Tuesday, September 30, 2014

What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

We slept in this morning and got up at 06:15.

After loading the car and having a quick bite to eat we headed towards the pass through the Organ Mtns. that were in yesterday's blog. After crossing the pass we came to an ICE check station.

After ascertaining that we were not a threat to National Security we began to pull away. As we rolled out I heard a rhythmic clicking sound. Now any driver on a long distance road trip can tell you that a new and unexpected sound is not welcome. A clicking sound is likewise an unhappy situation and a rhythmic clicking is actually cause for further investigation if not downright alarm.

It turned out to be a left side wheel bearing on the trailer. It is good that we stopped, rather than looking back and seeing burning grease and smoke. Very well then, off with the tire and hub.

I took the blown out pieces out of the hub and we left the trailer while we went in search of parts. We covered the trailer and headed into town.

Welcome to Alamogordo. It will not be necessary to repeat the name three times.
Our first stop was the parts store where the bearing I needed was identified, but not in stock.

Next stop was Tractor Supply. Fortunately they had what I needed, so we headed back out of town to effect repairs.

When we got back to the trailer, I went to work with gusto, or at least enthusiasm to make the repair. All went well, well not exactly. As the bearing had burned up a few pieces were shall we say "welded" to the hub. After getting filthy, while avoiding using filthy language, I knew what we needed to do.

Welcome to Alamogordo...again.

Back to Tractor Supply to procure some more parts. They had everything we needed on the shelf, including a roll of shop towels and some hand cleaner.

When I went to purchase a new hub, my beloved Scooterchick suggested I get two hubs. Her belief was that if one hub was cooked, the other could not be far behind. As it turned out, not too far indeed.

Now that the hub has been changed I am again a happy camper. I am trying to get cleaned up with limited success.

Here is the completed job, ready to roll on. Our little delay has only taken 3hr. or so. We are prepared to continue, and perhaps find some eats.

Here are your intrepid travelers all smiles again.

So.....welcome to Alamogordo....again!

This time I had time to take a few pictures of interest. This is an advert for a local eatery.  Sunset Run   We sadly didn't have time to sample their wares.

I'm thinking 1937 Chevrolet, but I stand ready to be corrected if you know better.

I also made a point of taking a picture of the giant pistachio. That's one massive nut. Some day we will stop and buy some, but not today.

We blasted on through the desert, past Tularosa, Ruidoso and Roswell until we needed to stop at Elida for gas.

This is Elida. There is one gas station, and we availed ourselves of the services by filling up with gas and using their facilities.

Qu'elle surprise!!! The other bearing was not just blown but actually in the process of cooking when we stopped! 

I parked in the shade and set to work removing the wheel and hub.
By now it was if not a fine science, at least a practiced art.

The bearing was toast. The hub was so hot I took it apart, and actually had to get ice from the convenience store to cool the stub shaft so that the new hub could be installed. I finally managed to get it cooled down to about 125F. and fit the new hub. In short order we were ready to roll...again.

Unpacking and installing the new hub was a breeze. Easy peasy as they say!

Reinstalling the tire, less than 20 minutes later. Haha.

The completed job. Just like the other side, new hub dust seal, inner and outer bearings, cotter pin and dust cap. Oh yeah, cleaned a lot of grease off the wheel.

Shortly thereafter we passed through Portales and got some takeout at Subway to eat on the road on the way to our destination.


We are now comfortably ensconced in the Travelodge in Clovis N.M.  We only made 295 miles today, but thankfully have exactly the same distance to travel tomorrow. When we checked in here we unloaded the car and the first thing I did was to jump in the shower.

A distressing, one might almost say alarming amount of dirt came pouring off the me. In spite of all the hand cleaner and soap I used cleaning up during the day, a veritable dirt and oil slick went down the drain.

Ahhhhhhh! Now I feel better, less like a grease monkey and more like a person again hahaha. Well good night now!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Drifting Along With The Tumbling Tumbleweeds.

We haven't seen any tumbleweeds this trip, but I have a feeling that's about to change.  Tumbleweed Invasion

This morning we left our hotel at just after 7a.m. We were headed for I-10 via 101 but ended up on Baseline Rd. in Mesa at a McDonald's. The flowers were blooming and the sun was shining. We got more coffee.

It's nice to see the flowers in late September. It was headed for about 90F. today and I was in my shorts and T-shirt with flip-flops.

