Tuesday, June 30, 2009


I will post a picture tomorrow of the beautiful sunrise over the Colorado River at 5:30 am today.

We departed our lovely campsites (can't say that about the bathhouse!) at six this morning wanting to beat the heat in the desert. We enter the Joshua Tree National Park at 8 am, stopped to register in the Visitors Center and obtain info about the Park. First we had Joan's problems with her convection oven and her air conditioner. Then Amye's tire. Today was my turn. We were probably 10 miles from exiting the Park at Twentynine Palms, CA when I heard a noise that sounded like a rock hitting under the motorhome. I noticed the heat gauge going up and then the dreaded light on the dashboard started to blink. We pulled over and found most of the radiator fluid gone. I had a gallon of anti-freeze that I dumped half into the reservoir. Things started to cool down, but for only about 3-4 miles. I added the remaining anti-freeze. A park Ranger stopped to offer assistance and told us where we could get service in Twentynine Palms. He followed us to the park entrance where I had to put water. We had about three more miles to go. Bailey's Auto Service was a God-send! And thanks to Steve at Europarts in San Diego, a new radiator will be overnighted to Bailey's. Joan could not get her A/C fixed. The Happy Turtle will have to see the doctor at a VW shop for diagnosis of its ailment.

So here we are in Twentynine Palms RV Resort, in 112 degrees heat, trying to cool off. I am bunking with Joan tonight while the Road Runner is getting repaired. We should be on the road Thursday. We are all very tired of this dreaded heat. How people survive here is beyond us! We are going to head for Amye's friend for the Fourth of July and then on into cooler regions like the Oregon coast. Forget about Hearst Castle and California!


Sorry, no pictures today.

Yesterday, Amye and I left Tucson to meet up with Joan west of Phoenix. We were about 60 miles east of Phoenix when the 'Tilton Hilton blew a rear tire. Amye called her road service and they said they would be there in 30 minutes. Thank goodness a State Trooper stopped to see if we needed assistance. He was able to tell road service where we were. Even a DOT truck stopped and even asked if we had plenty of drinking water as it was warming up fast. It probably was a total of 1-1/2 hours before we were rescued. Amye's spare was the smaller tire that fit the front, mine was a rear tire, so we had the guy take my spare. Well, wouldn't you know it, the bolts were different and he could not use mine. So we put the smaller one on. In the mean time, Joan was trying to find a tire that would fit. NO WHERE can one be found until August. Joan contacted a Discount Tire in Phoenix and we decided to meet her there. They took my tire off my wheel and put it on her wheel. Now , Joan and I are hoping we won't need to use the "shared" spare tire she has. We are looking for possible replacements to the Continental tires.

By the time we left Phoenix it was about lunch time. We decided to keep going to our planned destination. What a nice place we found in Blythe, CA! Right on the Colorado River. Our site backed up to the river. Joan enjoyed a dip in the river while sipping on a Margarita. It was just too hot to sit out, so Amye and I sat in our air conditioned rigs. Heading for the Joshua Tree National Park.

Sunday, June 28, 2009


Last Night's Rainbow
Last Night's Sunset

Joan left us today! Boo Hoo. Not really! She left for Phoenix ahead of us so a friend could install a new microwave for her. But she didn't leave until after we made a trip to one of the local casinos. I know some of you saw Amye's posting on the No-Tow-Bago site, but for those of you who didn't...here's the truth and nothing but the truth! Amye won $, I lost $ and Joan lost $$$. Now what does that tell you?
Amye and I will meet up with Joan at a rest area west of Phoenix in the morning to head for Blythe, CA. Nothing there but a day of rest...not that we haven't been doing a little here and there. Guess I better get to bed. Morning seems to come early out here.


Saguaro National Park
Tucson, AZ

Saturday, after setting up at the Desert Trails RV Resort, we headed for the Sonoran Desert and the Saguaro (pronounced "sah.WAH.row") National Park West. The National Park consists of two locations...one East of Tucson and this one..south of Tucson. What amazing plants these cacti are! Some interesting facts: They grow slow, usually only 6 feet in 35 years. Usually it takes between 47 and 67 years to grow their arms. They are the tallest plant in the cactus family in the US, but not the world, and they can weigh up to 8 tons. They live about 200 years. A beauty in the Sonoran Desert! Now meet one of the Parks newest rangers and see just how tall I am against a Saguaro.
Ranger Amye Alford

Susan and the Cactus

Before calling it a night we were treated to a beautiful sunset in the West and a rainbow in the East. No rain though!

