Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Snowless in Lordsburg

We are in Lordsburg, New Mexico, parked behind Kranberry's Restaurant (map). They have free overnight RV and truck parking in the back, and we had a nice dinner, albeit sans vino, at the family-style restaurant.

Yesterday morning we stopped at the Flying-J in Anthony, Texas ("mile 0" -- really) to dump and fill tanks. The wind was blowing perhaps 15-20 with gusts higher than that, and the Flying-J is in the middle of a vast expanse of exposed sandy soil. I got sandblasted in the 20 minutes or so I stood there. I think the sandblasting buffed out some of the scratches that a dry acacia bush had put on Odyssey as we drove into Ara's place. We needed water for last night, and even though the waste tanks were not full, I didn't want to haul any more weight than necessary over the continental divide.

Shortly after our windblown stop at the Texas line, we arrived at the Goodyear dealer in Las Cruces. Fortunately for us, Steve, the manager who had written the note promising to pay for damages, was still there. He remembered the episode and was very accommodating, but, of course, not empowered to do anything himself immediately. He made photocopies of all my documentation and the rough hand-written total, agreed that all looked reasonable, and promised to send it in to the head office for handling. While we were in the office, several of the techs wandered by, and a few also remembered the episode; one even shouted out the name of the tech who had made the goof, which I will not repeat.

We don't yet have a check in hand, but we did get a very good vibe. I think Steve was actually relieved that the total was way less than he had feared, around $1,600. A brand new A-frame, had one even been available in the US, would have been well over $2,000, not including shipping, installation, and the other miscellaneous parts we used, and then the post-repair alignment was still $500 on top of that. So we have a positive outlook that a check will be forthcoming just as soon as the head office reviews the paperwork, and, if we have any trouble at all, at least we know there is still a shop full of witnesses who remembered the whole thing. (It is also well-documented here on the blog.)

The whole stop in Las Cruces took less than half an hour, even though we had been prepared to spend the night if need be. We have a very comfortable margin to arrive at the conference hotel in Tucson. We decided to press on to Lordsburg yesterday, though, because we had received dire warnings from the National Weather Service that there might be snow down to very low elevations everywhere across I-10 in NM. With visions of the highway closing for hours to clear snow, we wanted to at least be across the great divide by nightfall.

Lordsburg is a familiar stop for us; we've stayed at the Elks lodge across town more than once. We remembered it as being remote and thus quiet, with the nearest business being a Pilot truck stop half a mile away; I think I had to walk there once for milk. Since our last visit here, though, a giant Flying-J has been built, virtually surrounding the lodge. I remembered the abandoned remains of a hotel in that spot previously -- just a slab, really. If we parked at the lodge, we'd be surrounded by idling trucks by nightfall anyway; better to just park at the Flying-J itself and at least have a shorter walk to services. Ironically, the new Flying-J is right across the ramp from the Pilot, and I'm pretty sure Pilot bought what was left of Flying-J after its disastrous bankruptcy. It will be interesting to see if the combined company closes one of these locations.

Our Days End guide mentioned this restaurant as an alternative option, and we decided to check it out instead. As it turned out, we had the lot to ourselves last night after the restaurant closed, and it was very peaceful. The temperature did drop well below freezing, and we ended up running the boiler all evening and the generator for an hour this morning. At the moment, we are getting all the warmth we need from sunlight streaming through the windows. Angel found something else streaming through the windows -- a view of the birds in the adjacent pine tree. Her thrashing tail managed to strum a few chords on Louise's guitar as she drew a bead on her prey.

The predicted snow never materialized, at least not at this elevation. We had a bit of rain last night, and the resulting puddles were skinned over with ice this morning, but it is now a beatiful, dry, and sunny day. We will have no trouble making Tucson this afternoon, two days ahead of schedule. As tempting as it is to slow-roll to Tucson, with an interim stop someplace more scenic, our best weather will actually be found at our destination. That will give us a couple days of warmth to get some outside projects tackled, including changing the oil in the air compressor and both scooters. We have several options for spending the two nights in Tucson before rolling up to the hotel.


  1. Hi Sean, you guys are getting closer to us here in Ramona, CA. Are you coming this far west? If so, Come over and put on a class or two for our members and stay a week here at our Resort. BOTN just left. We would love to meet you and yours. M&C

  2. You are just too funny Sean... Here I thought the scratches added a bit of personality.
    Back safely at The Oasis after much snow in Alpine... All is well...
    Be well... Ara & Spirit

  3. Hi, I can't believe I missed a post about the Goodyear deal. What did they do to you? Can you post a link so I can catch up.

    You might find some Briggs and Straton motor oil for garden tractors that might meet your needs for the Air Compressor. It is pretty pricey.



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