A Little “Ditty” We Kept Passing Between Cortez, CO & Durango, CO…

20160721_110747Abandon Sinclair Gas Station

37001 US 160          Mancos, Colorado 81328



You can’t miss this huge “toxic site” on the drive along Highway 160 in between Mesa Verde and Mancos/Durango.
The signs warning about toxic contamination and blaming the state of Colorado for a massive fuel spill are pretty jarring.
Located on Highway 160 in between Mesa Verde National Park and the town of Mancos, CO is a former Sinclair gas station and “Wild Wild Rest” general store. All that remains, however, is a shell of the station and store and a contaminated plot of land after residual fuels flowed from gasoline storage tanks into the ground during a tank removal process in 2006.
Frustrated by the perceived inaction of both the gas station’s operator and the Colorado Division of Oil and Public Safety, land owner Ray McCarty placed signs–bracketed by skull-and-cross bone flags and graphics–declaring the area a “Massive Petroleum Spill, Toxic Site,” a “State-Chemical Landfill,” and warning “Benzene, Cancer Hazard” in 2013.  

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Our Time in Cortez, CO…so far!

Friday, July 15, 2016

Arrived at La Mesa RV Park in Cortez, CO (pop. 8,500) about 4 pm. What a nice park. No pool but we don’t need one. Staying 17 days.  We set up in about ½ hour. They have a Safeway & City Market (Kroger) as well as a Super Walmart. They also have quite a few “weed stores” (as Georgie puts it). You can easily spot them…they have a large green cross outside. Georgie made sure this was our 1st stop! That’s all I heard from him the last 2 days of our drive here. Green Cross



Since it’s legal here I decided I could smoke some. Yea, well! We were laughing SO hard. I was laughing so hard I started to fall backwards. I grabbed the edge of the counter…and ripped it off…on my way down to the floor! Great! Of course this was just one more thing to laugh about! Old people and dope…what can I say.





Saturday, July 16

Unloaded the Harley’s.  Cleaned the garage. Took a nap…a long nap…because we can.


Sunday, July 17

Had to take Annie to the Emergency Vet in Durango (pop. 17,800), Riverview Animal Hospital. 20160717_103711



20160717_123150Found a nice restaurant where we could eat outside so Tori could be with us, Ska Brewery. I think they have the best hamburgers we have ever eaten!Ska Brewery




Monday, July 18

Hung out around here. Did some laundry. Took a drive to see the town.


Tuesday, July 19

Rode the Harley’s to Four Corners Monument-90 miles round trip. Stopped at Ute Mountain Casino on the way there. A lot of penny slots.20160719_111106 20160719_111253 20160719_120312 20160719_120440





Wednesday, July 20

Back to Durango. Annie had to get her bandages changed. Made reservations at Alpen Rose RV Park for Aug 1-8.


Thursday, July 21

Rode out to Dolores (pop. 953) through Mancos (pop. 1,360).   Cortez to Mancos to Dolores to Cortez



Friday, July 22

Rode back to Dolores. Had really good pizza at Riverfront Bar & Grill. Sat out on the deck, right on the Delores River.Riverfront Bar & Grill



Saturday, July 23

I stayed home to do some things around the house. Georgie road to Dolores. He rode through San Juan National Forest. Was only gone about 2 hours.

We’ll take a drive up there some evening before dark. Georgie thinks we’ll see a lot of wild life.


Sunday, July 24

Back again to Durango for Annie’s check up. Got her bandages off but now has to wear her Cone of Shame ALL THE TIME!

20160724_110832 20160724_105358Drove up to Silverton (pop. 629). What a SCARY drive! Rt. 550 is called The Million Dollar Rd.20160724_105715 We hit a deer as we came around a curve. Most of the road has no shoulder, just a looooong drop off.   No guardrails! Silverton doesn’t have any fast food places BUT…they have at least 1 “weed store”. We decided that since Annie will have to go to the Vet at least 1 more time we’d stay another week in Durango and ride the Harley’s up to Silverton.


