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New Mexico, April 17-May 17, 2003

Scheduled to be our longest trip yet, with no firm return date, we departed Thursday morning, April 17th. Our destination is NorthWest New Mexico, roughly the area between Four Corners and Albuquerque.
Eureka to Albuquerque
49er RV Our first stop was in Plymouth, on Hwy 49, where we spent a couple of days at 49er RV Park, a large family-oriented place that was filling up fast for Easter. We visited with friends who are in the midst of heavy home remodeling up in the hills between Plymouth and Placerville. They are getting the place ready for sale, as they are moving back to Hawaii.
Torun and David
Our next stop was Fresno, for warranty work on the new coach. Folks new to motor homes are usually surprised to find the number of things that are wrong, or need tweaking, on new ones. There are probably a lot of reasons, but the main one is that each coach is still substantially hand-assembled, and different from other similar coaches.

In our case, there was a special issue requiring a lot of work, which was body damage done when the delivery driver hit a tire on I-15. The damage is on the lower right-front. There is also a small amount of body damage on the left rear which occurred during the time it was on the Paul Evert lot. Their estimate is in the nature of 20-25 hours of labor to fix these items.

Other warranty issues include a speedometer that reads about 12% low (says 55 when you are going 62), engine water temp gauge reading low and transmission temp reading high, a cracked kitchen tile and several spots of loose grout, a backup light that collects water when it rains, and some miscellaneous other stuff.
Paul Evert's The Paul Evert's lot has a dozen or so spaces available free for people needing service; each has water and electricity, with a dump station elsewhere on the lot. We arrived on Saturday for our 8 am Monday appointment, since they would be closed Easter Sunday.
Woodward Park Each day while we were there we took Holly up to Woodward Park, where she could swim in the San Joaquin River and try to outwit the ground squirrels that were doing their best prairie dog impressions. She never succeeded, of course, but it is an intense game. Woodward Park
Woodward Park Woodward Park
Unfortunately, we didn't accomplish much on our first trip to the Dealer's. Some parts got ordered, the speedometer was fixed (it's electronic, and the dip-switches were incorrectly set on the back) and the leaking backup light, but they had too many priority body-shop items to get to us unless we stayed a couple of weeks. We made the decision to return on May 12th and in the meantime proceed on down to New Mexico.

As we were about to leave mid-day Wednesday, Holly suddenly cried and began to shake her head, otherwise holding it with the left ear down. We found a vet who could take us in a hurry, and he removed 2 still-green foxtails that had stuck all the way into her eardrum. No doubt acquired in the grass you can see in the pictures above.
Lauglin River Run Riders Wednesday-Thursday we traveled to Flagstaff via Needles. This is the second year in a row that we've gone through that area during the annual Laughlin River Run. We probably saw (and were passed by) between 4 and 5 hundred motorcyles along I-40.

We stayed 2 nights at Black Bart's in Flagstaff. Originally we planned to have dinner at their steak house with singing waiters (we've been there before), but Joy had started this trip with a cold and I had come down with it on Wednesday, so neither of us was up to it. We'll try to get in there on the way back.
Black Bart's RV
Black Bart's RV
High Desert RV Along the Rio Grande Saturday the 26th we traveled from Flagstaff to Albuquerque. We decided to take the weekly rate at High Desert RV, since neither of us had been to Albuquerque before and there were plenty of places to go.

Included several walks along the Rio Grande and associated canals, the Museum of Art and History, the National Atomic Museum (some really unique exhibits), and the Natural History Museum, the Ernie Pyle memorial branch library, and walks in parks like this one on Nob Hill.
Albuquerque Museum
National Atomic Museum Ernie Pyle Memorial Library New Mexico Museum of Natural History
A park on Nob Hill
Albuquerque boasts a very long tram up to Sandia Peak, about 2-1/2 miles rising over 4000 feet. Joy doesn't like such things, so she and holly did a bit of hiking while I took the ride. At the top you get an amazing view of the Rio Grande Valley.
Sandia Peak Tram Sandia Peak Tram Sandia Peak Tram Sandia Peak Tram Sandia Peak Tram
Sandia Peak Tram Sandia Peak Tram Sandia Peak Tram Sandia Peak Tram Sandia Peak Tram
Sandia Peak Tram Sandia Peak Tram Sandia Peak Tram Sandia Peak Tram
Sandia Peak Tram
From Albuquerque we headed north to Farmington on the Animas and San Juan Rivers. There is a very nice park along the Animas that we walked a couple of miles in each day we were there.

Side trips explored the Salmon and Aztec Anasazi ruins.
The Animas River Salmon Ruins
Berg Park in Farmington Aztec Ruins
Durango A short side trip up to Durango, where the Durango & Silverton narrow gauge railway ran right through the park and behind our motor home at the United Campgrounds of Durango. From there we headed down to Flagstaff via Four Corners. Four Corners
We had planned to spend a night in Monument Valley, but the winds were extreme and kicking up a steady sandstorm across the road so we went all the way from Durango to Flagstaff in one day. Again a night at Black Bart's, and this time we enjoyed an excellent Prime Rib dinner with the entertainment provided by the wait staff. Our waitress is on the left in the picture bottom right. Black Bart's
Black Bart's
Colorado River at Needles Heading back to Fresno, Holly got to swim at her third Colorado river location (others were at Blyth and Yuma).
At Fresno, the Paul Evert folks were ready to work on the body and other assorted issues, so we needed to kill a week. Tuesday we went to Yosemite for the day. Note: the picture of Yosemite falls at lower right is a vertical panorama, and is very large, so it will take a long time to download. Yosemite Valley Yosemite Falls and the Merced River
Yosemite Yosemite Falls
Holly at King's Canyon Thursday we went to King's Canyon National Park. It was Holly's first experience with snow, but she quickly learned it was a source of water. A vertical panorama was the only way to get all of the General Grant tree into a photo, and a panorama was also called for looking up the King's River at the high Sierras. General Grant
Holly at King's Canyon
King's Canyon
The photos below show the original body damage to the right front, then the first day of work on it, and finally the finished job before and after lights were reinstalled. We departed Fresno late Friday afternoon, traveling 130 miles to get a headstart on the trip home. We spent the night at French Camp RV Park in Manteca, very nice place, then Saturday the 17th returned home.
Body Damage Body Repair begun Body Repaired Body Repaired

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