Thursday, June 15, 2006

We get the hook

To catch you all up -- I passed the driving test (very easy) and we are now both licensed Texas drivers. I have a class A and M so I am also covered for the motorcycle.

We left Livingston Monday afternoon after getting the licenses and drove west on secondary highways to the town of Lampasas where we stayed the night. We found diesel there for 2.64 per gallon which was at least 20 cents cheaper than anywhere else on the trip.

Tuesday we drove as far as the little town of Brownfield, Texas which is about 100 miles due east of Roswell, NM. Many of these little west Texas towns have free campgrounds that the city provides to encourage travelers to stay and spend some money. We always appreciate those kinds of places. The chief of police dropped by to talk about our rig and take some pictures. He was really enthralled and wanted to someday do something like what we have done.

Wed. we drove through Roswell and headed north toward Vaughn. I am trying to take more senic routes and so decided to take a lightly traveled highway through Corona and come into Edgewood from the south. We drove about 40 miles on NM 247 and saw only a couple other vehicles when at about 1:30 the engine suddenly just quit. There was no warning of any kind. I coasted to a stop on the shoulder of the road in front of a ranch house (the only one for miles). We were in the middle of nowhere. Cell phones did not work and the nearest town was still 12 miles away.

I walked up to the ranch house and there was a lady there. Turns out it was a hunting lodge and her son owned it. They cater to celebrities who want to hunt and play cowboy. It was a really nice place and she gave us the run of it after letting us use the phone. She even left us there alone as she had other things to do. She said no one out there ever locked their house.

I called the towing insurance service (Continental Car Club) I had paid a few extra dollars for when we insured the truck and trailer. They were incredible. They had a big rig tow truck out to us in about an hour (from Vaughn which was about 45 miles away) and he hooked up to the truck and pulled both the truck and trailer together. His tow truck was not air conditioned and certainly not nearly as nice as our truck.

We had him drop the trailer in Edgewood at the church parking lot and then he took the truck on into Albuquerque. The Cummins shop was closed by the time we got there (about 8:30) so we left it in the parking lot. I unloaded the scooter and rode it back to Edgewood.

First thing this morning I rode back in to arrange repairs. About 2 this afternoon it was fixed. Turns out it was a wire that runs from the engine computer to the battery that had broken at the battery. The repair took all of 5 minutes and cost about .25 in parts, but you had to know what to look for. That wire is the only wire other than the main battery cables that runs directly to the battery.

I picked up the truck and moved the trailer from the church lot to Weavers where we have full hookups. They are good friends and have a spot next to their house which her folks use for their motorhome when they come to visit. We call it "Weavers RV Park".

My towing service just paid for itself for the next 50 years. The tow cost the car club about $950. We were towed about 120 miles, which is exactly how far the middle of nowhere is from Albuquerque. My bill from Cummins was about $200 which included reinstalling the drive shaft and troubleshooting the problem.

The heat has been unbearable this trip and we are anxious to get out of it. Here in Edgewood it is unusually hot and the winds are incredible. Huge clouds of dust are blowing everywhere. It is not a nice place to be right now and we plan to head for the White Mountains on Saturday.

Dianna may have more later but that's it for now. I do not set the satellite up when we only stay overnight so unless we find free wireless somewhere, our postings and communications may be a little show.


  1. Now that's what I'm talking about! Thanks for a good read and good update on your adventures.

    Though it made a good story, I hope you don't run into this kind of "interesting events" too often in your travels.

    I was up at 7000 feet yesterday afternoon (Pinal Mountains near Globe), and it was beautiful in the shade. The sun was warm, though. The White Mountains should be perfect.

  2. You probably want to stay away from the SF Valley for a while. Today it was about 100. Although we pale in comparison to Phoenix it's still not sweater weather.