We really did it. Hard to believe we actually hit the road and we’re still pinching ourselves. So much planning, packing and preparation went into this and I think we’re still in shock. On Thursday November 5th we pulled out of Egan, South Dakota headed somewhere. Exactly where we weren’t sure, in fact we have no reservations until December 5th.
The first leg of the journey took us to, wow, wait for it. Tea, South Dakota. We actually had an onsite overnight job to do at Larson Truck Sales. It was also going to be the first use and test of our mobile office. They’ll be a future post on how we are able to keep working while being mobile and all the “techno” gear it takes to stay connected. However, it worked out awesome. Rod has been doing IT work for Larson Truck Sales for over 26 years. Greg & Terrie Larson are great people to work with and even allowed us to pull our RV into one of the truck bays for the night. We worked late into the night to be able to finish up and the donuts the next morning were much appreciated. Thanks Terrie!!
While we were in the shop they fixed an issue we had with bad rivets on our rear ladder. They replaced them with these screws and assured us that thing is never coming off!! Thanks Vern!!
Friday morning November 6th bright and early we pulled out of Larson’s and hit the road. We wanted to run about 300 miles a day and since we weren’t really sure where we’d be spending the night to always arrive before dark. The first 300 miles we picked up one rock chip, had a coyote and porcupine cross in front of us. Heading down the road we looked at Concordia, Kansas as a stopping point for the night. There are several apps we use to help us find overnight parking and the AllStays app for Camp and RV found us a pretty decent spot. They also have reviews which is kind of nice especially if someone has stayed there recently. We ended up at Airport Park Campground. It’s conveniently located adjacent to US-81 Highway (on the south edge of town). It is also is a fee-by-donation campsite. A Super Walmart right across the street where we could stock up and we were good to go. They had concrete pads with full hookups and let me tell you a hot shower felt great!!
Saturday had us headed to Liberal, KS. Oh, and we picked up one more rock chip!!! It was a nice road and a truck passed us. Right at that moment Rod thought, gee his mud flaps seem so short then “PING!” Next time, don’t look at the mud flaps!!! We have no photos nor any real comments to make about where we stayed that night. We didn’t feel unsafe, just probably won’t make that a stopping point on the return trip.
More road time on Sunday. We can honestly say we didn’t have any real plans as to where we were going to stop. Just that we at least wanted to make it to Santa Rosa, New Mexico. Through the panhandle of Oklahoma and a bit of Texas with a heavy cross wind and bumpy roads we were glad to hit New Mexico. We picked up the I40 for a while when we noticed on our rear camera that one of our magnetic lights on our tow car was missing. If you’ve never been on the I40 it’s a very busy interstate with heavy truck traffic. A quick check on the smart phone no problem a rest area just a couple miles ahead. This was between Tucumcari and Santa Rosa, NM. As we approach the rest area we see there’s a big REST AREA CLOSED sign. There are also a couple other RV’s with their emergency lights on pulled off to the side of the road.
Rod breaks out the Gorilla tape and fixes our light. We were lucky when it flew off it didn’t break out our rear window or do any other damage to the light or our car. This is the first we’ve had this issue. However, did I mention how windy it was!!!!
Once we finished up the light repair we can see the people ahead of us have a tire problem. We didn’t feel it was right to leave without seeing if they needed any help. Rod headed up there to see if they needed any assistance. Although they had a spare tire and were working to change it, it was way under inflated. We just happen to carry a 12 volt compressor that can inflate up to 150 psi. They couldn’t believe it. It gets even better, they were 2 couples caravaning together. One couple was from South Dakota and the other from Minnesota. In fact, the couple from Plankington, South Dakota bought their 5th wheel from Curt Ahlers in Flandreau. Wow, small world!!!
We hadn’t used the air compressor yet, just brought it as part of our safety planning I guess. It’s no speed demon but it did the job. Rod found all their tires were low, by quite a bit. We actually use a TPMS (tire pressure monitor system) in our RV. That’s also another post. Fortunately the flat happened on the passenger side. Remember, this is a super busy interstate, trucks flying by and wind is howling. We don’t know how many miles they drove on that tire but I did snap a couple pictures. We exchanged contact info and refused to take anything from them. However, we just might end up meeting in Mesa in which they’d like to take us out to eat!!
We lost an hour to the roadside assistance, but gained it back due to the time change. The next big question, where are we going!!!?? We jumped off the I40 at Santa Rosa and headed south down Highway 54. It turned out to be a great road, hardly any traffic and actually quite scenic. Utilizing a couple phone apps along with our New Mexico Road & Recreation Atlas we decided on Valley of Fires Recreation Area, 4 miles west of Carrizozo, New Mexico. This is what’s know as BLM Land (Bureau of Land Management). A lot of BLM land allows for free dispersed camping, you need to come prepared and be self contained. However, this particular area was developed. There are no reservations, first come first serve. We were lucky and snagged one of the last open spots. Here are just a couple shots of the view we are currently enjoying. Although we are kind of in the middle of nowhere, the AT&T and Verizon single are both quite good. We are going to stay here a couple days and start to slow the pace. We are going to get out and explore the area a bit and will post a review of our stay. Thanks for joining us and please post if you have any comments or questions!!