Travelogue VI-Since we are leaving Mexico I suppose you might think the a=

dventure is ending but it certainly has not! Our last stop in Mexico was=

a beach south of San Carlos that we learned from, you guessed it, some p=

eople from British Columbia. We spent a couple of days here and were joi=

ned by a couple RV's from BC. Probably not the safest place on earth but=

no problems in recent years. A few years ago a couple of Americans were=

murdered right here by other Americans, drug related, no Mexicans invol=

ved. One of our new BC friends got stung by a Sting Ray and he was really=

in pain. Meat tenderizer is the best home cure and better yet preventio=

n by shuffling along stirring up sand so they scurry away so you don't st=

ep on them and get stung. He was in pain! He was dizzy and could hardly=

walk. His buddy got all excited to take him to the doctor in San Carlos=

and got his pickup stuck in the sand and when I came upon the action the=

y were frantically unhooking the other pickup and I had to yell at them a=

s they did not have all the equalizer bars unhooked. When the got back t=

he doctor said they are not life threatening just terribly painful and ga=

ve him some pain killer. They decided to stay another day so he could re=

cover so we did also. The next day we seen a couple walking toward us on=

the beach and it was our neighbors Barb and Wally who parked next to us =

at Rincon De Guayabitos, of course they are from BC. Those BC people are=

something else! They had stayed here on the way down. We entered the U=

SA on March 18th, made sure to turn in our vehicle and tourist permits, d=

id not have any food taken away for a change. What do you notice after b=

eing in Mexico for nearly 70 days? The roads, they are just so nice!!! =

Secondly the quality of the food! These two things have been number one =

and number two every time we have returned from Mexico. As far as feelin=

g or being safer that is not one of them, in fact I feel safer in Mexico =

than I do in the USA on average.

