It was a difficult 172 miles from Moab, UT to Kirtland, NM. The wind was blowing very hard with even stronger gusts and it was a chore to keep a 32,000 pound Mothership in the lane she was supposed to be in! This was all exacerbated by a five-hour late departure as well. We were ready to leave about 8:30 and put in the slides, raised the jacks, hit the ignition and NOTHING - no click, nothing. Checked the batteries and they were over 13V so that wasn't the problem. Checked the starter solenoid and it clicked and had good continuity so that wasn't the problem. Time to get help, so I called a local mobile RV tech and they couldn't get to me before 1:00-1:30, so I made an appoint but then called Coach-Net, our emergency road service, to see if they could find anyone else. They hooked me up with one of their gurus and we found out my transmission light also wasn't coming on and it will not start without the transmission enabled! Coach-Net then searched for another tech but the one I had called was the only one available in Moab. They said if the tech couldn't get it started, we would have to be towed to Grand Junction, CO about 80 miles away!!! In the mean time I had been on Tiffin RV Network corresponding with some of the owners there and we checked many things to no avail. I finally called the Freightliner Tech Support line and talked to a tech there. After telling him everything I had done and the results, he put me on hold about 10 minutes while they researched it. When he came back, he told me about two fuses and a relay back in one of the rear compartments that could cause that but rarely failed. If they were OK, I would need to be towed! I took the two fuses out and checked them - both OK. Took the relay out and swapped it with another just like it in the same box and came back to turn on the ignition - WE HAVE LIFTOFF!!! Since that worked I switched the relays back to their original position and it still worked so I figure this six-year coach had enough corrosion on the fuse or relay contacts that just taking them out and reinstalling them corrected the problem - at least I hope we don't have an intermittent problem as they are the devil to find. At any rate, we managed to leave about 1:30, after cancelling the trouble call, and we made it to Kirtland at 5:00 - much later than we like arriving.
We are staying at the Homestead RV Park where we have a 50 amp, full hookup, pull-through with no trees anywhere around the park. The WiFi is good early in the morning but slows down as more people get on it. The Verizon is great since we have the tower just outside the park and I was able to sight in the satellite with our portable dish since we are having trouble with the rooftop unit.
Friday was laundry day so we found a nice, large Laundromat and was able to get that done without too much trouble, just a bunch of quarters! Saturday and Sunday was football time and our Gators managed to keep winning with our backups.
Monday was tourist time and we went to Chaco Cultural National Historic Park
a little over 83 miles from here, 13 of it rough gravel roads. We watched a very good movie at the visitor center before setting out to the Chaco Canyon Loop to visit the various great houses of the Chaco People who are ancestors of the current Puebloan
peoples. The Chaco lived in this area between 850 and 1250 A.D. We visited the Hungo Pavi
, Chetro Ketl
, Pueblo Bonito
, and Pueblo del Arroyo
great houses. This is probably the best collection of ancient ruins we have seen, including Mesa Verde. Mesa Verde is a little more spectacular, located in caves on the mesa and having much more work done on them but these at Chaco are much larger and show a very high level of planning, engineering and skill. It was well worth the four-hour ride and 26 miles on gravel road!
Tuesday we had planned on going to Aztec Ruins National Monument but the shutdown kept that from happening. It also cancelled our reservation we had in Cochiti Lake COE for our eight-day stay there to attend the Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque. You might say we are a little ticked by the dunderheads in Washington - ALL OF THEM!!!
At any rate, we will leave for Albuquerque tomorrow and attempt to stay on the Balloon Fiesta grounds itself. According to the website, reservations are not needed which is good since there are no RV Parks with sites available. The only problem is we will be dry camping - no water, electricity or sewage hookup - should be interesting since we haven't dry camped in two years and my Aunt Eulene is arriving to see the balloons with us.