Adventures in Albuquerque

The past few days have been pretty eventful and I haven’t posted anything about it here, so time to catch up.

We spent a day in Las Cruces relaxing, catching up on work (Shahin) and doing laundry (Stacey). We had dinner at Si Senor with Gary’s family.

Si Senor restaurant in Las Cruces, NM

Gary, Shahin, Stacey, and Mehry at Si Senor

The next morning we got up and leisurely got ready to get on the road to Santa Fe where we had agreed to meet Mehry and Gary for dinner.

Just south of Albuquerque Shahin complained that the brakes were pulling hard to the right so we decided to pull over and get it checked.

Love’s Truck stop in Belen, NM
They have 24/7 tire service and roadside assistance
Our Bird in the shop

Shahin and Dashi waiting

We got new brake chambers on both front brakes and the mechanic saw that our coach was leaking some oil so after a little investigation recommended that we replace the oil pan gasket. They didn’t have it in stock, but could order it and have it by Saturday morning. We had to come back that way from Santa Fe to go home so we said we would come back Saturday and get that taken care of. So after about 3 hours at Love’s Truck stop, we were finally on our way again with just enough time to get to Santa Fe for our dinner reservations.

50 miles later, suddenly a big boom. Shahin said he heard some weird cracking noises and then the right front started pulling really bad and suddenly it was on the ground. How he managed to maintain control and get us safely to the side of the highway is a testament to his driving skills! The right front tire had blown out at 70 mph!

By now it was dark and we couldn’t really see anything other than that the tire was blown. Plus it wasn’t exactly safe to be out on the side of the highway on a relatively narrow shoulder. Since we had just come from Loves we wondered if the brake repair could have anything to do with the blow out. We knew that those two tires had just been put on the previous August. We called Loves roadside assistance and they sent a guy. What a character! He seemed like kind of a loner and kept talking to himself, swearing and throwing things, tools all over the place. But it was a really tough situation because the blowout was on the right side of the bus and the shoulder slowed down a bit on that side, so there was essentially no room for him to get under there to get his jacks in. Shahin kept offering to use the bus jacks to lift that side just enough to let him get under, but he wouldn’t let us do that. It ended up taking about 2 1/2-3 hours and 6 hydraulic jacks to get the bus jacked up and the tire off!

The rim was shot and they didn’t have aluminum ones like we had anyway, but they had a steel one that would work to at least get us off the highway until we could get it fixed properly. Unfortunately he had brought the wrong size rim so he had to call his shop to see if they had one the right size. We at least had a spare tire in the basement, but it wasn’t on a rim. The shop had the right size and they said they would dispatch someone to bring it. About another hour, hour and a half the second guy shows up, but it turns out it was the wrong rim again. It was the right size but the bolt holes were configured wrong for our rig. So back to the shop again and finally we got a rim that would work. Another couple hours go by and finally he comes back with the right rim. By then it was time for the first guy to go home so he left and the second guy finished the job and escorted us off the highway to the local casino, Black Mesa.

We fell into bed exhausted at 4 am. We had been stranded on the side of highway 25 for almost 9 hours.

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