to visit Gram and Gramps and relatives. We could have well stayed at that Motel on our way back as I remember Tucumcari was a favorite stop. Seems like there was a Stuckeys along there somewhere. Mom would always get Pecan Log Rolls for snacks enough to get us to Phoenix. I'd shoot my cap gun out the window at "Injuns." Not politically correct anymore...
    Box Canyon Mark

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  9. Hi, Al. i am wondering what might have caused the destruction of that tire?? Something must not be right. Seems like something must be putting too much stress on that part of the toad? Too bad your day was hijacked, but you seem to have come out with a positive, anyway. Hope Sunday is proving to be a better day.

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  10. Just thought you might like to know that the traffic is probably due to the end of spring break for most of us so lots of people heading home. Plus I think Sat. on I40 is just ALWAYS busy! Have a great trip home. Cold here in the Texas Panhandle this morning.

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  11. Hope you guys have a safe trip the rest of your way home! Sorry to hear about the tire!
    ~Cheryl Ann~

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  12. During the 5 years I lived in North Carolina I drove I-40 every November to Sacramento, and back in January. Being a younger person I had no problems at all with the big cities along the way, and Albuquerque was my favorite. Now I'd drive hundreds of miles out of the way to avoid those cities!

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  13. Al, same thing happened to us last year just east of Pensacola...it was a motorcycle that waved me over. It was a bit scary that as I drove I did not feel a thing (as you just discovered). We now have a tire pressure system which I enjoy having, LOTS of peace of mind...I turn off the back camera now and just turn it one once in awhile to look back there at our HHR.

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  14. Sorry about the tire incident. Way back over 10 years ago coming North from way South in Mexico our front right tire on the toad went, we lost the entire tire, brakes, etc. Long story, big mess and it was days before we got far enough North to Acapulco to get repairs made. First thing we did when we got back to Canada was get the Pressure Pro monitoring system. It has saved us twice in the past years. Happy it all ended well.

    Here in Mazatlan our RV park only has 50AMP but they do have a few loaner adapters for 30 to 50 AMP.

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  15. Hats off to the folks who flagged you over and that you were on a busy interstate where there was the chance of that happening. Our TPMS has been worth every dime we paid for it just in peace of mind. There are so many big trucks on I-40 I'm glad you were able to get pulled off pretty far. What a wonderful old motel - we have seen lots of them along the old Route 66, too many of them closed down now with tall Holiday Inns across the street :-(

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  16. Wow what a mess that tire was. I'm really surprised there was no damage to Libby or to the rim. I would have thought the rim would be ruined. Not exactly your lucky day but those two things were lucky. Safe travels on your way.

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  17. That could had been a bad one, glad it turned out so good. I have Good Sam Club and called on them twice in the past year. Happy with results too. Nice RV Park, I stayed there last year. You're right, no frills but pleasant stay. Love the history, remember going through as a child in the 50's.

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  18. Same thing happened to me, twice, while pulling my Jeep Liberty that looks just like yours. Didn't know there was anything wrong until other vehicles, especially truckers, kept point to my rear as they passed me. Not fun, for sure.

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  19. Amazing that your rim survived that, Al. Glad you are all safe!

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