Monday, July 25

20160725_10090320160725_100841Rode the Harley’s to Mesa Verde National Park. What a beautiful ride! Lots of switch-backs but there were guardrails so not too bad…for me. About 50 miles round trip.

Square Tower House Overlook Ride Down Mesa Cliff Palace Cliff Palace View Cliff Dwelling 1

There are a lot of places to stop. As far back as 800 AD the Pueblo Indians built and lived in the Cliff Dwellings.Square Tower




Tuesday, July 26

Started to wax the rig.  This is going to be a big job.  We’ll do a little at a time. It was somewhat overcast today so was a good day to do this.

Georgie fixing bedDropped the bedroom clicker beside the bed. On my side there is a small space between the bed and the floor so the slide can go in and out. The clicker fell down in that small space. We had to take the strip of wood off Georgie’s side then slide the broom handle all the way across to push the clicker up where I could reach it. Georgie was in charge of putting the strip of wood back. He’s getting so handly!

We fixed the emergency window latch. It broke on the drive here.   We ordered a new one.


The Adventure Continues….

Thursday, July 14, 2016

We left Checotah, OK at 8 am. Weather was nice. Traffic wasn’t bad.

George was surprised that we were getting 8.4 mpg. He figured we’d get around 7.5 mpg pulling this 15,000 lb rig. He’s very pleased with the way the truck is running and how well it pulls the 5th wheel.

We’re moseying along, driving between 65-70 mph. It’s hilly but nothing extreme. We got around Oklahoma City around 9:30 am. We figured we get close to Albuquerque, NM around 4 pm and stay the night there. We’d only have about a ½ day drive Friday to get into Durango, CO.

As you know, everything’s bigger in Texas. The hills are higher and longer. We always start looking for a truck stop when the gas gauge gets around ½ a tank. We stop at truck stops because we know we won’t have a problem getting in and out. We passed though a lot of small towns on I-40.

We didn’t see any signs for truck stops. I was on my phone checking for truck stops. We were down to about ¼ of a tank. I was starting to panic a little. George said, “No problem. It says I can go 89 miles.” I was still worried. I found a Love’s Truck Stop at exit 96. It was about 50 miles ahead.

George had to accelerate quite a bit to get up the hills as a decent speed. I kept asking him to slow down to conserve fuel. Stop worrying he kept saying. We were coming up to this little town, Groom, TX (population 500). Groom-Texas crossIt has a huge white cross you can’t miss. There was a Phillips 66 there but didn’t advertise diesel fuel. George said he didn’t want to pull off and take a chance on wasting fuel. This was at exit 112. George said we could make it to exit 96, it was only 16 miles away. The truck said we had 34 miles left on this tank.

We passed mile marker 104. We could see mile marker 103 when all of a sudden the truck shut off!

THE TRUCK SHUT OFF!! George coasted over to the shoulder, barely off the interstate. WE RAN OUT OF FUEL!!! George said, “It said we could go 34 miles.” Yea, that didn’t happen! We sat there for a minute, not saying anything. All of a sudden I remembered that Love’s has a sign in all their truck stops that says they have roadside assistance. I’ll call them. They’re only 8 ½ miles ahead. We’ll be on our way in no time.20160714_160917

I called Love’s, told them we ran out of fuel and where we were. They asked what we were driving. I said, “We’re driving an F350 diesel, towing a 40’ 5th wheel.” Cool I thought. This is going to be easy.

Well…the gal on the other end of the phone proceeded to tell me they only deliver fuel to 18 wheelers. I said, “But we’re only 8 ½ miles away. Couldn’t somebody just run up here with a can of diesel fuel?” She said no and was very firm when she said it. Ok I thought. Now what?  It was 101 outside. The truck won’t start so we have no air conditioning. The dogs and cat are hot, we’re hot. What are we going to do?

