Finally in Tucson, Arizona

Saturday, December 31. 2016 New Year’s Eve

Had a little rain pattering on the roof this morning when Yuma and I woke up.  Nice pleasant on and off sprinkles.  Slept in till 8 o’clock mountain time, so I must have been tired.  At least I am on time zone time now already.

After taking Yuma for a walk and having breakfast, I ran into the Walmart and bought 10 pounds of ice and a turkey baster tin foil pan to put it in and placed it in the fridge.  It is now the icebox till I get the propane leak fixed.

We left Deming, New Mexico heading for the Tucson, Arizona, 220 miles West on I-10.  Beautiful drive and the road was great.  Wasn’t sure what I would hit by the way of mountains, but they were not bad.  It was only a 4 hour drive with the stops we made.  It rained on and off as we went, but the sun came out at times as well.  Can’t complain.

Here are some of the views I had driving along.  There I am.

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Finally leaving New Mexico and entering Arizona,

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Beautiful country to drive in.  Lifts my spirits the further West I drive.

Arrived at the Casino Del Sol parking lot around 2 in the afternoon in Tucson.  It is so nice to park the RV and let out the slides and striaghten up a bit. 

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The weather is nice with a few sprinkles and sun.  Even had a rainbow over the RV.  I think things are looking up.

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We took a walk down to the entrance of the casino and we could hear the band playing.  They are getting ready for a big time tonight. 

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I was worried that when I got here, I would find they had booted all the RVers out to make room for patrons, but they did not.  The back parking lot is full of RVs.

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I guess they let you stay for as long as you want.  Some of the RVs here look like they are set up for the winter.

Plans are to start making calls on Monday to RV repair shops here in Tucson and see if I can get an appointment to fix the generator and the propane leak.  I’m hoping when I look under the RV, I will just see a loose fitting and do that myself.  We shall see.

Since my son-in-law, Evan and I put the inverter in, I will figure that out on my own, with a few phone calls to Evan for advice.  I can always work with what I have if need be. (The extension cord out the window trick.)

Have a Great New Year!  See you soon.

Just when I thought things were going good

Friday, December 30, 2016

Just when I thought things were going good, it all fell apart.  Last night after writing my blog, I turned on the Inverter to charge my computer and phone and nothing happened. 

I went outside to the inverter compartment and found that it was beeping with an error code.  While, looking at that, I could smell propane.  The propane tank is next to the inverter compartment. 

Crawled under the MH with a flashlight and could hear leaking propane and when checking the tank found all the propane I had just put in it earlier in the day was nearly gone.  Turned off the inverter and the propane tank and called it a day.

The starter on my generator wasn’t working when I left home.  I was planning on getting it fixed while out in the south west, so now I just have more things to fix.

Now I have no electricity for my computer and phone, and no propane for the fridge and stove.  What a bummer.  I was feeling so bad, I contemplated just turning around and driving the 1100 miles back home and forgetting the whole thing.  Decided to sleep on it.

Got up this morning feeling better and decided to just keep on going West.  After checking the air in my tires again, I headed out at 7 A.M., planning to get to Deming New Mexico early in the day and think about things.

First stop was Guadalupe Mountains National Park.  Dolly and I stayed there overnight last year and loved the beautiful mountains.

The fog was coming in and out.  At times I  could see nearly everything, then the fog would roll back in and I could not see the mountains at all.

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I took many photos, but have to restrict the number I put on the blog.

After walking around a bit, the fog came in and covered the whole area and I could see nothing.  It was time to go down the mountain and head toward El Paso.  The elevation where I am is 4596 feet.

You can see how foggy it got as I was heding down the mountain.

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El Paso is 110 miles straight ahead.

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Here is I-10 going through the Franklin Mountains West of El Paso.  These are the toughest of the whole trip.  You go up forever and my poor MH was having a hard time pulling that Jeep; but we made it.

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Went through an inspection station, checking for illegal aliens.  They didn’t find any.

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Finally, arrived at my destination of the Walmart in Deming, New Mexico.  This is the third time I have stayed here. 

I did a little playing with the inverter and found that if I run an extension cord out the window and plug it directly into the inverter, I can charge my computer and phone batteries without throwing an error code. 

That tells me something is wrong with the main plug wire and not the inverter.  One problem solved for the time being.  I’ll look at the propane leak tomorrow.  In the meantime, I will put ice in the fridge and call it an icebox.

Have a nice New Year’s Eve tomorrow.  See you later.

