In town, safe and sound

I finally got a tow from the rest area to a local town.

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There is a trailer mechanic here that is reportedly very good at what he does. He’s not open until Monday so I am hanging until then. Not that I’m in any hurry. πŸ™‚

I am in an RV park with electric/water/sewer and a spectacular view of a mountain to the east of me. Last night I sat outdoors and watched the night sky. No moon, and no street lights to obstruct the view of the stars, it was a beautiful sight! This is part of what this journey is about, finding the out of the way places and just taking them in. πŸ™‚ I’m going to try to capture a sunrise over the mountain this morning.

Patience and time…

Today started off pretty good. I got up early, had a nice warm shower and a great breakfast!



When I stopped last night I didn’t have much fuel, it was getting to be a little later in the afternoon so I figured I’d top off and get a good start today. I drove about 40 miles to a Petro stop, grabbed about 70 gallons of fuel, a couple of snacks and I was on my way! When leaving the truckstop, I made a u-turn in the back parking lot, it wasn’t paved and had huge potholes, I hit one of them and without knowing it I’d popped the trailer off of the hitch.

Once I got onto the interstate a guy pulled up right next to me honking and pointing backward – I couldn’t see what was going on exactly so I pulled over to check out… bad news. The trailer had been off the hitch since the truckstop – maybe a mile or so but enough time to do some damage.

IMG_2771I took this pic just before I was pulling my truck off the trailer – I figured I should document the damage for insurance purposes if I turn it in. FORTUNATELY the tongue of the trailer didn’t puncture the radiator. It dinged it up a little but didn’t do any severe damage.

I unloaded the truck, re-hitched the trailer, re-loaded the truck and made it to the next rest stop. Thats where I sat most of the day today. πŸ™ I tried to get a mobile mechanic, or a tow truck – no such luck. The one company I spoke with said they could probably line up a truck for tomorrow and help me out. In the meantime I took apart the entire mechanism trying to figure out how to adjust it or rig it so that it would hold until I got to Tucson, no such luck.

Its easy to get mad, frustrated or down about something like this, but just like everything in life, experiences are what you make of them. I could rant and rave and go on and on about how this sucks and I won’t make to Tucson today as I had planned. I could get all bent about the money its going to cost to repair the damages. Actually, I started down that path but only for a few minutes. Really… those of you that know me well might suspect otherwise! Truly speaking I turned it around fast. I didn’t dwell on it in a negative way.

I looked at it like this; It could be raining, I could be stuck on the highway in the middle of nowhere instead of a safe rest area. It could have happened at night making things much more dangerous and difficult. My truck could have swayed back and forth enough to flip over and take my motorcycle with it…along with anyone else on the highway at the time…none of that happened. It was really a fairly low key event and no one got hurt, no vehicles lost.

The sun was out all day, it was around 75 and the scenery was really amazing. Of all places to be stranded for the short-term, I’m not sure I could have picked one as nice. πŸ™‚Β This will get fixed and I’ll be back on my way again. I just need to give it patience and time, and for once in my life I have plenty of both!


White sands…

Another great day. I slept in a little, then hit the road around 10a or so. I drove west on route 70 from Roswell to Las Cruces and jumped on I10. On the way I passed White Sands National Park. I passed it by and got to thinking…I’m in no hurry, why don’t I stop and check it out?” So I made a u-turn and headed back. As I was heading back I had to pass through a border patrol station. I don’t really know why cause it seems like I’m a good ways away from Mexico.

border patrol

In any case a pro-tip to anyone going through the area. When the border patrol officer asks you politely “How many in your vehicle today?” do not answer “Just me sir, well…wait, INCLUDING the mexians??” That will result in the officer inspecting your vehicle and asking a LOT more questions. Just putting that out there for anyone thats interested. πŸ™‚

After I got passed that little self-induced hiccup – I made it to the park. What a beautiful place. Everything around is brown and dead looking, then out of nowhere these sand dunes rise out of the desert – pure white! This is definitely one place I will visit again.

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RAAF Captures Flying Saucer!!!

Anyone see any aliens around here?

aliens over my shoulder

HAHAHA! πŸ˜€ I drove from Tucumcari, NM to Roswell, NM on Tuesday.


welcome to roswell

I figured this might be a fun place to stay for a couple of days so I found an RV park and setup shop. Since I was a kid I’ve been fascinated with the possibility of extraterrestrial life (I don’t have a tinfoil hat…yet) and I’ve seen many documentaries on the subject. I figured that being this close to the most well known ‘reported’ alien crash site it might be fun to stop.

The UFO museum was filled with eye witness account affidavits, old newspaper articles and pictures of the event in 1947. It was kind of neat and worth the 5 dollars to check it out. πŸ™‚

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After I had my fill of one of the biggest conspiracies of all time I figured it was time to get back to reality. πŸ™‚ There is a state park near the RV park called Bottomless Lakes State Park. The lakes aren’t really bottomless; they range from 17-90 feet deep. As I understand it, back in the 1800’s when ranchers would drive cattle through this area, the park was one place they would stop to water the herd. When the cowboys would use their lariats to measure the depth, at a certain point in these lakes there are currents, the lariats would get swept aside giving the impression that there was no bottom to the lake. If I read right, thats how the place got its name. I guess there is an underground cavern system and the water flows between the lakes creating the currents.Β The lakes are actually big sink holes. It is a pretty neat place. I hiked about 3 miles while I was out there. Its so serene, and the silence is deafening. It was an interesting place to spend the day.