Belly-Up to the Bar, Girls

Big Nose Kate's Saloon

After an overnight visit and wonderful breakfast with the Meyers in Silver City, N.M., the Terrific Threesome headed West again. We set up camp in Benson, AZ at the Benson I-10 RV Park. We all loaded into to Road Runner and went to Tombstone, AZ , home of the Fight at the O.K. Corral. Lunch was at the Big Nose Kate's Saloon where we dined on hefty hamburgers, fries washed down with a Sasparilla or Samuel Adams. We walked the town, visiting several stores and sites before heading back to Benson and the local WalMart. What day wouldn't be complete without a stop at a WalMart!

Westbound Stagecoach

The rest of the day was spent taking pictures and planning our next day's adventure in the Tucson area.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Deming, New Mexico

After a pleasant drive over the Guadalupe Mountains and Interstate 10, we decided to spend the night near Deming, NM and go on to Silver City in the morning. The directions into the Hidden Valley Ranch RV Resort made us wonder if we had made a poor decision. We traveled about 3 miles on a dirt/gravel road. After the second mile and not seeing anything, Joan said there was a FED-EX coming up behind her in a cloud of dust. Denny Hamlin (for you NASCAR fans) must have been driving! We knew there must be something up ahead, especially after the Fed-Ex passed us coming again from the other direction. He had already made his delivery.

Jack Rabbit running away

This campground is an ATV paradise. Out in the middle of nowhere was this neat campground. The flora was beautiful. Between the jack rabbits, cotton-tailed rabbits, quails and the guy pictured below, animal life abounded. Wi-Fi was very limited. Joan and Amye found that the best reception was in the laundry room. Killed two birds with one stone. The yucca plants were in full bloom. I have never seen them so big.


Tomorrow we most likely will not have Internet access, so I will catch up from Benson, AZ.

Carlsbad , New Mexico

After settling into a campground, we took the Road Runner for a spin around the town. The Riverwalk Drive was beautiful along the Pecos River. Thanks to the driver (ahem) we didn't find the Living Desert Zoo and Gardens. (Something to see if we ever get back here!)

We found on the Carlsbad Caverns website that one needed reservations to do some of the tours in the Carlsbad Caverns and that all tours were full. We figured maybe if we go early in the morning, we just might get lucky. So off we go at 8 A.M. the 20 miles to the Caverns. Lady luck must have been smiling on us as we were able to get 3 tickets for the King's Palace tour at 10 A.M. That gave us an hour's wait so we decided to do the Big Room self guided tour which was 1.3 miles long. We figured we could do it easily in a hour. Fantastic!! But we were left with very few minutes to spare before our guided tour began. This was another 1.5 mile walk, and a bit steep in places. The walk was worth it!! Do you know how it feels to be sitting in a cave in total darkness? You will have to give it a try. One can not see their hands in front of them. I am having trouble uploading some pictures we took in the Caverns. I have decided I need a better camera with better lenses. This little Kodak digital just doesn't "Get 'R Done"!

You can bet the Terrific Threesome weren't so terrific after hiking at least 3 miles! Good exercise though. Heading out to Silver City, NM to visit another Rialta owner friend tomorrow. With any luck, I will try again to upload the pics. See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

New Mexico - Here We Come!

A quick update on the Terrific Threesome. Amy and I left Duane's Sunday morning around 11 a.m. to meet up with Joan in Brownwood, TX. We were heading for Lamesa, TX north of Big Springs. Every hour Joan would do a status check on each of our transmission and water temps that she will post on the Rialta Tech site. We are very pleased with much lower temps. We arrived in Lamesa around 5 p.m. and set up in the Lamesa City RV Park. 10 full hook-up sites on cement pads. Cost was very reasonable...like FREE!! Yeah, that's right - FREE!

