I own no land, instead I have wheelestate. I’ve been a full time RVer since 1997. Working summers as a Park Ranger takes me to many beautiful places and playing during the winter takes me to many more. This blog is simply the story of my life's adventures.


Thank you for stopping by. Just to let you know, I'm still blogging but have moved to Geogypsytraveler. Hope you'll follow my adventures. Just click here.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Road trip to Texas, or hell

Every thing has been wonderful, until Saturday. Before getting ready to roll in the morning from Little Vineyard RV Park in Deming, New Mexico I checked the oil. Full. Then started the truck and it made an unusual noise. I opened the hood to look around, not that it would do much good, and no parts flew out so I closed the hood and put her in gear.

01 Leaving Deming NM I10 E (1024x584)

Leaving Deming, New Mexico on I10 east

Good thing I was barely rolling. NO brakes. OK, I exaggerate a little. More like when your power brakes have no power. So I coasted to the park’s office, went in and asked if they knew a mechanic open on Saturdays. The lady behind the desk made a couple phone calls and, surprise, the local Ford dealer’s service department was open. (I won’t divulge the dealer’s name yet.) I described what happened and the mechanic said “it’s the vacuum pump, bring it in.” I carefully drove about 3 blocks to the dealer, they ordered the part, put it on and I was back on the road within 1.5 hours. Not bad, except for the huge hole left in my pocket. (No, I don’t need a bail out, but of course donations are always gladly accepted.)

About an hour down the road every bump, and there were many, would cause some gauge(s) to bounce or idiot light(s) to blink. Hmmm…. I said to myself, what does a vacuum pump for brakes have to do with dashboard electronics? I continued on down the road.

02 Welcome to Texas I10E (1024x1022)

Just out of El Paso the oil pressure gauge started bouncing on L(ow) erratically which made the engine light blink on and off. Now that could be a problem. So I pulled over and let the engine cool (no it was not running hot) to check the oil. Still full. Hmmmm….. Called Mike for a second opinion about screwed up dashboard and he concurred. So off I went again.

03 Flatland Texas Hwy 90 S (1024x714)

Spent Saturday night at KOA in Van Horn, Texas, which BTW, serves excellent catfish in their Kafe.

Sunday morning I again check the oil which was full.

04 Hwy 90 S TX (1024x768)

Then down the road I’m still watching the gauges bounce and lights blink but the truck is running great. This could drive me crazy.

05 Hwy 118 W TX (1024x768)

I am heading for Alpine, Texas for the night. Friends from long ago live there but must be gone for the weekend.

06 Woodward Ranch sign TX (1024x768)

I decide to take a little side trip to the Woodward Ranch where plume agate is found. It’s closed because Mr. Woodward died on Saturday. My condolences.

07 Rocks at Woodward Ranch TX (768x1024)

So I’m heading back to town to find an RV Park for the night when Slam and Wink, all the gauges peg somewheres and the brakes give out. I down shift and pull over slowing down with what little bit of brake is left.

08 Welcoming committee at Woodward Ranch TX (1024x768)

The welcoming dog at the ranch 

Everything electric is not working, so I don’t turn off the engine for fear it won’t start again. Look under the hood, nothing changed there, no smoke. Engine is still running strong and I’m only four hilly miles from town. Pumped the brakes and they worked.

09 Woodward Ranch rock shop TX (1024x768)

Rock shop

Plus two miles to the Lost Alaskan RV Park where I made it safely. When I finally got leveled and ready to turn off the truck it wouldn’t turn off. Disconnected both batteries and she ran on. Then a fellow camper pulled the plug on the alternator and she fell silent. I called Good Sam and they will send out a tow truck in the morning and take me to a mechanic.

10 Sunset from Lost Alaskan RV Park Alpine TX (1024x768)

Someone commented that my photos are looking dark. If anyone else notices this could you please let me know.


Dawn Fine said...

Oh my goodness Gaelyn.

