The Belt That Wouldn’t Buckle

So, a couple of weeks ago, I got a new belt for my uniform. The old one was getting frayed along the edges, and ok, it was getting a little small.  The first day I wore it, I was working out at the entrance station.

This is where I work

The entrance station is 12 miles from the fee office, out in the middle of nowhere. This building does not have a bathroom in it. To go to the bathroom, we have to run across the road:

We call it the space capsule

Yes, see that port-a-potty over there? That is where we have to go to use the bathroom. In order to go, you have to look down the road with a pair of binoculars, and if you can’t see a car coming, you have time to go.

Look down that road for cars coming

So, the day I wore my new belt to work for the first time, I looked down the road with the binoculars, no cars were coming, so I ran across the road to the space capsule.  I did my thing, and as I was starting to pull my pants back up, the buckle of belt fell off in the floor! I was like, WTF!!!

This is a re-enactment of the belt buckle incident

I was trying to hurry because I could hear cars coming down the road, but I just couldn’t figure out how to get that buckle back on the belt. So, when I got back over to the entrance station, and opened the door, this is how I greeted the visitor:

Of course, the buckle was not on the belt then

I was laughing, and the visitor was laughing, and I explained the situation. Soon after they left, I was able to get things under control. But man!  I was embarrassed!

USA RV Park in Gallup, New Mexico

The driveway to USA RV Park in Gallup, New Mexico

Just to show you that I am not whining and complaining all the time, I have to tell you about USA RV Park iin Gallup, New Mexico. We stayed there the next night after the nightmare that was Santa Rosa, and I have to tell you, it is one of the best RV parks we have stayed in in the more than 11 years of living full time in an RV. We noticed when we entered the park that it was lovely, clean, well kept. The driveway was attractive and made the whole place appealing as soon as you enter the property.

The office and store were immaculate!

When we walked inside the office/store, we were greeted by the people behind the counter. The owner registered us, and gave us a discount for Fabgrandpa being a veteran. That was another first, because in all the years we have RV’ed, not one park has given us a discount for military service! After we paid, and were shown where our site was on the map, the owner handed us his business card with his home phone number on it. He told us if we had any problems during the night to call him personally. We both felt that was his way of telling us that we wouldn’t have any problems, and we didn’t. Everything worked like it was supposed to, all night.

review of usa rv park gallup new mexico
Our site was flat and level

The whole park was clean and looked so nice. It was hard to believe the price was only $31 and change after the veteran’s discount was applied. The roads were paved, and sites were graveled, so even though the wind was still blowing, there was no dust, and that made it very nice for us.  The site was long enough for our truck and trailer without unhooking.  We were very very satisfied with our stay at USA RV Park. I didn’t personally visit their bathrooms, but FabGrandpa did, and he said they were sparkling clean.

review of usa rv park gallup new mexico
Parked by the propane tanks

The next morning before we left, we had to fill up with propane.  The service was quick, and even at the price of $3.25 per gallon made filling up a pleasure. I would say if you are on your way along I-40 in Gallup, and need an RV site for the night, USA RV Park is your place.

Road Trip Time Again

As you may or may not know, Fabgrandpa and I live full time in an RV and work at the Grand Canyon during the season. It is time again for us to make our migration west for the job. We hooked up the trailer to our new truck for the first time today, and set out with a destination of Tom Sawyer RV Park in West Memphis, Arkansas. It is right across the river from Memphis, Tennessee. We’ll be staying three nights here so that we can go down and do Beale Street again.

We LOVE the blues, and live blues is the best ever! Our first date way back in 1991 was at The Blues Harbor Club in Underground Atlanta. I think I fell in love that night, while having dinner and listening to the blues with my handsome guy.

FabGrandpa had a goal of leaving by 9:00 A.M, and we actually got on the road around 9:20. He is in his own little heaven driving the new truck. It has a  computerized diagnostic and information system on the dashboard, that figures the MPG automatically. I know this feature has been in vehicles for a long while now, but we have been driving a 1997 truck since 2001, so this is all new to him. For a guy who loves numbers, he is, well, orgasmic!

computerized diagnostic display panel f0rd f-250

FabGrandpa loves this!