We Blew Right Thru Texas

December 29, 2016

I woke up early this morning at 7 A.M. ready to roll.  Decided to not have  breakfast or read the news or read my blogs till this evening.  It was still dark when we stopped at the Walmart service station and filled up, but the sunrise was just starting with a glow off in the East.  Checked my tires and they were all good.  Glad it was just a loose stem.

We made good headway going down I-44 towards Wichita Falls, Texas and then made a right on US 277/82 towards my planned stop for the day, Lubbock, Texas.  Still had over a half tank of gas when I left I-44 never thinking I should fill up before going on to Lubbock.

I went by the little town of Seymour where 277 went South and 82 went West.  I saw a gas station, but had already made the turn West on hwy 82, so decided to go on. 

Little did I know the next gas station wouldn’t be for another 120 miles.  By the time I got to the little town of Crosbyton, 35 miles from Lubbock, my red low gas light was shining.  Needless to say, there are a lot of rolling hills in Texas with very few towns.

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Lots of open prairie out here.

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Lots of cotton fields and cotton bails.

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Indian Country

However, since I started so early, I arrived in Lubbock a little after two and that is just too early to end the day.  So, I set my sights on the little town of Seminole, Texas, about 60 miles further down.  They have a Walmart, but when I got there, I found out it was not a super center, but just a small one with a small parking lot.  There were signs posted everywhere saying No Trucks, No Trailers, No RVs.

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Checked the internet and found that Hobbs, New Mexico had a Walmart Super Center, so headed another 25 miles West just across the Texas line to Hobbs.  Sure enough, checked with the management and she said “Sure”.  So, here I am, checked in for the night around 4:30.

So my plans to stay in Texas went by the wayside.  Traveled 450 miles today and because of this, I will be able to knock a night’s stay and be in Deming, New Mexico tomorrow night instead of on New Year’s Eve.  I have a better place in mind for New Year’s Eve.

See you later.

Oklahoma City Here I Come!

December 28, 2017

What a tough day!  I didn’t sleep well last night being my first day on the road and that Yuma kept hogging my side of the bed.  For forty pounds, he is hard to push over.

It got down to about 34 degrees last night and since I had no heat going, it was downright cold this morning when I got up about 7:30.  We were toasty in our sleeping bags all night. 

Turned Mr. Heater on to take the chill out of the air and took Yuma for a walk.  Then sat down to read the online news and my blogs.  Had a bowl of ceral and fed Yuma and went out to check the tire pressure before heading out.

That’s when things went south.  The first rear tire I checked had 20 lbs.  That’s a long way from the expected pressure of 80 lbs.  Basically, it was flat and was being held up by the other dual tire.  Checked the other three and they were all fine.

Had to sit down and worry about things for awhile, trying to figure out what to do.  First, I walked over the the Walmart to see if they had an Auto Service Department and sure enough they did.  Asked the manager if I could bring the MH  around for them to check and they said it would be fine.

On the way back to the MH, I had time to think.  I wondered if it could be a loose tire stem.  You see, yesterday, it was so cold when I checked the tires before leaving home, I dropped the stem cap and couldn’t find it.  I said to heck with it and I would check in the evening to see if I had one in the MH. 

Well, this morning, the tire with the missing stem cap was the one that was flat.  I checked the stem with my handy dandy stem tightner and sure enough it was loose.  Loose stem and no stem cap causes problems.  Checked, and sure enough, I have extra stem caps in the MH.  Should have looked yesterday.  That’s what I get for putting things off.

Took the MH over to Walmart and had them fill the tire with air, thanked them and I was on my way.  By now it was 10 o’clock so I was an hour late getting on the road.

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Rest area on I-44.

Hooked onto I-44 toll road heading towards Tulsa, Oklahoma with plans to get off near Tulsa and go down state highway 69 all the way to Denison, Texas, North of Dallas to spend the night.  Kevin and Ruth of Travel with Kevin and Ruth! are always saying to get off the interstate and see the country.  I did this for about 40 miles of the 200 miles I was going to go and I couldn’t stand it.  The road was bumpy as heck and there was a small town every ten miles with two stop lights and they were always red.

I said the heck with it and jumped on toll road 412 heading west to Tulsa and got back on I-44 to Oklahoma City.  Hit OKC at the 5 o’clock rush hour and it was horrendous.  Thank goodness, my MH is big and long with the Jeep attached.  When I changed lanes, I could push folks out of the way.  Did that a couple of times.

Now Yuma and I are happily staying at a friendly Walmart southwest of OKC.  I am definitely ready to rest and hopefully on track to hit Lubbock, Texas tomorrow night.  We shall see.

