Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Home to Texas

The night before we left, Silver City treated us to a magnificent sunset...and a beautiful sunrise the next mountain.  

When it came time for us to leave, we were in a bit of a quandary.  Earlier, in Tucson, the Falcon had been reluctant to go into reverse gear.  It was an intermittent problem, and John had been able to manage by putting the truck in and out of gear several times.  Each time, after a couple of tries, he had been able to get into reverse and back up.  When the Falcon was in the shop in Tucson to have the driver’s door lock repaired, John had asked about the problem.  He was told that it was probably due to a faulty electrical code, and that it should now be resolved.  

Not!  On Tuesday morning when John attempted to back under the fifth wheel in Silver City, the truck would go into reverse, then immediately slip out again.  Thankfully, the upper end of our RV site was on a slight slope.  After several tries to engage reverse, John was able to roll the truck back under the RV and hook up.  After that, we took no chances.  We made sure that our next stops were pull-through sites where we could leave the fifth wheel hooked to the truck.   

We hit the road early, headed back to Texas.

Around noon we were approaching the lovely Organ Mountains, and had a great view when we stopped for lunch at a rest stop on the edge of Las Cruces.

Then we were off again following I-10 along the Texas-Mexico border.  Past sagebrush and dairy farms we flew.

We stopped for the night at Van Horn RV Park, a former KOA that offered a fenced dog run and an on-site cafe where we had breakfast on Wednesday morning.  The food was good, but the service was quite slooooow, since only one guy was handling orders, cooking and the cash register.  Another lesson learned:  if there is only one person there  besides other diners, move on!

Another hard day of driving brought us to San Angelo and the lovely San Angelo State Park, where we had camped on our way west some 3+ months before.  It is a lovely park, and we had a large, grassy site that unfortunately turned to mud the following morning. It was a special time, though.  Our grandson, Gage Wann, who is a freshman at Angelo State University, was able to come out for a visit and dinner at Twin Mountain Steak House just a couple of miles from the park.  Dinner was great, and the chance to visit with Gage even better!

On Thursday morning we hooked up in the rain and pulled out for Central Texas.  We had phoned ahead to the Waco Volvo dealer to make arrangements for them to check out our reverse gear issues.  As we drove east, water was everywhere…in the ditches, running around the spillways of the stock tanks, and pooling in the pastures.  Clearly, it has been raining for several days.

We checked in at the dealership, then between showers loaded the dogs and our most essential gear (coffeepot, computers, camera and perishable food) into Tracker.  We said a reluctant good-bye to Falcon and the Royals, never dreaming it would be a very long three weeks before repairs would be finished so we could bring them home.  

The trip home down IH 35 was in a torrential downpour most of the way.  We did have one piece of good luck; just south of Waco an accident had completely shut down the southbound lanes of the interstate.  We were using WAZE, which warned us just in time for us to exit and detour through Brucevillel-Eddy.  As luck would have it, by the time we made it back to the interstate, we were south of the accident site and there were hardly any cars on the road!  We drove all the way home accompanied by only a half-dozen autos that had entered the highway south of the shut-down.  We were glad to be home, but felt a little lost having abandoned our truck and RV 90 miles to the north.  

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