Quick Summary of the last month:
We left Plano, TX, and started our trip to New Mexico. After a couple days of easy traveling we got to the border, stopped at the Visitor Center in NM at the border to eat, and later that day realized that one of my tires was losing air pressure. After a little testing I determined it was actually the tire rim itself that was leaking. It had a hairline fracture that a little soap water revealed. The next morning I aired up the tire and we went about 50 miles to Tucumcari to a truck repair shop and for 30 bucks I got them to swap out my spare tire.
Back onto the highway for about 5 hours and after passing thru Edgewood a different tire started vibrating wildly. After pulling over I noticed the rear passenger side tag axle wheel was smoking good and was definitely hosed. Called Progressive roadside assistance and 5 hours later(around 11:00pm) we had the Beast on a flatbed trailer pulled by a Semi. They drove us to 'Second to None' repair shop in Moriarty, NM. This was on a Saturday night about 11:30pm when we got dropped off, a few miles outside of town inside this repair shop's yard that wasn't open until Monday morning.
All things considered, their parking lot/yard was very nice and we had a fully stocked RV, so it was actually not bad at all. The staff was very accommodating and allowed us to stay there while we waited for parts and repairs to be done. Turns out our Axle had to be repaired, which required an Axle Surgeon. We got out of the yard Wednesday around 5:30pm after repairs were completed.
After driving a couple hours west, we were getting a little hungry and decided to try to find somewhere to eat and we saw signs for Indian Fry bread. We exited I-40 and came into a small village and the Fry Bread restaurant was definitely closed and abandoned. Drove around a bit and eventually decided to turn toward I-40, and saw a casino in the distance. This is how we ended up Dancing Eagle Casino. Turns out they had full hookups in a small RV park right next to the Casino for 10 dollars a night, which is crazy cheap. I had to find my 50 amp plug to take advantage of this. Anyhow the diner in the place had really excellent food, very tasty Chili Cheese Fries. New Mexico style, so instead of like a traditional Texas chili, it had Red Chili/Green Chili sauce on them. Delicious.
We met a few RV'ers in the park from Australia that were here for a couple months traveling with some friends in a pack, hoping we catch up with Bill and Sue on their next visit to the States in a few months. A local told me about Acoma Pueblo, which was 15 miles down the road. Who knew that the oldest inhabited village in America was located right down the road and it also had the oldest European built Church in North America in it. And it was located on top of a Mesa, Sky City!
After 4 nights at the cheap RV park in Desert Eagle Casino and trying to win a Mustang and failing, we hit the road again and ended up in El Malpais National Monument. Free Campsites! Beautiful area.
Next destination was a whirlwind journey to the North Rim Grand Canyon, got a great camp spot for one night, then back down the mountain with smoking brakes.
And back to El Malpais for another week to chill out and hang out with my new buddy John, the camp host. Did a lot of hiking and relaxing. Met another full time RV'er as well, Tiffany, who we hope to catch up with one of these days.
Decided we needed some repairs on the Beast done and we needed to be back in Plano by the end of June. 'Course we had to stop at Desert Eagle Casino for a couple nights to recharge and do laundry, and eat more Chili Cheese Fries! Afterwards we hit the road and drove all the way back to Plano.
Now just waiting to do some repairs, have some leaky oil and transmission issues that I need addressed. Also may get an exhaust brake installed so the Beast can handle mountains better without the smoking brakes. Oh yeah, also a shock decided to rip itself free and was fully extended right above my rear tire. Good times. It's fun working out the kinks.