Monday, March 16, 2020

We’re Not Done Yet with the Luck, Bucket List Item

WalMart, Gallup, New Mexico

I had a great sleep with only one 3 o’clock awakening and woke again on Sunday, Mar. 15th at 6:30. We were warm with the heater on, set at 2 ½ which doesn’t use a lot of propane at all but it makes a huge difference. Bill got up and actually turned it down ½ notch and we made our coffee and tea. I stepped outside in the 32F/0C morning and took some pictures of our location. We were blessed in finding a suitable spot for the night.

The view from Love's in the early morning
We’d planned on fueling up and pulling out at 9 but we were all ready to start fueling by 8 and were out of the Love’s lot by 8:10. Bill and I led, then Keith, then the Journey. We made the turn to hop on the ramp to I-40E and we heard a loud bang. Our first thought was ‘blew a tire’ but when we got out and checked them, everything was good and passed Bill’s ‘thump’ test. Hmm, now what? Bill opened the hood and sure enough, the turbo hose clamp broke and came off.

Mechanics on duty
 If it wasn’t for bad luck this winter, I guess we wouldn’t have any at all. I fought back tears as Keith and Bill put their heads together and with some heavy duty zip ties, secured the hose. We hadn’t driven very far on the interstate and just before the exit to Williams/Grand Canyon (we were west of this corner at the Love’s) ‘Bang!’ once more so that fix didn’t work. This time I lost it and sat in the truck trying not to let Bill see my weakness but it was no use.

While they worked on Black Beauty I found this on
the side of the road
A good sign?
This time 3 heads put together came up with a better solution to try and all we could do was try. The problem with traveling on Sunday is that no dealerships are open even if we could get to one. We are trying to be positive and praying for some spiritual guidance as we pull out once more. We are so thankful for our friends as well as the fact that we have so far been able to come out on the other side of each of our issues.

Evidence of the previous rainfall

New scenery, similar to our north country at home

Destination - Winslow, AZ
low flat plains
Our next destination is Winslow, AZ for a brief stop and they can check on it there before we forge on. It feels like forging right now but we are still enjoying the changes of scenery with open plains as far as the eye can see. It’s beautiful. It wouldn’t surprise me to see a cowboy, a wagon train or a herd of buffalo! It was around 10:30 when we drove into Winslow and that is another bucket list entry.

The boys tightened it once more once we stopped
at Winslow

A nice large area to park while we visit the popular little town
Ken had Googled and found that we could park easily at the Winslow Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Centre. It was easy to find after taking Exit 252 and it was a huge empty are beside the train tracks. If you like watching trains, you could spend the day here. The Centre wasn’t open but we didn’t need it to be. The temperature had increased to a balmy 50F which meant no gloves or heavy coats were necessary. Yay!

We headed directly to the ‘corner’ and took pictures of each other and then I set up my tripod for a group photo. We were there at a great time as there weren’t too many others there yet. We visited a couple of the souvenir shops, of course, and got our collector pin, a souvenir penny (Kim and Ken got us onto that), and a license plate for the bunky. Little things that mean a lot to us.

Standing on the Corner

We headed back to our rigs and because it was noon hour and we were ready, we stayed for lunch. I made Keith and I a sandwich of lettuce, ham, cheese and tomato and Bill made himself a peanut butter and cheese. I also made myself a coffee. That was a good lunch, I didn’t eat cereal earlier. We were on the road, after Keith reorganized his cargo trailer and Oreo got some exercise chasing his favourite thing in the world. His ball.

Upon approaching in Winslow, we’d seen signs that 68 miles ahead was a serious crash causing the closure of I-40E. Oh-oh. We had no need to rush so at 12:30 Ken said they had started to re-open the interstate so we were good to start out. Those closures, with no way around, can cause a huge backup for sure. We’ve all seen that. We led and everyone was feeling pretty good with full tummies and a warm 60F/16C.

All together
Bill, Patsy, Glenn Frey, Keith, Oreo, Kim, Ken
There was a nice walkway along the tracks in Winslow
paved with red bricks
Oreo ran free for a while, having fun
No one was around but the 6 of us
One side of the highway was low flat plains with the occasional cattle and on the other, rocky hills and red sand. Sadly, we’re up too high to see any more cactus so it is good to appreciate the things we are presented with. 😊 No sooner do I say that and we enter New Mexico. Talk about a change! 

All of a sudden both sides of the interstate are laced with absolutely gorgeous ribboned rocks. Red ones, and pink and some brown, some with holes and smooth caves and some with trading posts tucked in them. Gorgeous!


