Friday, May 31, 2013

It Coulda Been Worse!

I think it is better to try to look on the bright side of mishaps.  Tuesday we were traveling up I-25 headed for our destination at Chatfield State Park in Littleton, CO.  As we approached Castle Rock, CO, with the cruise control set at 62 mph, I hear the unmistakable sound of a tire separating.   A quick glance at the right side mirror shows a big hunk of tire tread falling behind our travel path.  Uh Oh!  I thought one of the trailer tires had shredded.  I pulled over to the right side of the interstate at the top of an off ramp.  We get out to take a look and walk to the middle of the trailer to check the tires.  They are both fine, thank you.  So I look a little forward and see the right rear tire of the truck was completely missing it’s tread, BUT, it is still inflated with all the steel cord showing.  How lucky is that?  So I put on the emergency flashers and very slowly drive down the off ramp, turn right, go one block, turn right again and go 2 blocks to a convenience store/gas station with a large concrete parking lot.  I park the trailer and the truck in one corner of the lot and call Good Sam Emergency Road Service.  They promise to have someone there to change the tire within the hour.  When we get out to take another look, I realize all the damage that was done to the right rear quarter panel on the truck:

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So while we are waiting I unhitch the fifth wheel so the tire can be changed and then I call Allstate to report the claim.  Thankfully this is considered a “comprehensive” claim ($100 deductible), not a “collision” claim ($500 deductible).  So what is the bright side of all this.  We were near an off ramp to a suburban area; the truck was driveable; the deductible was low; the tire changing guy was there within an hour; and we continued on our way.  We made it to our destination by4:00 pm.

Wednesday morning I go into a nearby Wal-Mart to tell them their tire came apart and show them the damage that was done.  To make a long story short, I ended up with a new set of $160 tires with a total discount of $150 off of the price of four tires plus the usual extras like stems, road hazard, and lifetime rotation and balance.  $750 minus $150 = $600.  That takes care of my deductible.

Thursday morning, I take Rosie to the home of one of her hiking buddies so she can participate in the weekly Thursday hike with all the girls.  Then I have a medical appointment with my former Primary Care Physician in Conifer, CO, to see what can be done about my ever increasing blood pressure.  I take my blood pressure three times a day with a small wrist unit.  It has been creeping up over the past 2 to 3 weeks despite my being on blood pressure medication.  After an examination and relaying all my current medical ailments and meds, the Doc gives me a prescription for an additional blood pressure medication.  After only two doses, my blood pressure readings are improving, still not great, but improving.  We shall see.

Rosie had a great hike with her friends in Roxborough State Park.  Here are some pictures:

IMG_6901  IMG_6898IMG_6908  IMG_6916

Today, Friday, was a very productive day for us.  I replaced the air filter on the truck and reassembled and stashed all the tire changing tools.  Rosie vacuumed the camper.  I straightened out the basement.  Chatfield State Park is quite large, with long pull through sites with level concrete pads and 20/30/50 amp electric hookups for $20 per night.  Full hook ups are available for $24, but cheap ole’ me says $4 times 14 nights is $56 that I would rather not spend.  I will hitch up and go to the dump station once to save $56.  Here are a couple of pictures of our site:

IMG_6918  Big site with fire pit and steel table


The view out of the door.

We have a busy couple of weeks here before we move about 10 miles to a City Park for another 2 weeks.

Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Colorado At Last (Well Almost)

Yesterday we arrived at Raton Pass Camp, formerly Cedar Rail Campground.  It is located at the top of Raton Pass, about 7 miles north of Raton, NM and about a 1/4 mile from the Colorado border.  We could walk to Colorado from here.

This is a smaller RV Park, but very nice.  Full hookups with 50 amp electric for a base price of $32 per night.  After a couple of discounts (Good Sam and cash/check) we paid $27.32.  The sites are on a nicely graveled upper level with views to die for.  The laundry is clean and only $1.25 for a wash and $1.25 for a dry.  They also have a huge book and DVD movie exchange.
It is so nice to see pine trees again.  There are also some patches of grass.  Sammy and Annie are going crazy eating long blades of grass and finding trees to pee on.  I don’t think they liked the desert any more than we did.
This is the view from our rear window over the kitchen sink.
After having to be stingy with the water for a month, it was a luxury to take a shower and let the water run through the whole process.  At our last place we filled up our waste tanks every 10 days and had to hook up and go to the dump station.  It only takes an hour or so, but it seems like such a hassle.  Camp site sewer connections are the best.
We have been in the desert southwest since January 10th.  We like not being frozen and not having to trudge through snow up to our kiesters, but we are getting very tired of looking at sand and cacti.  The interior of the camper is covered with a layer of fine sand from all the wind storms we have been through.  We are finally in an area where there is soil and pine trees; not a cactus in sight.  This is good.
We ended up here because all the State Parks in New Mexico and Colorado were booked up for Memorial Day weekend.  In the short time we have been here we have met 3 wonderful couples.  Bill and Marlene are from Riverside, California.  They spend a lot of time traveling in their 1995 Hitchhiker II.  Bill is close to eighty and still going.  I learned he has had A-Fib since he was 65 and has adjusted his life very well to the medication regimen.  Dan and Denise are from Littleton, CO and are very familiar with our next destination, Chatfield State Park.  They have two great dogs that travel with them in their motorhome.  Mike and Laurie are from Laguna Beach, California and have been full timing since December and having a great time.  It was fun listening to their adventures past and planned.  They may be in the area when we are camp hosting in Oregon and will come by to say hi if they are.  You can meet the most wonderful people in a little RV Park in New Mexico.
Tuesday we will travel to Chatfield State Park in Littleton, CO, a suburb of Denver.  We are really excited about visiting with old neighbors and friends.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