TaDa!! I remembered we have AAA. I told George I’d call them. Since we were in the middle of nowhere it may take a while for them to get there. George decided while I was calling them, he’d take a gas can and run across the interstate to a building that had a truck parked in front. It was a farm of some sort but only had this building and a grain elevator.

After 10 minutes on the phone with AAA they said because of the heat and the dogs they would put a rush on it. Someone should be here in less than 45 minutes. I text George to let him know (he’s not having any luck finding anyone over there). His phone goes off. It’s sitting right next to me. No problem, he won’t be there too much longer.

I get the dogs out, get them and the cat some water. We spend about 15 minutes walking around. I look across the interstate expecting to see George on his way back. He is nowhere to be found. My first thought is someone is holding him captive inside that building. Now what? Then I get my senses about me and decide he found someone and he’s filling the gas can.

My phone rings. It’s an 806 area code. I think its AAA. It’s George. He found a nice guy that is taking him to Love’s to get fuel. I tell him AAA is on their way.

George and his new friend pull up in front of our truck. 30 seconds later the AAA truck pulls up behind the 5th wheel. George’s friend says, “Did you call someone?” AAA I say. He says, “That’s my company. I own that truck.” NO WAY! Small world.

We end up with almost a ½ a tank of fuel. We give George’s friend $45 (that’s all the cash we had on hand) and the AAA truck our information so he can get paid.

We are on our way…finally.

We made it to Tucumcari, NM by 5 pm, about 175 miles east of Albuquerque. Oh well, at least we’re still not sitting on the side of the road.

Hoping for an uneventful day tomorrow.


Friday, July 15, 2016

Left Tucumcari, NM at 7:50 am. Made sure we checked fuel regularly. Filled up close to ½ a tank so we made a couple extra stops.

Started looking for campgrounds in Durango. I called every campground listed. Nothing available. Most told me they were booked until mid August.

I should have known better! I did vacation rentals in Indian Rocks Beach, FL for more than 20 years. People would call at the last minute looking for a place on the beach in mid July or February or March. No such luck. It was our busiest times of the year. I should have know better!

We decided to look at some towns around Durango. Cortez, CO was a little closer to Four Corners Monument, which we wanted to see for sure. We found a very nice RV park, La Mesa RV Park. Only about 35 sites. Nothing too fancy but pet friendly with 4 separate grassy areas for the dogs. Small laundry room. Bath house with 3 showers (recently updated). The park is very well maintained and extremely clean. Everything is in good working condition. WIFI is excellent! Water pressure is also great!

We are going to stay here for 2 weeks.

On Our Way to Durango, CO…

Sunday, July 10, 2016


On Brent & Ashley’s back porch


Lyla & Brent


Cayden & Tyler (Brandon’s boys)


Parked in Brent’s side yard (They have 5 acres)


We are finally on our way.  Spent a few days at Brent & Ashley’s so we could see the grandkids (and Brandon, Brent & Ashley too).



Diane, Ashley, Brent, Chris & Frank





We got to Crestview, FL Sunday night.  We already planned to spend Monday there getting our Driver’s Licenses changed & registering to vote.  As most know you have to take 2 pieces of mail with your address on it in order to do these things.20160710_161302
If you want Florida to be your residence (or Texas or South Dakota) but don’t have a “residence” most full-time RV’ers use a mail service as an address.  This can be used as our legal address.  All our mail goes here.  We can check what mail came daily.  If we are stationary for a week or more we can have it sent to us.  If we’re traveling, they’ll scan it if we want them to.  This all comes at a price but it’s very fair for what they do & the convenience.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

There was a tunnel…in Arkansas!  A tunnel!  WTF!  We hadn’t gone through a tunnel before.  We think it went under the water.  Georgie was a little nervous.  It was kind of creepy really.20160712_091135

Pretty uneventful until…we hit Jackson, MS!  I-40 W…what a bitch of a road!  That part of I-40 will jar your teeth loose!

