We left Muskogee on Friday and made it into Texas, where we found a rest stop to spend the night. Saturday, we spent the night at a second rest stop in New Mexico, about 30 miles east of Albuquerque.
Sunday morning, we headed west with plans to make the rest stop near the Winslow, Arizona meteor crater and stop there for the night. We made it through New Mexico and past the city of Gallup, which was on total lockdown. The Navajo nation was under curfew from 8pm on Friday until 5am on Monday.
So, we cross the border into Arizona, and breathed a huge sigh of relief. We had one more state behind us and were so close to our destination for the night.
Approaching the Petrified Forest, our RV, Stella, starts acting up. Again. I’m following behind in the truck, and at the very moment Rob radios me to tell me there’s a problem, I’m smelling something burning coming through the ac vents. Rob couldn’t smell it, but I could. Stella dies, but he’s able to get her started again without stopping.
I saw a sign for Holbrook 20 miles ahead, so I jumped on my phone to locate big truck / RV repair places near Holbrook. I found a place that had 5 stars, parts, service, big truck repair, RV repair, drive train / transmission repair, trailer repair and it was 16 miles from where we were at that point.
We limped it in, by the grace of all that is good in the Universe, and parked her here at ASH (Auto Safety House). It’s a family owned company, in business since 1941, with three locations in the state of Arizona. We’re feeling pretty good about the place.
At this point, we’re about 550+ miles from home. Big difference than 1,500+ miles from home in Muskogee. This means that leaving her here for repair, and booking on home in the truck is now on the table. We wouldn’t have to fly to retrieve her when she’s ready.
Sunday afternoon, we found ourselves spending the night in the parking lot of the repair place, waiting for them to open bright and early on Monday. We count our blessings we were able to limp it here, rather than being stranded again on Interstate 40. We each crack a beer and wander around in the desert to take our mind off of things and have a little fun before making dinner and calling it a day.
Monday morning, I’m making coffee, and thinking to myself that we should just load up the truck and go home. Rob’s awake, can’t sleep, and decides to have coffee with me before we go talk to the peeps here about getting the RV repaired.
He gets down the ladder, gets dressed, goes to reach for something, and his legs collapse underneath him. He catches himself on the dinette chair, and I jump up and catch him as well.
My first thought was that he was having a heart attack. In that instant I was really hoping his back went out, and he wasn’t dropping dead in front of me. I ask him what’s wrong and he confirms it’s his back.
Decision made. We’re going home.
We had coffee, then went in and spoke to the folks here. They’re great, and we feel so fortunate to have found this place. It’s going to be a couple of days before they can even look at the RV, which is perfect for us. It isn’t going to be a problem for them to store it here while it’s being fixed and also afterward, allowing us enough time to come back and get it. Such good news!
So, we spent the day Monday packing up the truck to go home. The truck is pretty weighted down, but the good news is, it’s weighted down. This is good news because we’re heading directly into a wind tunnel of 25 – 30 mph winds with gusts up to 60 mph. Just a little more fun added into the mix.
We’re heading out today, straight into the wind. We’re a little too far from home to do this in one day without torturing us and the cat, so we’re breaking it up into two days.
Right now, we are 16 days into a journey we thought would take us 6, maybe 7. Truth is, the time when we find ourselves home, cannot get here soon enough.