Although we only drive about 55 mph while we are towing our trailer, we were making good time. However, the trailer seemed to be “wiggling” around back there, something it didn’t do when we towed it with the other truck. We pulled over to the side of the highway for a potty stop, and discovered that there had been a blowout on the trailer!

RV blow out

it was blown UP!

That tire was not only blown out, it was worn completely off the rim! So, from now on, if that trailer starts wiggling, we’re stopping to see what the problem is! We have talked about getting on of those tire pressure monitoring systems several times, but never acted on it. I think now is the time to just do it.

This is where I am so glad I have that Droid phone that I got back in November. It has the greatest Map app on it that functions as a GPS. It shows us as a little blue arrow on the road, and shows us moving along the road as we drive. When we pulled over and discovered the blowout, I had no idea where we were, except that we were on the entrance ramp to US Hwy 78 near Holly Springs, Mississippi. I looked back up the ramp, and there was an Exxon gas station over there.

I found the Exxon Station on the GPS app.

Instead of walking back up there in 86 degree heat, I opened the GPS app, went to the nearby places tab, touched “gas stations” and there was the name and phone number of that gas station. I touched the phone number, and the phone dialed the number. When someone answered the phone, I told them I was in the RV on the on ramp to Hwy 78 with a flat tire and needed someone to come and change the tire. They gave me the phone number for Ricky’s Towing Service. I called Ricky, and less than 10 minutes later, someone was there changing our tire. Incredible! Even more incredible when you consider that I had no idea where I was!

Ricky's towing service is great!

James from Ricky's Towing Service

James from Ricky’s Towing Service got the job done in just a little bit, charged us only $35, and had us back on the road in about forty minutes. We’re going to have to find a tire store in the morning, but I sure that Map app will find it with no trouble.

We finally got to Tom Sawyer about 4:45 P.M., and got the very last site with a concrete pad! At least that was good luck! There is only a small part of the park open right now, because the river flooded. They are working to get the sites that were flooded cleaned up and repaired.

It was still hot when we got here, so after we got set up, we went inside for some A/C and a cold beer!

New Grist Beer is gluten free and delicious

My gluten free New Grist Beer!

And just because the rig looks so good:

Jayco 32fks travel trailer

The new truck and the trailer look pretty good together.


Running Boards Are A Must Have For This Old Lady

While I love our new truck, I have been having a hard time getting in and out of it. Because it is a 4X4, it is very high off the ground. The F-250’s tend to be higher up than the 150’s too. Anyway, FabGrandpa went back to Tuscaloosa for the third time today to get the running boards and the tonneau cover installed.

This truck is too high off the ground for me to get in and out of!

The good folks over at Truck Supply in Tuscaloosa had everything we needed. They installed the black running boards. I have to tell you that I was very concerned about how this would be done.

Truck Supply

Back in 2001 when we bought Baby Doll, our 1997 F-F250 that we just traded in for this truck, we took it to Leer in Atlanta to have the running boards put on. A couple of days later, I was going to lunch from the job I was working at back then. All the guys at that place were standing out there looking at my truck, because I had the best truck of anyone who worked there at the time. I stepped up on that running board to get into the truck, and it fell off of the truck, and I wound up falling on my hiney in the parking lot. I was so embarrassed!  We told the Eric at Truck Supply that story and he assured us that would not happen this time!

