Well, a trip like this would not be an adventure without a little problem, and today, we ran into the problem. We got up this morning, checked out of our campground and headed back into Durango. The town looked really neat yesterday and we wanted to spend an hour or so exploring before heading south to New Mexico. We spent an hour or two walking the streets of Durango. It was a cool town. Lots of restaurants, eclectic coffee shops, stores and saloons. We wish we had a bit more time to spend, but we wanted to hit the road at a reasonable hour as we planned to make it to Deb's sisters house by late afternoon. Our plan was to unpack and clean the RV Friday night so we could just drop it in Albuquerque on Saturday, pick up the minivan and head to Sante Fe. We left Durango around 11:30. I drove the first 2.5 hours. We were making good time as the speed limit was 70 so I was able to cruise along at 65. Around 2, Deb took over so I could get a little work done while we drove. Around 4:30, we were in the greater Albuquerque area. As we passed south heading for Socorro, Deb said that the RV was not working, that it would not go. I asked her to push harder on the accelerator, she said it was on the floor, so I told her to try 2nd gear. That worked and we started gaining speed again. She then shifted into Drive and we continued. A few minutes later, it happened again. Deb asked if we should pull over. I really wanted to make it to Socorro and was hoping we could keep it going. That it was just some 'glitch'. Well, it happened a 3rd time so i suggested we hit the exit and i would take a look at the fluids. We pulled off onto a 4 lane state highway and onto a wide side median. When I looked at the transmission, it was completely empty. I tried putting the car in gear and it would not move. It was done. We called Cruise America and got an answering machine. We then called Deb's sister and she headed out to find us. We also called Enterprise about seeing if they might pick us up- you know their ads. Well, they said they would! We spent the next 45 minutes packing up everything. By the time Enterprise got there, we had almost everything packed. By this time, Cruise America had called back and said they would send a tow truck. I put Deb and the kids and all the stuff that was packed into the 15- passenger van that Enterprise brought. After loading all this in, the guy from Enterprise came over to me and said, "Sir, seeing all the stuff you have, I do not think it will fit in the mini-van you have reserved. I checked with my boss and we can give you this 15 passenger van for only $10 more/day. That will also save us from having to take everything out." "Great idea" I told him. So Deb left to go sign the paperwork. I finished packing all the food and other items left into bags and set them down to wait. I got out one of the camp chairs and sat in the shade of the RV waiting for the tow truck or Deb's sister. She arrived first and we both sat and chatted while we waited for the truck. At 7pm, Deb called to say she was on her way to Socorro and 1 minute later, the tow truck arrived. I handed him the keys and we were done with the RV.
The positives; We now had a big 15 passenger van to cruise for the next week so that Deb's sister and husband and mother could all be in the same vehicle with us, our packing up and cleaning the van job was done and we would not have to make any stops on Saturday to pick up rental vans or drop off RV's and lastly, I should have no problem getting a discount from Cruise America!
As I type this, the dinner is almost cooked, I have a cold beer in my hand and we are with family. Life is good!