We made it to Globe AZ and was going to park at the Indian Casino but the=

y wanted $5 to dry camp which made me mad and we went to Wal-Mart and sta=

yed free. We had ice cream and all sorts of good things and got grocerie=

s at Wal-Mart. The next day we headed north through the Salt River Canyo=

n on Hwy 60. After we got through and were headed down I shifted down to=

save the brakes and I immediately smelled oil and looked and seen blue s=

moke behind. I though a brake was on fire! Fortunately a turn off showe=

d up immediately and I pulled over and jumped out and ran back toward the=

trailer but could then see it was coming from under the F-350. Transmis=

sion fluid was pouring out the front seal of the torque converter. The p=

roblem from Acapulco, Mexico from last year had revisited but this time i=

t did not heal up! We had poor cell phone coverage but enough to make it=

work with the external antenna, Edith remembered we had road side assis=

tance with our Progressive Insurance both on the F-350 and the 5th wheel =

so I got them on the phone after I looked up all the things they would li=

kely ask for which they did and more but eventually they said they would =

work on it and call me back and gave me a call back reference Number. It=

was not long that they called and said a tow was coming from Show Low an=

d would be there in about 1 hour and there would be no cost to us. About=

1.5 hours later the tow truck shows up. One fellow is a ham radio opera=

tor and the other a kid the second day on the job! Anyway my friend Bob =

KD7YXZ knows his stuff and gets us hooked up and they eventually get the =

drive shaft off after borrowing some of my tools. It was there back up to=

a back up tow truck. Things are going great! We have the tow truck tow=

ing the F-350 with the front wheels off the ground and the 5th wheel hook=

ed to the F-350 and the kid and I are in the F-350 and Bob and Edith are =

in the tow truck. We go about a mile and the RPM's goes sky high on the =

tow truck. We mess for about a half hour and it apparently is internal a=

nd not a linkage thing so now we are down the hill a mile and the cell ph=

one coverage is JUNK! His battery dies so we use my phone and have to cl=

imb up on a nearby hill and we would get a few words across and the conne=

ction would drop. Finally we think we have help on the way. After anoth=

er 1.5 hours they show up and they are going to try and use this tow truc=

k to tow the tow truck, then the F-350 pulling the 5th wheel. I asked if=

there was a length limit in AZ and they laughed and said they were prett=

y much exempt. They could not get it hooked up so they decided to load t=

he F-350 on a flat bed and come back with a set up to tow a 5th wheel. B=

ob stayed with me to work on getting the old wrecker ready to be towed. =

Then a bad accident happen back where we had been and so now they had to =

respond to that, one of their drivers did not listen and went to the wro=

ng location so when the dust settled we had to wait for him to haul one o=

f the wrecked vehicles back and come back for the 5th so Bob and I waited=

until about 7 pm when they got back. This all started at 10 am. Bud pi=

cked Edith up(by now we know these guys on a first name basis) and she c=

ame back with him and Bob and Edith pulled the 5th in and Bud and I follo=

wed with the other wrecked car on it This one had the top cut off to get=

the guy out and the took him with a helicopter. We followed close as th=

e 5th had no tail lights. The F-350 was by Southwest Transmission in Sho=

w Low AZ and they put our 5th wheel in the old post office lot as the bui=

lding had been on the rent/for sale market for 3 years. I get over to th=

e transmission office before 8 am and Russel says as soon as the workers =

go there at 8 am they would start on it so that was good news. By noon w=

e know it is the torque converter and that the transmission is OK but of =

course they have to order parts and they would be in Tuesday. We got a m=

odification to the pump and a much heavier duty converter for diesel serv=

ice. It was 52 degrees and it started snowing. Before long it is 45 deg=

rees and the snow is a couple of inches deep. It gets down below freezin=

g when it got dark. I now find out what a wonderful thing my battery ban=

k is! I don't have it as it is in the F-350 at Southwest Trasmission. W=

e start the generator every few hours and warm things up. For you non RV=

er's the furnace fun is a current "HOG" and will run a battery down in a =

hurry. We have to be really careful so we have plenty of battery left to=

start the generator. At night one can use plenty of blankets and it is =

no problem even down to 20 degrees or less but at that temperature the wa=

ter can freeze up so we have to warm things us a few times during the nig=

ht to prevent freezing the pipes. The parts truck is a couple of hours l=

ate with the icy roads, we now have 10 inches of snow and I am out tryin=

g to get the slides cleaned off and the ice chopped off. Anyway we were =

blessed as our parts eventually showed up but a lot of others did not. W=

e ate dinner with Bob and by now I know a lot of ham radio operators on t=

he local repeaters so I can get about anything I want. BTW last night we=

had a great AMERICAN STEAK! About 2 pm we get the F-350 back so run out=

to Pinetop to Walmart and stock up and head out for Holbrook with the 5t=

h. We pull into the RV park and after checking in go to the RV dump as i=

t has been since Alamos, Mexico that we have dumped and got water. We ge=

t ready to pull away from the RV dump and the F-350 dash lights come on a=

nd the glow plugs work but absolutely nothing. It does not act like a lo=

w battery. I mess with the park lever figuring they did not get somethin=

g right at Southwest Transmission. Well I am so thankful I got one of th=

eir business cards but it is 5:05 pm and I figure they are going to be go=

ne and I get the recording on the regular number so for some reason I dec=

ide to try the 800 number and one of the workers answers. He has me try =

a few things and does not think they caused it but I am thinking they did=

=2E WHAT ARE THE ODDS? It starts every time for 118,000 miles and now 3=

hours after it leaves the transmission place it does not start. It acts=

like it is not sensing that it is in Park or Neutral and getting the sig=

nal that it can start. He promises to have Russel the boss call in about=

15 minutes and he does. He also does not think it is there fault but pr=

omises to send a fellow out from their Holbrook shop who drives up from P=

inetop each day. Thanks to the kid at the CG I get phone numbers for the =

local Ford deal and the local tow place. I also talk to the Ford service =

department as they are open until 5:30 pm, this is after being put on a l=

ong hold 3 times! They tell me to check the fuses which I did and that t=

hey don't tow and I would have to have it towed to them. I then manage t=

o get ahold of a amateur on the radio at Sun Valley near Holbrook and he =

gets Bob from Show Low on the radio for which I was so greatful as Russel=

had told me not to tow the F-350 without unhooking the drive shaft. He=

re we are blocking the dump station and the F-350 is setting in a puddle =

of water right where I wanted to crawl under neath and see if I could see=

anything. Anyway Bob tells me if I put it in neutral and tow it slowly =

I could go a 1/4 mile and not hurt anything. This is good news as the CG=

owner shows up and has a bronco and I have my big tow rope so he tows me=

into an RV spot so we have electricity. The generator is about out of g=

as and people would not of wanted to listen to a generator all night plus=

we were blocking everything. It is getting dark and Edith is ready to f=

ly home to SD and I am laughing and telling her that mechanical things br=

eak down and that it is very common when working on something to mess som=

ething else up. She is not buying it and is complaining about being brok=

e down only 3 hours after being broke down the first time. I tell her th=

ings are not bad, we can run the furnace, we now have cell phone coverag=

e and a repeater and hand helds so we can coordinate the actions needed t=

o get us going again. Morning comes and it is "FROSTY" as we are at abou=

t 6000 feet. I jack up the F-350 and block it up so I can get in under i=

t. I have called Russel and he says the man is on the way from Pinetop a=

bout 75 miles to the Holbrook office and then he would be out. One reaso=

n I got Russel to send someone out was that there was two nuts missing th=

at anchor the transmission the the metal cradle it sits in and one side b=

olt was only half way in and a wiring harness was just laying on the crad=

le not lashed down and he wanted his guy to see it and I suspect have a s=

erious talk with his employee. Anyway I crawled under and pushed on pull=

ed on the wire harness coming to the transmission and it WOW! I got in an=

d it started! I was pretty pleased with myself and thankful. I got on t=

he phone again and nicely told Russel IT WAS THEIR PROBLEM and he agreed =

completely and said his man would be there. I told him I wanted his man t=

o determine what was going on and have it fixed so it would not happen ag=

ain. Eventually he showed up and was great. He discovered that it was n=

ot plugged in far enough to latch. It is a rubber boot and snaps hard so=

it is water tight. I have since talked to two people who have had the s=

ame problem after getting their transmission worked on. As you go down t=

he road and also with heat expansion it works out and then when you shut =

it off and go to start it won't start. He replaced the nuts, fixed the =

wiring harness but the bolt part way in was jammed and I ended up driving=

it down town to their shop and he got it out and put in a new one. We t=

hen toured Petrified Forest NP which I nice, there is free RV parking at =

the south end. Edith has emergency rations and flashlight and cell phone=

and has me call the guys on the radio so they will listen for us. For s=

ome reason she is not convinced it is fixed. We have a great tour and ar=

e off for Hubbel Trading Post which still runs today and is the oldest, c=

ontinuously operating post. It is at Ganado, AZ, we have been talking t=

o Herb N7HG at Window Rock and he tells us how to get there. We leave th=

e 5th at the post and go to Window Rock which is a big hole in the rock a=

nd got some great pictures. There was a flea market in town so we stoppe=

d and Edith got some great jewelry very, very reasonable. We then got th=

e 5th and headed for Chinle, AZ and Canyon De Chelly. Herb checks on us =

a couple of more times. Well this is getting long so more later, Let me=

assure you the adventures CONTINUE!

Ed and Edith