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I finished my day out talking with the RV park host. He’s a biker and has some classic motorcycles. We talked bikes for an hour before he had to go and help one of the other guests at the park. The red one is a 1946 Indian Chief and the black one is a 1947. Both were in spectacular shape, dusty, but it great shape.

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This concludes our broadcast from Roswell New Mexico… the journey continues westward!

Well Blow me down

After yesterday’s drive I understand completely why the rig that I have is called a diesel PUSHER. There are no aerodynamics at play with this big ol bus! I didn’t put on that many miles yesterday, I drove from OKC to Tucumcari, NM. The wind was brutal most of the way. It was a cross wind, a head wind and sometimes both. πŸ™‚ Most of the day the wind was a constant 25mph with gusts up to 35, definitely a new experience. To quote Louisa May Alcott “I’m not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship.”

I did stop along the way at a Route 66 museum – it was pretty neat to take in some of the history of the classic road.

Route 66 MuseumReplica of a Route 66 storephoto from days gone by

The day was pretty nice over all, despite the wind. I had sunshine and blue skies the entire way. The temp was up around 70 or so. Time to continue west and see what the next set of miles brings!

Lessons and rewards

Yesterday was a pretty good driving day. I made it a little west of Oklahoma City. In going through OKC I discovered the reason for a lock on the refrigerator door. There are a couple of curves in the road that require drivers to slow down to around 50 mph while driving through the city, a couple of them are marked, a couple are not.

I was making a curve to the right at about 50-60mph and found that it got much sharper as I progressed into the curve. Normally I would enjoy this as I would be in a car or a pick up and consider it a challenge to hold the vehicle in the turn – yesterday I found this to be less enjoyable and a ‘different’ kind of challenge. As I got into the sharpest portion of the curve my refrigerator door flung open because a gallon of water I was keeping in there slid fast enough to find its way out and onto the floor. That liberated the rest of the fridge prisoners and they promptly made their escape onto the floor. Blueberries made a valiant effort in their escape, followed by a box of mushrooms and a second gallon of water, the apple juice Β brought up the rear. I’m fortunate it wasn’t a bigger mess than it was. I took a little video(Escape from the fridge) and learned a lesson about how to manage my supplies. πŸ™‚

Escape from the fridge

I kept driving through the city until I got to a point where I could stop without having to deal with too much traffic and a place that was out of the way for the morning rush hour. When I got stopped, I got the mess all cleaned up then decided to make a nice meal for myself and relax a bit. Bacon wrapped chicken breast with a mix of broccoli, cauliflower, onion, garlic and some mushrooms ( chose the mushrooms as punishment to them for trying to escape πŸ™‚ )

veggie prepmeal completeOverall it was a good day. I slept good over night and am ready for the day today.

Lift off!

Yesterday I started the journey – a little later in the day than I wanted to but I’m on my way! I stopped when I got to I55 in Perryville, Mo. to pick up some groceries at Walmart. I meant do to that before I got started but I just simply ran out of time. I started getting a little irritated by that as I was shopping, I had it in my mind that I needed to get moving, get some miles on etc…etc… then it hit me – I don’t need to rush, there is no hurry, I’m not trying to ‘get home’ cause I’m already there. πŸ™‚

Uncle Chris took some pictures of me getting loaded up and hitting the road – thanks for that!

loading truck at roystruck-loadedleaving townleaving illinoischester-bridgebridge-view

I intending on stopping for the night on the west side of Memphis on I40. As it turns out there is lots of construction and not many places to pull off the highway. I went through three Pilot truck stops and all were completely full – the one rest area that I saw was closed due to construction on the highway. I ended up driving to Little Rock, Arkansas and stopped for the night in a Stucky’s parking lot. It is out of the way and right next to the highway. I’m taking my time getting on the road this morning – no rush, no hurry. Time for a little coffee…

Howling send off!

I spent most of the late afternoon continuing to organize and move in to the RV. Everything is pretty well in its place and I still have some extra room for more stuff! Not that I want or need any more stuff. πŸ™‚ I sorted through my tools yesterday as well, looking around at what I think I ‘might’ need I think I’m covered there for the most part.

It was so nice yesterday, near 70 degrees and sunny. I had all the windows open. In the evening I closed everything down and before I went to bed for the night I stepped outside to take a look at the stars. I was greeted by my invisible neighbors (coyotes) with a chorus of howling. πŸ™‚ It was pretty cool. I tried to record as much of it as I could but wasn’t quick enough with my phone to capture it all. I figured they’re getting tired of seeing me parked in ‘their woods’ and decided to politely tell me to move on. πŸ™‚ Enjoy!

First time boondocking!

I have the RV parked at my uncles house until Saturday. Until later this afternoon I wasn’t on shore power and didn’t have water hooked up. It’s been out here for a couple of days this way as I have been moving in. It’s good practice just in case I decide to find some remote region to spend some time in for a few days.

Now that I have power and water it’s just about like being at an RV park.