I love to see the different flowers we don't see in the Great NorthWet. I can imagine a back yard with blooming shrubs.

We also filled up with gas. Remember we were paying just under $4/gal. in California and feeling pretty goods about it. You can imagine how good we felt about $3.19. We filled up before stopping for the night for $2.98....Woohoo!!!

Here we are at one of our innumerable rest stops. Every 100 miles or so we find a washroom. That's because of desert level hydration. We don't seem to eat as much but we are drinking something non stop. We are consuming about 4+ liters/day.

The breeze was making the flags dance briskly. I can imagine how it would suck the juices right out of you if you were on a bike!

We stopped for the night in Las Cruces N.M. In the background you can see the Organ Mountains. At the left side above the hotel sign is a pass we will head through towards White Sands and Alamogordo tomorrow morning.

I don't know exactly what it is, but it trips off the tongue in an amusing way. Try saying it three times and you will see what I mean:

Alamogordo New Mexico Alamogordo New Mexico Alamogordo New Mexico

See what I mean?

The hotel has a patio with a burbling fountain and a Kiva-style fireplace.

The lounge area is comfortably furnished, and we took advantage of it.

A desert sunrise is always spectacular, and tonight's was no exception.

Even a minute or two makes a big difference in the appearance. That's the thing about sunrises and sunsets. They are so ephemeral that within a very few minutes they are gone forever. Best to be fully savored whenever possible is my theory.

The colors begin to fade, the hues to soften and the light to become more diffuse. Time brings all things to a close. A day, a childhood or a life all things pass.

Finally the sun fades below the horizon. So too my day draws to a close. Tomorrow we head for Lubbock about which I know nothing other than the name.

Let us see what the day will bring.

Adieu mes amis.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Fall Off The End Of The World much???

I have not had the energy, time and inclination to post in the last couple days, for which I apologize. I will try to rectify that with this post. When last we spoke, we were in Fortuna CA. getting ready to head south. Forthwith....we continue.

Every single time...I am in awe. How, I mean seriously!

I had to turn the camera end on to even get the flavor of the height.

Here we are. Happy!

Further down 101.

How's this for an aloe?

At a rest stop along the way.

We stopped just before the Golden Gate Bridge to pay the $21 toll. Sheesh!!!
I snapped this picture just before a National Park policeman came and yelled at me for stopping beside the freeway.

We ended up in Portola Valley for dinner. We chose the Lobster Shack.

They had a variety of floats on the wall. Each one is a different color so "Lobstah Fishamen" can distinguish which traps are theirs.

I ordered Seafood "Chowdah."

And Fried Oysters.

 Scooterchick ordered Lobster Mac and Cheese.

And Coconut Prawns.

Here SccoterChick enjoys her Lobster Mac.

Skipping to the next day we stop again to eat. Looking out the window gives a clue to our location, but a bare clue. Here's a hint. we're in San Luis Obispo.

It's IHOP!

Skip to much later. It's now about 10pm and we're chilling with our daughter.

Here's Scooterchick the next day, wearing my hat at the mall.

I parked in this parkade. Does it look different? That's because there are 4 lanes of traffic overhead on the Marina Fwy.

This is the Westfield Mall.

This is a picture of ScooterChick and Tracey in front of a Banana Plant.

We went to Venice Beach for dinner.

Parking was just plain weird. we finally found a spot for $7.

the restaurant we chose was James Beach. Here 2 beauties peruse the menu choices. There are so many excellent things to choose from.

It was a nice restaurant with excellent service.

They had a lovely courtyard, but it was cool and breezy, so we opted to dine in rather than al fresco.

This was the view through the window.....bamboo.

Tracey had a Tuna Sashimi Tower.

Patsy had a Chicken Cobb Salad.

I had a Crab and Avocado Salad. I know that you are thinking, how very California. Well you would be right.

skipping ahead to today, we stopped at a rest stop just inside Arizona. Here is a flowering bush of some description.

Another flowering bush. Hmmm.

ScooterChick is checking the straps on the scooters.

These are some mountains in the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge south of I-10 west of Quartzsite AZ.

Another picture from a different viewpoint.

Relaxing now in a Drury Inn in Happy Valley. Highly recommended. We'll probably stay in another tomorrow in Las Cruces. Goodnight.