.What a crazy trip this has been for you! Thank goodness you are ok and you always seemed to make it to safety after and before things went bonkers.

Your photos do look a bit dark....

Take care..
Did that first mechanic misdiagnose or mess up your truck more?
hope all is fixed with just a few dollars.

Karen said...

I certainly hope they can get it fixed and get you on your way!

Diane AZ said...

Oh dear, your trip started out so great. I hope you're able to get your truck fixed soon. Your pictures have been looking darker than usual...

Janie said...

Having weird car/truck problems when you're on the road in lonely west Texas is a scary situation. I'm just glad you didn't break down in the middle of nowhere. Hope the problem can be found and isn't too serious.

Barb said...

Gaelyn, This has left me shaking my head. I'm a bit (no, make that a lot) nervous for you. I hope this repair of the repair doesn't break the bank. Also, I'm glad you're still safe. Keep it that way. I'll be waiting for tomorrow's installment.

trav4adventures said...

Oh, I hope you get your truck fixed! That must have been scary! Yup. Photos do look dark...

Teri said...

I hope that whatever needs to be done to the truck - that it is an easy fix to get you on your way.

tattytiara said...

Oh wow, that sounds like a very stressful trip. I'm so glad to hear you got stopped safely and those brakes didn't give out at any crucial moment.

Sally in WA said...

Damn, Gaelyn. I hope it is nothing serious with the truck. Glad you made it safely to the CG for the evening.

Silver Fox said...

The photos do look dark - and I haven't the vaguest idea how an electrical problem is related to the brakes. Good luck with that!

Camels & Chocolate said...

Glad you made it! Conclusion: I need to spend more time in Texas. Ashamedly, I've only ever been to Austin (which ranks in my top three American cities).

Diane said...

That sort of trip is no fun, hope you get it fixed easily without making an even bigger hole in your pocket!! Your photos look fine to me! Good luck for the remainder of the trip. Diane

Firefly the Travel Guy said...

I hope you phoned the mechanic and gave him an ear full.

The pictures does look very darl.

And thirdly, I would love to browse through a rock shop like that. Looks very interesting.

Jo said...

Oh, I'm so sorry about all the mishaps, Gaelyn. I hope the first mechanic reimburses you. These emergency repairs can really dent a holiday budget. Hope and pray you continue safely after this. Blessings, Jo PS I also thought photos a little darker than your normal. And like Firefly (Jonker, is it?) I love the look of that rock box/tray!

Anonymous said...

Wow, you never do things half way do you? All or nothing...

- Jazz

Sondra said...

ALl I can do is sympathize and say hang onto your wallet--and check around makes some calls---
last yr when I drove my 199,000 mile Blazer to AZ I was 1 mile away from my 2,000 mile destination and suddenly every red light on the dash began to celebrate christmas--and the hot guage went ALL the way to hot..pulled into my friends driveway turned it off and smoke was coming out under the hood..Went to Pep boys next day and they diagnoised it with a blown head gasket they wanted $2300 to do the job..I paid $3,000 for the Blazer 3 yrs I was NOT going to pay that I would buy another used car for that much! So I went online found a few garages made some calls and found Competition Auto in Mesa, AZ a group of young engine junkies who know their stuff and they did the job for $900! I was a happy camper and finished my trip with no problems..I HOPE you get good treatment and you're back on the road asap--

Small City Scenes said...

The photos look fine to me----but maybe I look at everything a bit darkly.
So what when on at the next mechanics? Finish the story please. MB

RoeH said...

Wow. I love to drive anywhere but that's the one thing that scares me. Mechanical problems. Hope your truck gets to being fixed and able to take you on your way. I'll be thinking about you.

Craver Vii said...

Yikes, I hope your wheels are back on the road soon.

Yes, now that you mention it, the pics were just a bit dark, but that last one looks really good like that.

Kathie Brown said...

So sorry you have been through hell. Sure hope you find a little bit of heaven soon!

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