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Put the Rubber to the Road.

Swapping out Gate Guards

It was a little weird to be back on the road again on a long trip in the Old Girl.  Late summer last year was the last time I guess.  As usual, I decided to change the route and instead of going through Abilene, we went more south toward San Angelo and managed to stay on the back roads most of the way enroute to Terlingua.  Miss Kathy hit the HEB at San Angelo about dark on Tuesday night and we stocked up on groceries and necessities that we knew would be more expensive in the Big Bend.  Managed to make it all the way to Rankin before I was just give out.  Most of these little West Texas towns are at a highway intersection and most of them have several places in town where the 18 wheelers pull off for a nap or a quick bite at one of the local eateries.  Usually, they provide a decent overnight recreational vehicle boondocking location as well.

Hooked up and ready for the West Texas Ramble

Rankin was no exception.  We pulled into a big gravel lot next to the highway that was several acres in size. There were two oil field trucks already there at opposite ends of the lot idling with their parking lights on.  It had been a long day and I was ready for a nap.  We had been running the Generac propane generator all day because of the oppressive heat as the only way to stay comfortable in the RV was to run both roof airs as we drove along.  I had no sooner got in bed than the generator started backfiring and missing and I knew exactly what it was. One of the rubber boots on a spark plug wire had deteriorated due to age and it was allowing the spark to arc across to the metal.  So there I was, past midnight, in the middle of Rankin, TX trying to fix the ailing generator.  I managed to get enough electrical tape on it to stop the arc.  Not pretty by any means but just maybe it will hold until we get back to North Texas and manage a proper fix.

We rolled into Ft Stockton the next day and fueled up the Old Girl.  I knew better than to wait until Alpine and points south due to higher cost.   I also tried to get the onboard propane tank filled in Ft Stockton– at two different places.  At Fraley’s the gal said there was no one there to fuel us up –even though several other employees were in evidence.  She directed us to another place a few blocks away that would have had trouble getting a pick up truck to the tank in a teeny parking lot; much less a 32′ recreational vehicle pulling a Suburban as a toad.   People just don’t want to work I guess.  They oughta be proud to have a job in this day and time but it just doesn’t quite work out that way.  On to Alpine and points south……………..

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