Oh…and on top of that…we were just getting through Jackson when all of a sudden we couldn’t maintain our speed! Georgie said, “Somethings wrong”.  What I ask.  He said he wasn’t sure.  On the interstate, in heavy traffic we weren’t really moving too fast, just over a hump, he pulled over…way over.  Got out of the truck to see what he could find.  Low & behold…this road was so bad it jiggled the plug to the emergency trailer brakes loose.  He jumped in the bed of the truck & pushed that plug in so hard it won’t ever come out.  He said it must not have been in as tight as it should have been even though it looked like it was.  MAJOR EVENT AVERTED!  My hero! (Sunday night it came out when we forgot to disconnect it from the hitch.  If that happens you just push it back in.)

We were back on the road in about 15 minutes.

Ended our day at Frog Hollow RV Park at 5:10 pm.  Too long of a day.  Our asses were dragging!  572 miles, pulling a 40′ 5th wheel that weighs about 15,000 lbs.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

On the road at 7:30 am.  Weather was nice, roads were decent.  Nothing too much going on.

We entered Tennessee at 9 am.  Into Arkansas at 9:15 am…in the middle of some old, rickety bridge on I-40 W.

Georgie said, “Now I’m scared!”  There was an 18 wheeler right next to us in the left lane.  The bridge was 2 lanes.  It was so narrow he could have reached out & touched it.

That was it, our excitement for the day.  We decided that yesterday was too long of a day.  We were going to stop earlier.  We found what appeared to be a nice KOA just off the road in Checotah, OK.  Called an hour ahead & made reservations.  We pulled in.  Very nice…except the pool looked green & the wifi was down.  OK.  We’ll just get the air cranked up (since it was 97 outside at 4 pm).  

It took us 15 minutes to get set up.  Both air conditioners were cranking, 3 fans on.  Georgie was sweating his balls off.  If I had them I’d be sweating mine off too.  Everything shuts off!  Georgie went outside to the electrical box we were plugged into & flipped the breaker.  Everything came back on. 

In an RV it takes a while for things to cool off.  The a/c doesn’t work the same as residential ones. 

Anyway, in 10 short minutes the temperature inside climbed 2 degrees.

20 minutes later…the breaker again.  15 minutes later…again with the breaker!

We didn’t want to move to another site.  We’d have to start over.  Unhook the water & electric.  Get the slides in.  Etc, etc, etc. 
We switched the fridge from electric to propane for now.  Several hours later all is good…so far.  Fingers crossed.  It’s still 81 degrees in the rig after 4 hours but that’s better than 95…where it started.



