The Best Laid Plans..

Now, I’m not a superstitious person, but I think Doug and I jinxed ourselves.  We’d heard so many horror stories of things going wrong when people launched their full-time traveling plans that when we didn’t have anything major go wrong, we got a little cocky.  I mean, we did have some trouble – the open neutral fried some of our electronics, the landing jacks had a big problem, etc.. but it was all easily manageable.  So we were all, “Yeah, I don’t know what’s wrong with those people, we’ve had it pretty easy!”

Ha.  Ha.  Ha.

We left Carlsbad, headed to Alamogordo.  The drive was uneventful for the first two and a half hours.  We drove through Artesia and – wow – are there a lot of statues in that town.  We headed up into the Sacramento Mountains and were smitten with Cloudcroft.  Then, with about a half hour drive down the other side of the mountain range to our campground, the truck’s engine started making a knocking sound.  We pulled off the road, did some Googling (we are not exactly knowledgeable about cars/trucks), and decided to call our roadside assistance for a tow.

We moved Niall and the three cats from the truck into the minivan so the kids and I could head to our campground – they don’t take reservations, so we wanted to make sure we could get a spot.  Let me just say.. one adult, four kids, two dogs, three cats, and a leopard gecko is a lot for one minivan.  Doug waited around with the truck.. and waited.. and waited.  Down in Alamogordo, we found a campsite easily and waited.. and waited.. and waited.  Finally Doug arrived with our home-on-wheels and the tow truck.  What should have been a 3-3.5 hour drive took at least 8 hours.

It was a day or two before we heard back about the truck, and the news was all bad.  The truck threw a rod, which basically wrecked the engine.  It needs to be completely replaced, which they quoted as about $11k.  Thankfully, we’ll probably be able to get it down to about $6k by getting an engine from a different source, but still.. geez.  Six.  Thousand.  Dollars.  Obviously we won’t be here for just a month.

In fact, it’s been a little over a month now.  We’re hoping that we’ll be able to have everything all fixed and ready to go by the end of May – which unfortunately means we probably won’t be able to get Fiona to Massachusetts for her birthday (where my family and some of her friends are).  But it’s better than nothing, I guess.

We have been able to do quite a few fun things since we’ve been here:  White Sands National Monument, the New Mexico Museum of Space History, Alameda Zoo, Three Rivers Petroglyphs, Oliver Lee Memorial State Park, Cloudcroft, etc, etc.  I’ll do a month-one recap for our next post.  In the meantime, if anyone wants to donate an engine to get us back on the road, we’d be glad to take it!  😉

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