The Road Runner, "Tilton Hilton & The Happy Turtle
Lamesa, TX

On Monday, we headed out around 8:30 to gas up and travel to Carlsbad, New Mexico. Not a long hard drive, but not much scenery either. We bought groceries at Wal-Mart and filled-up again so we would be ready to roll when we leave here. After we set up camp in Carlsbad RV Park (once a KOA), we took the Road Runner and headed out to sightsee. Well, the Riverwalk Drive was pretty, but we missed the Living Desert Zoo and Gardens. Most likely was the driver's fault.

Welcome to New Mexico!
Today we left early for Carlsbad Caverns hoping to get tickets for the King's Palace tour which on-line at the national park website showed full. Lady Luck was with us. We were able to get on the 10 am tour. Since we had a little over an hour wait, we did the self guided Big Room tour. Joan took lots of pictures. We timed it just right as the King's Palace tour was just forming. I will post pictures and comments about Carlsbad from our next available wi-fi site. Joan's making beef stew for supper, so Amye and I may catch a nap while Joan works.
Tomorrow..on to Deming, N.M.
The Road Runner, Tilton Hilton and The Happy Turtle

Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Road Runner

As promised in my first post, I would upload a picture as soon as I figured this out. This is the Rialta Road Runner. She was made by Winnebago Industries. Her Model is a 2002HD. She can sit 7 (9 if you are skinny!) but sleep only 2 people. She's a joy to drive! Picture was taken at 6:45 A.M.. She's awake and ready to roll!


Yipee! We all had our doubts about a UPS delivery today, but they came through about 11:00 A.M. Duane got right to work while I went off with Millie to a quilt store. Amye stayed behind and read. When we got back from town, I found Duane saying I must be jinxed as he was having trouble with the fitting on the transmission cooler. Never fear...Duane's knows just what he is doing. In a couple of hours Amye and I took the Road Runner out for a spin to see how hot the transmission fluid got. What a surprise! Normally it runs over 200 degrees, but today it never went past 167 degrees. Even my radiator ran cooler. Duane, you are the man of the hour!!!

And better news...Joan got her tires mounted yesterday. We won't have to wait until Monday or Tuesday to begin our adventure. Tomorrow is the "D - Day" (aka - Departure Day!!)

Friday, June 19, 2009

My Bad Luck

What's the saying....If it weren't for my bad luck, I'd have no luck at all!! Oh, how true.
First off was that just before I left home, my refrigerator went kaput! When the repairman installed a new one, the company had shipped the wrong one. And he installed it in the afternoon in 98 degreeF weather and a Friday afternoon. Earliest I could get an exchange was the following Monday. I was the one who noted the difference in the one he took out and the one he installed, not him. Some people can't read. Thanks to Duane's sharp eye, before he installed the transmission cooler in the Road Runner, he checked the item. Someone had hand-written the wrong part number on the outside of the box and it didn't coordinate with the label on the box nor with the item in the box. Here I go again, requesting a replacement on a Friday afternoon , but (HOPEFULLY) next day delivery. As Joan said, just blow away your troubles! The shipping error certainly gave Duane a day off and a chance to sit and visit. We also had Sugar, the minature horse in the yard with us for awhile. She thinks she is a dog!! Clemintine, one of the donkeys wasn't too happy with the situation and let Millie know it. "Clem" wants to get out, too!!

Joan , in the meantime, has departed for Round Rock, where I just came from. She desperately needs new tires for the Happy Turtle and they will be in on Monday, perhaps Tuesday. She is also attending a jazz concert with Fay tonight in Austin. Amye is here with me.

And so, we are kissing our troubles away and waiting for another day to leave. One of these days..... that is!

Monday, June 15, 2009

The Road Runner is on the MOVE!

When I get a good picture of my Rialta "Road Runner", I will post it for all you folks that wonder what a Rialta is.

I am departing my home tomorrow for this great country of ours. I will be meeting up with two close girlfriends who also have Rialtas. Amye and her 'Tilton Hilton" from Oklahoma and Joan and "The Happy Turtle" from Florida are meeting up later this week in Brownwood, TX. Amye and I are having some work done on our Rialtas. From there we head WEST. "Go West young girls, Go WEST!" Yeah, I know the saying was refering to the opposite gender, but we don't fit the bill. Follow us on our adventures the next few months. I hope you enjoy it.

The Wandering Trio, aka The Terrific Threesome, aka Susan, Amye & Joan