A Tram Ride

One of my brother’s drove from the LA area over here to spend a day with us.  Thursday evening we went to the buffet at the nearby Casino and put a few bucks in the slot machines.  Rosie won a couple of bucks on the penny slots.  We are such big time gamblers Smile.

Friday, Roger and I took the tram ride from the valley floor to the top of a nearby mountain.  The tram guide told us this is the longest tram in North America and the second longest tram in the world.  I am not normally squeamish about heights, but I got some butterflies on this one, especially when you pass through one of the two towers during the ride.  There is a little “dip” when you pass through the tower connector.  Here are some pictures of the event:


Approaching the first tower on the way up.


It was snowing when we got to the top.


Snow on the deck leading to the restaurant.


Our car to take us back down.


You can see all of Albuquerque from up here.


The first tower on the way down.


As one car goes down, the other car comes up.


Our destination at the bottom.


Here I am at the top.


Here I am at the bottom.  About 3/4 of a mile difference in elevation.

I vaguely remember the last tram ride I took was in Palm Springs in the 1970’s.  Nowhere near as long or dramatic.

Two more weeks in Albuquerque and we head for Denver.

Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

A Day Trip to Taos, New Mexico

I had two work assignments in Taos so it seemed like a good excuse for a family road trip.  Taos is a small community in the mountains of New Mexico.  It is a touristy little place, but big enough for  a Wal-Mart and an Albertsons Supermarket.  It was about 120 miles from our campground, with a lot of the highway going along the Rio Grande River.  Here are pictures of the river, including some rafters:




Once we got into town, we drove around a little to explore.   Rosie was in the mood for a Deli sandwich so we used our GPS to find the Bent Street Deli.  Rosie had a delicious Rueben sandwich (hold the 1000 Island) and I had a BBQ Chicken sandwich.  Tortilla chips with salsa and guacamole rounded out the meal, washed down with some really good ice tea.  After lunch we  walked around and took some pictures:

IMG_6739  IMG_6741IMG_6742  IMG_6743IMG_6744  IMG_6748

Taos is definitely worth the trip.  We had camped here several years ago at one of several campgrounds in the area.  I think there is a KOA here somewhere, if that is your style.  There are a couple of Native American casinos in town and a historic area to visit; plus shopping until you drop.  Overall a very pleasant day.

Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

A Windy April

Well, April has come and gone. The most memorable thing from the month was the number of days spent rocking and rolling in the wind gusts up to, and surpassing, 60 miles per hour in the lovely State of Arizona.  It was like the jet stream settled down to about 6 feet off the ground and tried to relocate all the sand in Arizona.  Now here it is May 2nd and there are fires in California and blizzards in Minnesota.    And the blizzards are the “warm” ones with heavy wet snow that breaks tree limbs over power lines, causing outages of electrical power.  I think global warming is here to stay.  Too bad politicians are unwilling to admit it and even try to do something about it.  Oh well, I will be long dead before it gets really bad, but I feel for my kids and grandkids.

Time for the monthly budget report where we share what it costs us to live a full time lifestyle.  I don’t include items like food, beverages, dining out, etc. because we would have those same (or close to same) costs if we lived in a stick house somewhere.  I think this lifestyle is less costly than stick house living and you get to temporarily live in so many wonderful places.  Here are the numbers:

Camping – $596.00  ($19.86 per night)
Diesel Fuel when pulling – $178.00
Truck Service/Repairs – $0.00
RV  Repairs/Service – $0.00
Generator Gas/Propane - $44.33 (all propane)

Metered Electricity – $0.00

Satellite TV/Radio – $72.95
Campground Pet Fees – $0.00
Laundry – $15.00

RV Insurance – $386  (1 year coverage)

Total = $1292.28

Thanks for stopping by!