I’m really trying to curb so much picture taking but it is really hard. At least I can restrain from posting an overload. We didn’t experience any more difficulty with the turbo hose, thank God, so just kept moving on at a steady pace and took the hills a bit easier. We made it to Gallup, New Mexico to a Walmart. It was around 2:30 and we decided to make it our home for the night rather than push on any further. Bill was tired and we were all ready to stop. We were able to take advantage of some nice spots away from the transports and yet cuddled in a group of our own.

Stunning New Mexico
Bill and Keith took care of another, more secure fix on the hose by using a spray adhesive and then reclamping. This, hopefully, will get us home. When we turned into the spot at the Fire Road at G.C. there was a stubborn evergreen branch that caught the roof of the Suite. Naturally it did. Ken climbed up and had to physically break and tug and disengage it from our ladder. He checked the solar panels and they were fine but there was a quarter size tear in the membrane.

Today, Keith and Bill climbed up and used the spray adhesive and tape on that as well. It’s never ending, it seems, this winter but we are still here and we are still healthy. Keith is moving on in the morning so once we were all set up, we gathered in Ken and Kim’s home for a final 5-person Happy Hour.

A little repair job on the roof edge
The sun was coming out warming things up nicely but we had no chairs out and were too lazy to get them out. I’m sure it is frowned upon anyway, especially where alcohol is involved. Keith left earlier than Bill and I, we were enjoying the banter and we discussed various things. It was a late start to HH so therefore a late ending. It was 6:45 when Bill and I came home for supper. I warmed up a tub of chili and we finished off the cheesecake for dessert.

No bread, No milk, No water, No t.p., No bleach, dish soap
No juice
After dishes, Kim and I walked into Walmart for a couple of things. I found the t-shirts I wanted and she had luck finding the muffins. The big shock was the condition of the store’s shelves. We’ve never, ever witnessed anything like this. It feels odd and sad and terrible and disturbing all in one big bag. This just isn’t right. We took pictures with our jaws dropped and checked out, walking back to our homes for the night.

But our friend, Doug, would be happy!
There isn’t anything else to add for today’s post, I’m sure it will be a quiet evening with our books. Bill still hasn’t dozed so I’m sure after just a few minutes he will be in dreamland. Even with the added problem we’ve been dealt with, we are still happy and very fortunate to have the friends we have. They have all been more help to us on these last two months of our journey than they know. We are truly blessed.

Our cozy little campsite, together, at WalMart, Gallup
Oreo kept an eye on me while I was out taking pictures
Good night from Gallup, NM
Thank you for checking in on us and for all your concerns. We are fine.  As my sister, Gayle, says “Life goes on”. Comments are always welcome and so are your reactions.  


  1. Sure am glad Bill was able to put clamps on the turbo booster so you can make it home. Loved the pictures of Winslow, Arizona. Perfect day weather wise. You need to frame one and put it in the Suite. Glad to see no shortage of whipping cream :)) Safe travels today. And uneventful too!

    1. Thank you Doug. We have to give credit where it is due. Without Keith, who was a millwright, this fix would not have been so professional. Kudos to Keith with Bill as his sidekick. :)
      Today was a good day. Monday, I mean.

  2. Sounds like the fix will get you home. After all the guys didn't have to use duct tape. Beautiful pictures. The Walmart pictures blew me away. In a couple of days I need some groceries wonder if it will be the same here.

    1. It probably would have but read Monday's post to see the update. :)
      Walmart shocked the heck out of us. Freakingly sad.

  3. My goodness, it has been a rough patch hasn't it? I'm glad Bill had the capable assistance of Keith and Ken to get the fix made. Hopeful too, that the fix is sufficient to get you home.

    I was at the local Superstore this morning, and while the paper aisle and to a lesser extent the disinfectants were pretty much cleared out, the rest of the store was still well stocked.

    Take care and safe travels!

    1. Thank you Maebeme. Yes, we've been kicked a bit this winter but we've survived.
      The store situation spooked us. They were trying to restock but just not enough and not quick enough. :(

  4. Just noticed the 'awesome' option with your like... I see it now ;)

  5. Some times everything seems to break down at the same time. I've cried frequently when we have been on the road and Jim is so patient with me as he works on fixing it. I'm glad you can enjoy the good times and I found those were happening a whole lot more often then the bad days.

    1. Thank you Sandie. Sometimes you do feel like throwing in the towel but somehow we get through things and the good do outweigh the not so good ones. :)

  6. Hey I’m happy. They all have ice cream!!! Lol. So sorry you’ve had more troubles. At least you have several men to handle it. Luckily you can dry camp. It will get better!!!

    1. There were still 4 flavours of Tillamook ice cream on the shelf, so we're good! haha
      Thank you Nancy, things can only get better in the mechanical trouble scenario. :)

  7. I love the LIKE button!!! Are we restricted to only one selection or can we click on all 3??