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). It 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.
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.