Eric of Truck Supply and FabGrandpa

Truck supply sells all kinds of things you would need for a pickup truck. They have running boards, tonneau covers, shell covers, tool boxes, hitches, and a whole lot more. I saw some of the biggest truck tires I have ever seen in there! Their prices were very reasonable, too. We had to order the tonneau, but it was delivered to them in one day.

truck accessories, running boards, tonneau covers, hitches

The tonneau display at Truck Supply

FabGrandpa had been thinking of getting the soft cover, that was more like a heavy canvas cover. I don’t like those, as they don’t seem to be as secure as the hard ones. I have always thought that someone could just use a knife to cut one of those open and take your stuff. At least with the hard one, that raises up like a car trunk, there is a lock and key so I feel like my stuff in the back of the truck is safer. We decided on the hard one.

running boards, tonneau cover, ford f-250 4x4 lariat

Doesn't she look gorgeous with the running boards and tonneau installed?

The running boards and tonneau cover just made this truck look more beautiful to me! I think this is the nicest ride I have ever owned. It is a long long way from that old 84′ Cavalier Wagon we used to have!

pick up truck running boards and tonneau cover




We Bought A New Truck

We went on a trip to Georgia last week to visit FabGrandpa’s mother. She had fallen the week before and broke her hip.  They operated on her to repair the damage, and then she was moved to a rehabilitation facility near her home.  It is not what we as a family would like to hear, but with physical therapy and a lot of hard work, she’ll be able to go back home. I felt so helpless not being able to make her comfortable for more than a minute or two while I was there.

My Baby Doll

When we got back home, FabGrandpa checked the oil in the old truck, the one we always called Baby Doll. She was so low on oil that it was not registering on the dipstick. That was so unlike her–in the more than 10 years that we owned her, she had been an excellent workhorse, and served us well.  But, since we are getting ready to travel almost 2000 miles pulling a 34′ travel trailer, I did not feel comfortable taking a chance with a truck that was leaking oil. He called the Ford dealership in Tuscaloosa and talked to them about making a repair, and set it up for dropping Baby Doll off yesterday.

Townsend Ford

On the way to Tuscaloosa, we decided to look to see if Townsend Ford had any used F-250’s on the lot. They did. As a matter of fact, they had at least four, and one used F-350 dually that I was in love with.  Larry Price, the salesman, showed us all five of them. We drove all of them, and decided that this tan 2006 Ford F-250 Lariat 4X4 Diesel Power Stroke V8 with 89,000 miles on it was the one for us. It is loaded! It has a 6-disc CD player, heated seats, defroster on the side mirrors, all the razz matazz you can think of:

Ford F-250 diesel 2006

Our new truck--yet to be named

We had to go back to the dealership today for them to put on new tires and a new switch for the mirror adjuster.  All of the people who work at Townsend Ford were great! They treated us like we were valued as customers, and that really makes a big difference when you are making such a big purchase.  From the sales manager, (sorry, I forgot to get his name) to the service tech, they were all smiling, and I’d like to think it wasn’t just because we’d just dropped a chunk of change there.

Manager at Townsend Ford

Larry, our salesman, probably spent more time with us today than he did yesterday, helping us get things squared away. I can not stress enough how smoothly this purchase went, and how good I felt about the service we had at this dealership. I have been to car lots before to buy a car, and have salesmen treat me as if I was invisible and only discussed the vehicles with my husband. I hated that, and I can tell you, there are several dealerships in the Atlanta area who lost sales because of it. I did not feel that way at all at Townsend Ford.

Here I am with Larry

Oh, and look at this:

1957 thunderbird convertible

I only wish!

Too bad it won’t haul the Jayco! But don’t I look mahvelous, dahling?

It's a little high off the ground!

The only thing wrong with this truck, is that it is soooo high off the ground. I have a hard time getting in and out of it. So, tomorrow, FabGrandpa is taking back to Tuscaloosa to Truck Supply to get running boards and a tonneau cover for the bed. Can’t wait for those running boards!



I Feel Like A Redneck Now

Here are just a few pictures of the new truck to tease you with. I’ll be writing more about this adventure tomorrow:

Ford 2006 pick up truck

My bee-yoo-ti-ful new truck!

2006 Ford F-250 diesel

I need some running boards ASAP!

2006 Ford Lariat F-250

It's a towing beast!

Ford F-250 diesel

I Loves Me a Power Stroke!

More tomorrow, I promise~!