Friday, April 24, 2015
Monday, April 20 & Tuesday, April 21: Phoenix, AZ
4/20/15- Travel Day to Phoenix, AZ
Ryan and I began the 1,000 mile jump to Phoenix, AZ around 9:00 a.m.
Around 120 miles in I popped one of my trailer tires. I was able to get it changed with the help of Ryan's jack; the one difficulty we had was getting my tires up on enough blocks so my axle would be high enough in the air to get the jack underneath.
Later in the trip we stopped at a rest area. Carmelo was already there, and he noticed an unnatural grinding noise coming from my wheels as I drove.
After some investigation and testing, we discovered that one of my trailer brakes had broken apart inside of the wheel.
Carmelo took the wheel completely apart and we discarded the chunks of broken metal. He also discovered that none of the rest of my trailer brakes were even attached; the wires were cut!
Looks like I'll be spending a lot of money on trailer brakes very soon.
I was so grateful for Carmelo's help, and for him noticing a problem before it became much worse.
Our drive through west Texas was fairly boring; there were just miles and miles of desert. There were a few neat sights (mountains and rock formations) that were different from the usual terrain we see on our jumps.
I was excited to drive through New Mexico, which is one of the few states that I had not visited before.
We stopped at a Walmart in Las Cruces, NM to spend the night; we drove about 100 miles past the half way point of our journey in one day. We might have made it even farther if I hadn't had my mechanical issues.
Martin and his family stopped at the same Walmart as us, and when I was telling him about how many tires I have popped so far this season, he suggested I get my trailer axles checked to see if they are properly aligned.
I will have to schedule an appointment with an RV repair shop during our next jump.
4/21/15- Travel Day to Phoenix, AZ
About 60 miles into our jump Ryan's truck's check engine light came on. We pulled over in Deming, NM (hometown of one of my former Ringling Alley mates, Nathan Holguin) to see what the problem was.
At first we noticed that the truck was low on engine coolant, but even after filling the reservoir, the light was still on.
We moved to a Walmart parking lot in Deming, where Ryan unhooked his truck so we could go to an O'Reilley's to see what the problem was.
The O'Reilley's employee could not get a proper reading on why the check engine light came on, so he suggested we go to a Dodge dealership just down the road.
The man at the Dodge dealership diagnosed the problem as an electrical snafu. He simply reset the check engine light and said it was most likely nothing to worry about. He suggested Ryan take the truck for a full check up in Tucson if the light came on again, but thankfully it did not.
Luckily the rest of our drive was uneventful, and we made it to the Desert Sky Mall in Phoenix around 8 p.m.
Nestor was in the process of parking trailers when we arrived, but he was dealing with a very small space to fit the whole circus, so he told us we had time to go get dinner before we would be parked.
I joined Ryan and his family at an Olive Garden in the parking lot of the mall, where the staff was nice enough to not rush our meal, even though we arrived close to closing time.
When we got back to the circus, Nestor was ready to park us. He had one of the crew guys park my trailer for me, for which I was extremely grateful.
He had to back my trailer up between the tent's stake line and the already parked trailers, and he squeezed my house in between two other trailers, with only inches to spare at some moments.
I was happy to be done with parking my trailer since that meant I could fully enjoy my day off tomorrow.