At the beginning of October we were still in Abilene, TX visiting with our grandchildren and their parents, Ann and Matt. We enjoyed a few more softball games and providing
transportation to various after school activities. Weekend weather while we were in Abilene wasn't the greatest and the forecast for our last weekend in town was not at all
promising. So Matt took a week-day off of work and he and Tom headed to the golf course. They enjoyed playing the Diamondback Golf Course in Abilene....except for one
small problem with Tom's driver. He now has a new one! We celebrated our son-in-law's 40th birthday on October 8 after an evening at the ball park, band practice and dance
classes. On the 10th we left family behind and headed west to our winter home in Arizona.
After our vehicle mis-adventures on that route last year, we decided to make it a three day trip rather than a two-day trip, with planned overnight stops in RV parks where we
had stayed before. Our first night out was spent in Pecos, Texas at the Escapees Tra-Park after an uneventful trip that day. As we started the engine to depart the next
morning there were warning lights on the dash and alarms sounding, indicating that there were engine problems. Several calls were made to Cummins Engine facilities and
Spartan Chassis offices and everyone Tom talked to told him to NOT drive the coach any distance. So, we called roadside service and asked them to send a BIG truck. It was
several hours before we were notified that help was coming, but we were quite comfortable still parked in our site at the RV park. When road service arrived they determined
their truck was not big enough, so off they went to change trucks. They returned with a large flatbed trailer...and the adventure began. They had Tom drive the RV up onto
the flatbed and then spent quite a while using chains to secure it to the truck. After Tom reminded the driver that the RV was 12'3" high and was now three or four feet off the
ground, we were on our way 75 miles back to the east to Odessa, Texas. As we followed the truck and RV along Interstate-10 we were a little nervous as we approached each
overpass...and once the driver did slow way down and "inch" under the bridge. Whew! Nothing came flying off the roof.
We arrived at the Cummins engine facility in Odessa around 4:00 in the afternoon and after Tom had the "pleasure" of driving the rig back down the ramp, the folks worked
overtime to diagnose our problem. We spent the night parked at their front door and first thing the next morning they went to work to replace a diode that cost $95. It wasn't
a super-easy fix as the exhaust system had to be removed in order to install the new part. But, by noon the work had been completed, the $800+ bill had been paid and we
were back on the road heading west once again.
Our second night stay was at the Escapees Dreamcatcher RV Park in Deming, New Mexico. The last hour of our drive was a stressful one heading into strong winds and we
were glad to get to the park. As we pulled to a stop at the park office we heard lots of loud noises on the roof of the coach. Stepping outside we found a shower of plastic
pieces had come from one of the heat pump covers on the roof of the coach. Our guess is that there had been some heavy pressure on it as it had inched under that
overpass the day before, causing it to crack. The high winds on the highway were just too much for it. Since our arrival in Deming was "after hours" we waited till the next
morning to inquire several places about a new cover. Nobody in Deming had a replacement but they told us it shouldn't be a problem for us to continue our trip as long as it
wasn't raining on the heat pump. So, onward west it was. Around noon we arrived at Camping World in Tucson, AZ. Our friends, Art and June Nelson were waiting for us
there. We had planned several days before to meet them for lunch. But, before we went to lunch, Art was called into service to help Tom fit a new cover onto the heat
pump. Luckily, Camping World had just one of the needed part. Just for the heck of it, we probably would have purchased a cover for the second heat pump if they'd had
one. So far, however, the second one hasn't been a problem. We had a great visit with Art and June over lunch at the Lazy Days Cafe before we moved on once again. It
felt really good to arrive later that afternoon at Palm Creek.
Once at Palm Creek, our "To Do" list seemed to take on monumental proportions. The park was fairly empty of residents and the golf course was closed for re-seeding, so
tennis and golf didn't enter into the picture right away. We made trips to Phoenix on several days to take care of doctor appointments and major errands. On one of those
trips we also had a delightful dinner with friends Rex and Nancy Wilsen, former neighbors in our old home town. It was great to catch up with them and since they live only a
short distance away here in Arizona, we hope to get together again soon. Back at the park we started in on cleaning and organizing chores and slowly started getting back
into playing tennis. A few neighbors finally arrived and afternoon "happy hours" allowed us to share our summer adventures. Mary started her shifts in the Activities office
and at the Host desk and Tom "started" golfers on the 'back 9' as it opened for play. He also got back into the groove of bridge playing - even coming in first on his first
night of play.
|They say "time flies when you're having fun!" We could agree
with that as it doesn't seem like its been 45 years! We
celebrated our anniversary on October 28, and are looking
forward to more fun years to come.
|Tom didn't know his own strength..he hit a nice solid shot
and his driver cracked right open.
|Matt, the birthday boy, and his three daughters.
|OK, Tom...just drive it right up here on the ramp...you've got a
good 3 inches clearance on each side!
|Looks a little top heavy! And what about those overpasses on the
freeway? The lowest one we came to was 15'4" and we inched
under it slowly.
|Wow...it's a long way down the steps don't go that far!
|All set, and ready to travel 75 miles to Odessa.
|We were quite happy to see the welcome
sign at the border.
|Tom and our friend Art teamed up to replace our heat pump
cover in the Camping World parking lot.
|The park is still rather empty, but we were happy to be
settled in our site.
|The prickly pear cactus behind our neighbor's is
quite droopy this year.
|We enjoyed a peaceful happy hour with neighbors Harry and
Marilou in their own little "oasis."