Westward Bound – Racing to the Rally (TX to NV)

After a good nights rest at the Amarillo, TX Elks Lodge on Monday the 26th,  we continued west on I-40 where we stopped briefly at the Cadillac Ranch (←link).  Check out the link to the left or click here for more information from Wikipedia® on this popular roadside attraction that was created in 1974.


We were able to park the Urban Escape Vehicle on the frontage road alongside I-40 and walk out to the cars.



We even added our proverbial “2-cents” worth of spray paint, which is encouraged by the way.





Look at the many layers of paint that have been applied by tourists over the years (below).


There was even a young entrepreneur, who had set up a temporary stand (on his tailgate) by the entrance gate.  He was selling chunks of the multiple layers of hardened spray paint that had fallen off the cars.  He carved these chunks of multi-colored spray paint into various shapes and made key chains, refrigerator magnets, etc.,  Pretty cool, but we didn’t buy any.  And sorry, I forgot to take pictures of them.

Close up view of the hundreds, if not thousands of layers of spray paint on the old Cadillacs.

We finally made it to the New Mexico border around mid-day on the 27th.


Just after the Texas/New Mexico border we stopped at Russell’s Truck Stop & Museum (←link).  Another cool Route 66 themed attraction, but this one was was free 🙂  We took a quick tour:










While at Russell’s Truck Stop & Museum, I noticed a tire service bay around back so I stopped to ask where I might be able to get a front end alignment and/or new tires.  I’ve noticed that the Urban Escape Vehicle has been pulling slightly to the right ever since we left Bowling Green, KY and it’s been getting worse.  I even wasted an hour or more a few days earlier when we were just outside Memphis because I stopped to check with several tire related businesses there to see if they did RV alignments and to maybe get it checked out.  Every place I stopped at either didn’t do RV alignments and/or didn’t have reasonably priced new tires in stock.  One shop recommended that I just rotate the tires because I still have plenty of tread depth, just abnormal wear.  Anyway, I’ve been on the lookout for an RV service center or other qualified place ever since Memphis.  Once again, this place (Russell’s) didn’t do alignments either, but they recommended a place just down the highway, Terry’s Truck Service.

Check out the unusual wear in the pictures below.  The driver’s side appears to be wearing more on the inside of the tire whereas the passenger side is wearing more on the outside.

Left front tire as viewed from front of coach.  Wheels are turned to the left for photo.
Right front tire as viewed from rear. Wheels are turned to the left for photo.

We found Terry’s Truck Service Center (sorry no website link) with the directions we got from the Russell’s Truck Stop & Museum service guy.  Terry’s didn’t have the equipment to do an alignment but the technician checked out my tires and suggested I just rotate the tires and he commented that he’s seen this kind of wear before on some substandard brands of tires.  My tires are 11R22.5’s made by Hankook.  I had new tires put on a little over 4 years ago (March 2012) and have approximately 30k miles on them.  As most RV’ers already know; it’s highly recommended that you replace tires every 5 years, 7 years at the most, regardless of how good the tread may still be.


They (Terry’s Truck Service) charged me $53 to rotate the front tires.  It made all the difference in the world… the Coach tracks straight and true once more.  It’s like driving a new Coach again.  Weird, huh?!?  But I’m still going to get an alignment soon along with new tires.  I think I’ll just replace the front tires in the very near future and wait until next year to replace the rear ones in order to spread out the financial burden.

We continued on and finally made Albuquerque by the evening of the 27th.  Another long travel day – about 290 miles.

We chose to stay at the Enchanted Trails RV Park & Trading Post in Albuquerque and paid $18 with our Passport America discount.  The main reason we chose to stay at this park is because some friends and fellow Alpine Coach Owners, Mike & Donna Kuper happened to be there.  I follow Mikes blog at FlyingtheKoop.com and was aware of their location which happened to be along our route.

(L to R) Stilla, Donna & Mike Kuper in front of their Alpine Coach.

Mike & Donna graciously invited us to eat with them outside their coach after we got parked and settled.  We enjoyed some adult beverages while we caught up with each other’s recent travels since we were last together in Lake Havasu at the Fireworks Rally back in February.  Thanks Mike & Donna!  It was great seeing you again, and hopefully it won’t be so long to the next time 🙂

On the morning of the 28th, we hit the road again and set our sites on reaching Kingman AZ.  We heard of an Elks Lodge there that has dry camping spots available to travelers at no cost.  Additionally, we knew that if we reached Kingman, we could easily make the final leg of our trip to Pahrump NV in order to make it to our Alpine SoCal Rally in time for the scheduled Rally kickoff on the 29th.

View of I-40 nearing the New Mexico/Arizona border.



470 miles later, yup! – you heard right – 470 miles later we pulled into the Elks Lodge in Kingman, AZ on the evening of the 28th.


We drove onto their old (no longer used) tennis courts and dropped jacks, put out the slides, and ran up the satellite dish.  We went inside the lodge for a couple adult beverages and then went back to the coach for some much needed rest.


On the morning of the 29th, we left Kingman and headed north on Hwy 93 towards Las Vegas.  The following pictures are coming up to and crossing the new bridge by Hoover Dam.  This was the first time we’ve used the new bridge (←Wikipedia® link), on previous trips we always had to drive across the dam itself.





Hoover Dam as seen from Mike O’Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge.


Las Vegas skyline.

After skirting Las Vegas we continued west on NV-160 and made Pahrump by early afternoon… plenty of time to check in and join the Alpine SoCal group for social hour (meet & greet) and pizza.


My next post will cover our fun times at the Alpine SoCal Rally in Pahrump, NV.  I promise to get caught up soon as I continue to work through the computer and photo issues that I discussed earlier in this post (←link).  Stay tuned…