Sunday, October 2, 2011


The plan (as always written in sand) was to stop for a few days in Santa Fe, NM on the way from Yellowstone to the Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque. At about 12 noon and just 60 miles into the thousand mile trip the STOP ENGINE light and buzzer came on. Fortunately, we were by a turnout in Grand Teton National Park so we immediately did as told. The next step was to call our road service for the first time ever. They called back with the info that the closest Cummins repair facility was 135 miles away in Idaho Falls, ID and they were trying to find a truck big enough to carry our 33,000 pound motorhome, Opus. A while later they called to say someone could be there by 9PM which would have required us to follow the tow for about four hours over very steep Teton Pass at night. We opted to spend the night where we were and wait until the AM for the tow. Just after dark a ranger knocked on the door to see why we were along the road in the park which is illegal. After I told him the story he had no problem with our staying.

About 10:30 the next morning Sean from Eaton Towing showed up with a flat bed to carry Opus to Idaho Falls.

I did have to help by basically hanging on tight to the steering wheel so it would go straight on to the trailer. It was a bit tense as the trailer wasn't much wider than our wheels.

To haul a big rig you need a big rig.

This is not the view of the Tetons we were looking forward to seeing. It took some time to get relaxed watching our house on top of a trailer going down the road. Going under the traffic lights in Jackson was a little hairy, but the further we traveled the more confidence we had in Sean.

Then we came to Teton Pass that is a 10% climb up and a really slow 10% decent. It was all done expertly and we were very happy with the service.

We did not arrive at Kenworth in Idaho Falls until after 3PM and they could not work on Opus until Friday, so we had a night of industrial camping. They were also very accommodating and gave us an extension cord so we could have power to charge the batteries. Here is another Sean under the rig checking things out. The news turned out to be not too bad as the problem was "only" a $27.81 heat intake sensor that cost "only" $301.60 to diagnose and install. After a 51 hour delay we were back on the road at 4:30 PM (a later start then we have ever had) heading south to Utah.

Since we were West of the divide we decided to go to Moab for a couple of days to relax. We were here in 2008 and loved it. On Sunday we did some short desert hikes in Arches National Park. Here is a link to our 08 post on Arches.

The red rock and blue sky were absolutely beautiful.

Another view in Arches

The next day we did a 30 mile side trip to see the only place in the US where four states, Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico meet. This little geographic oddity was on our to do list so we made the stop for the mandatory picture. When we looked at it we discovered Nanc was only in three states as she was not touching Arizona so we might have to return. We were also able to help the Native American economy (which Nanc did visit in every state) as we made a couple of purchases from the artisans.

A few sights from along the road South. The cloud was dropping rain but it was not getting to the ground. Top left is Ship Rock and the others were just some of the interesting landforms we saw along the way through the arid Southwest.

We are now at Enchanted Trail RV Park in ABQ and will be moving 20 miles to the balloon fiesta for the next twelve days. They have a couple of old cars and several old campers displayed here. This is an old Hudson. All said, the trip we planned did not happen but the trip we were forced to take turned out to be very great. This past week showed the down side as well as the up side of having a home on wheels and living this adventurous lifestyle. Life is Good!!

No comments: