Saturday, September 1, 2012

Trouble and Good Times in Creede, Colorado

Roger here...  Before Dianne and I talk about the trouble and good times from these past few days, I need to share a photo from this morning.  Labor Day Weekend is a big deal here in Creede, Colorado.  We will talk about the annual hot-air balloon launch in a separate post, but in the meantime, aren't these balloons cool?

OK, time to talk about the trouble.  This dismal subject is not accompanied by many pictures, but suffice it to say, the sunset last night was an appropriate end to a few tense days.

Six days ago, as we were getting ready to go into town to see a matinee at the Creede Repertory Theater, we noticed some electrical problems.  When I tried to start the motor home, the chassis battery barely turned over the engine.  When we unplugged the shore power, we discovered that our house batteries were also extremely low.  We plugged back in, turned on the air conditioning for the dogs, and reluctantly headed to town.  On the way, I stopped at the office to let them know that we would be gone for a few hours and were concerned that our dogs might get too warm if the power and air conditioning failed.  They assured me that they would check on the dogs.  So, on to the theatre we went.  

We went in;  found our seats;  listened to a pre-performance talk for about five minutes;  decided that we were too worried to enjoy the performance;  got up;  and returned to the motor home.  Even though it was not a hot day, with the bright sunshine on the motor home we were concerned about our pets.  Also, as nice as this area is, we are in the middle of nowhere.  What do we do if we can't find a reliable solution to get the motor home started as we start our slow trip back to Texas in a few days?

I stopped in the office again to see if they could give me recommendations for service.  The extremely helpful staff gave me the business cards of two RV service reps who I could call the next morning.  In the meantime, we searched through all of our Newmar information, attempting to find the cause for our problems.

The next morning, I called both numbers.  The technicians at both service centers, though very helpful, were swamped and could not drive out to see us until the morning of the day we were supposed to leave.  After the calls, I attempted to start the engine.  It finally fired after about ten minutes.  Not good.   

I went back to the office to see if they could extend our stay.  They could.  They also gave me a third guy to call.  Jackpot!  He could drive out to see us in a couple of days.  Sigh of relief.  

That night we ate dinner out to celebrate our potential solution.  We went to Kip's Grill in Creede --- a place we found interesting for its spectacular mountain views.  We opted to sit upstairs on the enclosed roof.

We had delicious Mexican food that was prepared with all fresh ingredients --- even the Bloody Marys that were served Minnesota Style with a chaser of beer.  All righty then!  This (except for the bloody mary and beer) was all good for our diets --- except for the most delicious chocolate cake I have ever tasted.  Oh well!

It was a nice respite from the troubles that were always on the edge of our minds.

Gary and Mike to the rescue.....  The next morning our Retama Village neighbor, Gary, and our new friend, Mike, came over to give advice about our problem.  As it turns out, they did a lot more than give advice.  For some reason our converter was not delivering a charge to our house batteries.  It could have been a nonfunctioning converter, but they discovered a lot of corrosion on the battery terminals, as well as a malfunction with the self-delivery water delivery system that I purchased a few months ago (that I am throwing away).  They cleaned up the corrosion with baking soda, among other things, and gave a preliminary diagnosis that our house battery problems were causing our chassis battery problems.  With their invaluable help, and the help of my battery charger, the voltage numbers improved.

The next morning, Dale, from Holiday RV in Del Norte arrived.  After a detailed analysis of our converter and both sets of batteries, he confirmed that the source of the problem was that the fully functioning converter was not delivering the appropriate electrical charge to the house batteries that, in turn, charged the chassis battery.  He did a further thorough cleaning of the battery terminals.  When I turned the key to start the engine, it started without hesitation.  It also started several hours after he left.  It also started two times the next day.  Thanks go to our friends Gary and Mike, and to Dale from Holiday RV in Del Norte, CO --- one of the good guys.  RELIEF!  Also, lesson learned.  I threw away the faulty battery fluid system  (short cuts do not always work).  I programmed onto my iPhone to check the water level and corrosion every two weeks.  Now we can truly enjoy this beautiful place.  Here's Dianne:

Hi all, Dianne here...   I thought I'd show you some photos of the beautiful RV park we're staying at, Mountain Views at River's Edge just outside of Creede, CO.  The park is divided into two areas (kind of like our place in Mission, TX) -- one side is the RV park and the other contains meticulously landscaped, concrete RV sites that can be leased (for a hefty price).   Either side you park in, there are panoramic 360-degree mountain views.

We are in the RV park side, which is pretty much gravel spaces with no grass, but the sites are large and it's just fine for our needs while we're here.

Here's a shot of an empty site on the resort side.  These lots are rented out when the owners are not using them.  Most people here seem to be from Texas and Arkansas, spending the summer at 8000-ft elevation to beat the heat.  The weather is darned near perfect:  70s during the day, cooling to 40s-50s at night.  Afternoon brief rain showers happen almost daily, but are so light and brief that they aren't an issue.  

The landscaping includes large, bronze statuary and old mining props, in keeping with the town's mining heritage.  Here are some additional photos, with captions:
Petunias, Salvia, and Mountains

Petunias love it here.

And did we mention the mountain views????

Entrance to RV Park/Resort on Left

Lots of folks come for the summer to this popular place, so if you want to visit, reserve early (January).  Also, they are very security minded -- to the point of having those spikey things that ruin your tires if you try to enter without passing through the closed gate.  Once you're in, though, it's not an issue because they give you the code to pass in and out.  We like it here so much that we are thinking of a return visit next summer on our way back to Texas from the Pacific Northwest.  70 degrees in Colorado sure beats 109 degrees in South Texas this time of year! 

Roger mentioned that we met up with Gary & Pat McClaran, who also own a place at Retama in Texas.  It's been a lot of fun getting to know them better.  We have met in the club house a couple of times for a little Mexican Train and cards with Gary & Pat, and their friends Mike and Nona.  

After our Mexican Train domino game, Gary, Pat, Roger and I posed with the bear statue outside the club house.  Our neighborhood at Retama plans to have a photo board showing all the residents who have crossed paths during our summer travels, and this photo will be added there.  It truly is a small world!  

The pet photo of the day shows Bandido and Tequila playing tug with their large Kong ball.  They are a perfect pair!  Excuse the multi-layers of couch protection in the background.  Living with these two requires it, but we wouldn't have it any other way. 


Nancy and Bill said... glad your troubles were solved in a quick and positive way!!

We've been there this summer and I keep saying this kind of stuff is going to happen in this life style so we need to learn to deal with it. I keep trying to take a DEEP breath before the panice sets in;o))

What a beautiful place to have a problem if you have to have one!!!

Happy Trails said...

Wow! Beautiful area of Colorado and great photography! Glad the repair was an easy one and now you know how to keep it from happening again! I need to get Chuck to check ours! Thanks for sharing both the troubles and the beauty!

klbexplores said...

There never seems to be a convenient time for repairs. So glad this was a quick and relatively painless fix. I always enjoy your pics.... what no hikes????