OMG! Glad we weren’t…on the road…

What started as an easy night…

George made a huge pot of his famous spaghetti sauce.  Going to have dinner with Brandon, Tyler & Cayden, Brent, Ashley & Lyla.
All the dogs, Zoe & Emma (Brent & Ashley’s Goldens) Tori & Annie (ours) were out in the yard running around, playing & racing about 7 pm.  Brent & Brandon were in the yard watching the dogs play, I was in back of the rig showing Tyler the garage ramp.  He was curious as to how we were going to get the Harley’s out.
At 7:05 pm this horrible screaming was coming from one of the dogs.  I ran around to the side of the rig.  It was Annie!  She was screaming!  Blood all over the front of her.
When I first saw her it looked like a lot of blood coming from her mouth.  I thought she hit her face on the steps to the rig.  The boys were right there with her trying to pick her up.  All I heard was, “She ran into that thing!”  That thing…I thought it was the side of the steps.  I quickly picked her up.  She was all curled up screaming.   I carried her into the rig & put her in the kitchen sink.  She stopped screaming & was just whimpering.
As I was trying to see what happened to her face the boys kept saying, “It’s not her face, it’s her leg!  Her leg!  It’s her leg!”
It took me a few seconds to hear what they were saying.  I tried to look at her leg.  All she would do was cry & pull her leg away.  After about 30 seconds she let me look at it.  So much blood.
Brent had grabbed some clean rags from his garage.  We put one on her leg & kept pressure on it to try to stop the bleeding.
Brandon said he thought she broke her leg.  He said she was running so fast she ran right into the front leveling jack, the L shaped thing that adjusts the legs up or down.  He said, “Mom, she was racing around with the other dogs.  She was running so fast.  She ran into that thing & just started screaming!”
The boys were calling their vets.  One answered & said they were closed but referred us to an Emergency Vet in Kissimmee, Dr. Barnett.  Off we went…racing to the vet, Tori in tow.  She wasn’t letting us take Annie anywhere without her.
Spent about an hour at the vet.  They were wonderful!  Because the laceration was so bad they had to put her under to do the surgery.  Surgery would take about 90 minutes.  We were allowed to carry her into the operation room & stay with her until the put the IV in.  They had to stitch her nerve, stitch her muscle & then stitch her skin.  It was pretty bad.  They said it might take a couple of months for her to get back to normal and even then, if the nerve doesn’t heal right she may have a limp.  Her aspirations for being a Show Dog just went down the drain…LOL!
We left Annie and took a drive around town.  We had lived in Kissimmee 20+ years ago so we thought we’d just drive around and see if we recognized anything.  We didn’t see a lot that looked familiar anymore.
We got back to the vet at 10:15 pm.  Annie started barking as soon as she heard our voices.  Tori wasn’t waiting, she had to see her Sis.  We walked back.  There was Annie, standing, barking & growling a little.  She was ready to go home!
We headed home.  Both the girls were happy to be together…again!
We got home about 11 pm.  Annie jumped out of the car & tried to run around the yard.  Tori stuck with her…she knew things weren’t quite right with her Sis.
Oh…and as an added bonus, when Brent was trying to pick her up she bit him.  She bit him so hard that one of her baby teeth was stuck in his hand.  He put peroxide on it & will be ok.
And on and on….

Right after the “Event”


Waiting for the Vet


The wound. Nerve & muscle damage


Tori feels better. Took her to Dairy Queen while we waited for Annie.


On the way home


The culprit!


Back out playing this morning with Tori, Zoe & Emma! What a trooper!


Slight Delay!

These are our old brakes on the rig.  We were planning on heading out July 1, however….we had an appointment to have the brakes & bearings checked on Monday June 26….just to make sure all was good BEFORE we started towards Colorado.  Well….we needed all 6 brakes replaced as well as backing plates, magnets & drums.  They are Dexter never-lube (sealed bearings).  So….they had to order them from Indiana.  Since it was coming up on a holiday weekend….you guessed it!

We had an appointment today, Wednesday July 6, to have the new ones put on.  A 4-5 hour job.  We took it in at 8 am.  Picked it up at 1:30 pm.

Oh, then we had to get the refrigerator fixed.  It stopped cooling Thursday June 29.  Again with the holiday!

Anyway, they came at 2 pm today and fixed that….a 2 hour job.

So NOW we are almost 2 hours into our road trip!

First stop is in St. Cloud, FL to see the boys & their families for a few days.  Going to have a couple of the grandkids stay with us one night.

Getting the Harley’s Strapped Down…

Well…we must be just plain stupid!  We had strapped our bikes in the garage several times.  Each time George’s bike would tilt even though it was tied down tight each time…or so we thought!

As you know, it’s possible to find anything & everything on YouTube.  I watched tons of video’s on “How to load & tie down a bike”.  They were all basically the same and appeared to be the same way we were loading & tying down.

Then I started watching video’s on “How to use ratchet straps”.  (George wouldn’t watch them.  He said, “you watch them & tell me what they said”)  We could get them tight but when it came time to loosen them…that was a whole different story.  We just couldn’t!

I found DirtFarmerJay’s video, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0r16xOkVJZQ.  He shows how to use ratchet straps & how to loosen them.  Viola!  We did EXACTLY what he said to do.  Those bikes aren’t going anywhere!

We put 2 strips of ETrack  down for George’s bike.  It weighs about 875 lbs.  This would give us more options to secure his bike.  Mine only weighs about 525 lbs so the D Rings on the floor worked fine.

Live and learn…again!