We got home about 3pm local time and found that the grass was high and nothing was awry with the house which was a great relief. We started mowing right off and got a lot of the front yard mowed. I decided to unroll the awning on the RV to let it dry out and see how bad it needed cleaning-we hadn’t used it since we got the RV. It was wet so I decided, seeing as the sky was clear and the stars were coming out, to leave it deployed for the night.
We didn’t want to eat in so we went to the local Chinese Buffet for dinner. When we got home it was still clear and calm and I didn’t feel that it was necessary to roll up the awning so I took a shower and went to bed. Later that night I was awakened by rain on the roof of the RV so I thought I better slant the awing down so the rain would run off the awning and not make a bag of water that would stretch the material. I went back to bed and to sleep. Later I was awakened with the crash and boom of lightening and thunder and the awning was flapping and shaking the RV. I went out to roll it up the awning, but the roller and the arms were stuck in the extended position and the awning wouldn’t roll back up. The wind picked up and the became quite fierce Samantha tried to help me but there was little we could do other than to hold the awning down and not let it bend the arms. We held on to add our weight to the arms to keep it from ripping its self apart the wind and rain pounded us and just when we thought it couldn’t get any worse we got hit with hail the size of dimes and we both were soaked through shivering and hanging on not daring to let the awning arms go and tear the RV apart. The lightening was fierce and close, the lights went out and we were wondering if we were going to get blown away with the damn awning. Several times we thought we were at the last of the storm, but we got blasted with more rain and wind accented with lightening. It seemed like an hour our more passed until the storm quieted down enough for us to get some tools and get the damn awning rolled up. One strut didn’t get folded up right but the thing us back against the RV and we called it quits.
When we got inside we both were tired, wet, cold and shivering; we were outside in out pajamas through all this and we were close to having a case of hypothermia. We got out of our wet clothes and dried off as quickly as possible and had some hot tea to drink. Then climbed into bed and tried to warm up. I didn’t warm up right away even though I was using a sleeping bag and had a sweat shirt on.
In the morning we took measure of the awning and the RV. The awning was torn and needs to be replaced one arm that extends has a device to hold it at a particular height needs to be repaired or replace. The good news is that there was no damage to the RV and no leaks.
I think that if we hadn’t held on to the awning we would have lost the frame and the frame would have torn off the RV causing damage to the siding and maybe the awing being ripped off causing the roof to be torn and serious damage to the RV costing a lot of money to repair.
All this could have been avoided by not leaving the awning deployed in the first place….my error that could have caused a lot of grief, but luckily we escaped without injury.
I am now of the opinion that awnings are a pain in the Pah-toot and not worth the money and expense.
So after 2000 miles on this trip our biggest adventure was in our own front yard…. go figure!
We headed east on I-40 from Tucomcari, after we got into OK we started seeing signs for a Route 66 museum so when we got to the exit we decided to visit the museum. It had a small Route 66 section and it was done well; however the museum was actually about the local area history and all the rest of the buildings were about local folks who were well known or had settled the area. So the National Route 66 Museum isn’t so much RT 66 as local history.
We left there and proceeded to find the Starlight Casino that took some doing as it is not on or near I-40 but in a small community several miles away. This casino was nice as we got free hookups and we got a $10 voucher for joining the players club and we had a good meal in the dinning room. It helped that I won tickets to a concert and Samantha won some money at the slot machines.
That night we had a storm come in and it rocked the old RV back and forth a few times making the big dog nervous and waking us up to the wind and rain. The following morning was clear and we headed to Dallas and home via I-35. Driving through Dallas as always is a nerve wracking event, but we made it home without further incident.
We departed Dodge city and headed southeast and into New Mexico’s northeast corner. To tell the truth it isn’t that much different than Kansas or the Oklahoma pan handle; flat with some rolling hills very small towns even more spread out than KS and OK. Very boring drive we came to a spot called wagon mound supposedly the folks using the Santa Fe trail came to this rock and made a decision to take the mountain route or the a cut off route. My question is where the heck were they going? Did they know what laid ahead in Arizona and California desserts?
So now we are in Tucumcari NM; this place celebrates the Route 66 theme which was “the” highway of fame forty or fifty years ago before the interstate system built I-40 which bypassed all the businesses on Rt 66. Many of the businesses closed up a few remain open hanging on to past glory and hoping enough tourists stop by and spend a little money.
PIA Cat was not amused
Where we went to get the RV repaired
This is where the trouble was
The old RV with its nose stuck in a service bay
Another view of the engine 454 Chevy
As we left the RV park this morning and began to climb up a hill I heard the RV make a noise like or shudder just like it was having problems shifting or misfiring a cylinder. THEN on the next hill it backfired !!! “YIKES this isn’t good” I said to Samantha “we better find a mechanic soon”.
We drove to Camper’s World just off the I 25 and got a recommendation for a repair facility and drove over there/here to find out what was the problem. This place is crowded with RVs trucks and cars being repaired it took them a few hours to get to our rig and figure out what the problem was.
Seems the dear old RV has never, ever had a tune up at 41 thousand miles it still had the original plugs and wires the rotor cap was corroded inside and the rotor was burnt. The plug wires were in terrible shape coming apart so we had all this replaced along with an injector cleaning and a few other minor things. This all costs $$$ and dear readers you know how I hate to spend the green stuff so I was distracted and tense all day.
We are camped in the Repair facility’s yard with an extension cord into the shop for power. Tonight’s dinner was in house; we had pasta shells with a delightful spicy red sauce and a choice of cookies or ice cream for dessert. Considering the lack of ambiance it was a nice dinner. We should be good to roll on tomorrow after a few other things are taken care of, SIGH 😦