See you later.

First Day on the Road

December 27, 2016

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Come on Daddy, I’ve been waiting all year to go back to my home town of Yuma, Arizona.

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Here we are all packed and ready to go.  It is almost 10 A.M. and we have 325 miles to travel today before we can rest.  The weather is just perfect for driving.  A little breezy, but the temperature is around 32 and the sun is shining bright.

As usual, I am nervous, but hopefully, once I get a few miles under my belt, I will calm down and start enjoying the journey.  Our plans are to stay at the Walmart in Lebanon, Missouri tonight.  This is the same place we stayed on our journey last winter.

This is the best shot I could get as we rolled across the Mississippi River heading west.  I hate this section of the highway as we go through East St. Louis.  There are so many connecting roads, so close together, I get confused.  For the second time in our travels through here, I turned off the interstate and went down into the city streets.  Luckily, I was able to go straight back up at the stop light at the bottom of the hill.  I was lucky.  Could have been horrible, if I had gotten caught in city traffic.

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Took a lunch break at a rest stop near Rolla, Missouri in the Ozark hills.

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Finally, we rolled into the Walmart parking lot and checked in for the night, just as the sun was reaching for the ground.  The weather is cool, but  not a cloud in the sky and no wind.  This first day has been hard on me.  Not used to driving for six hours.  I don’t have the umph I used to have.

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See you later.

Day after Christmas

December, 26, 2016

Yesterday afternoon, Dolly, Fergie and I headed to our youngest son’s house in Normal for our annual Christmas dinner and after Christmas gift sharing.  In all, there were 20 people there.  We left poor Yuma at home to guard the house.

Earlier in the year, we drew names and we we bought a gift for the person we selected.  Each person sends everyone in the group a list of what they want as a gift.  There is a money limit,.  That way, everyone gets a gift from their list, but don’t know before hand who the person is giving the gift.  There were a ton of presents under and around the tree.

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The kitchen was a busy place while the cooks prepared the food.  We had dinner first and there was tons of food.  I think we all over ate on all the delicious food. 

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I saw that gravy pot on the stove and quickly turned the handle into the stove.  Wouldn’t want that Keaton to pull it down on himself.

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Two of our main cooks slaving over the stove.

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Fergie does not like Bonesy sticking his nose into her face while she is resting in Steve’s lap.

After dinner, we handed out the gifts and the mess began. 

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Everyone had a good time and our Christmas has come to an end for another year.  Dolly and I are so happy to have such a wonderful and healthy family.

The day after Christmas and it is time for me and Dolly to pack the MH in preparation for tomorrow’s early departure.  Thank goodness we had a very warm and sunny day to do it.  Temperature rose to 53 degrees.  Just wonderful.   Last year, it was freezing cold on packing day.

Pulled the MH out of its parking spot and right up to the garage, so we could get right to the door and also block the 20 mph wind coming out of the southwest.  It rained quite a bit last night so I took an old rug runner we had sitting in the garage to keep the mud out of the MH.

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Took our time.  Not really too much to load since it is only me and Yuma on this trip.  One last dash with the remaining items in the morning, and we will be on our way.

See you later.

Got to Get Out of This Cold!

Monday, December 19, 2016

Woke up to 5 below zero this morning.  Poor Yuma started limping when his feet got too cold.  We had an ice storm the other day and with this cold, it is still all over everything, making it dangerously slick for walking.

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Looks like Yuma and I will be on our own this winter.  Dolly and Fergie are staying home to care for our two oldest cats.  They are getting on in years.  Shadow is 15 and Calisto is 20.   Shadow has arthritis real bad in her hind legs, but Calisto just keeps on going.  I think that cat will outlive us all.

Maybe I can talk Dolly and Fergie into flying to Phoenix to join us in February or March, but we will see.

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My plans are to celebrate Christmas with the family this Sunday and begin my travels on Tuesday, December, 27th.  Last year we were delayed on our departure due to bad weather, but so far it looks like the weather will be okay all of next week.

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I am glad to hear there is a Bloggerfest scheduled for next month.  I look forward to attending.  I understand Lorne and Susan Green of  A Place Called “Away” will be hosting the event.  They are currently heading across the southern end of Texas on their journey west.


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It is supposed to warm up starting on Wednesday.  I have a lot to do before leaving, so it will be a busy week.  As usual, I am nervous and at the same time excited as I look forward to another winter in the southwest.  I wish I could just stay home for the winter but, somehow I am drawn like a moth to a flame.

See you later.