Our Story

Welcome to our site! We are Joanne & Steve. After 20+ years working for a city school department and police department, we sold almost everything, bought an RV, and started living on the road with our three children. Joanne homeschools and works online.
What we have chosen is to live life as unencumbered as we possibly can and to spend time with our family, for our family, and as a family.
This website is a record of our travels. But, we also hope to educate, entertain, and inform others about RVing, roadschooling, and the great places we visit in this country.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

A Blow Out in New Mexico

We were traveling North in New Mexico when "POP!"  Heard it on the passenger side.  Steve asked, What was that noise?"  Wasn't sure, so, I said, "Not sure."  Very quickly after, the Tire Pressure Monitoring System started beeping, and we noticed the air pressure on a passenger RV tire was at 19 psi (instead of the 80 -90 or so it should have been.)  Rats.  

Pulled over at an exit to the side of a gravely road to see...

We were waiting on this...Goodyear Marathons have no good reviews. 

Yup, flat.

Can you say... Catastrophic Failure?

Step one: Remove the lug nuts...after a few tool switches, Stevie-boy got it done.

Step 2: Drop the spare...now for us, the "spare" is actually an original tire that had to be plugged last summer and we have been driving on the spare.   

Don't forget about safety.

Here it comes!

Here's the boo-boo.

Before installing the spare/not spare tire, Steve placed the TPM onto it to see if the psi was up to par.  It wasn't, so...

Adding some in...waiting, waiting, waiting...


Yay!  All set to install!

And here she is.  

Within 24 hours, we would have 5 new tires purchased and installed.  Bye Bye Goodyear Marathon ST235/80R16s!  Too much bad press and a blow out means ta ta!

Hello, Goodyear G614 RST235/85r16s!  G load (14-ply) up from an E road (10 ply).

Camping world in Albuquerque installed them.

We also purchased a new rim for the spare. So far, so good.  

Monday, September 2, 2013

Roswell, NM

Roswell, NM.  The supposed site of the 1947 Alien crash.  Denied, of course, by the government, but staunchly supported by some scientists and many locals.  We thought a trip through this iconic city would be full of kitschy, albeit touristy, fun.  It was, underwhelming at the least; disappointing at best.

Neglected and run-down were the first words that came to mind as we drove north on 285 and hooked a right onto 380.  Boarded-up buildings; closed businesses; bars on the windows.  Not the alien attraction for which we had hoped.

Of course, there were a few shops along the "Historic" section of Main Street.  But even those were not as fulfilling as had been expected.  The McDonalds had a space theme...but, other than a few painted, sculpted, or blown-up aliens, there was little that would tell anyone they were in Roswell.  I desired the job of Mayor just to inject a little space fun into this sad little town; the Dairy Capital of the US, by the way... another surprise that held little evidence.

So, for a day, well, about an hour, myself and the kids walked about a block as Steve and his headache (alien mind-meld?) napped in the truck.  We hit about 4 stores with an alien theme...not one of which had a cool postcard I could buy!  They all had the same cutesy little alien t-shirts and Made-in-China alien knick-knacks.  So we focused on hunting down some little green men (or women). 

Outside the Welcome Center.

Window shopping for aliens.

Busy at work planning Earth domination.

One of the shoppes on Main Street.

One stop was Alien Zone (http://www.alienzoneroswellnm.com) and Area 51...a $3 fee for me and free for the kids.  (Well, $2 for 12 and up, so Ian was 11 for the day.)  An attempt, at least, to entertain the guests.  Merchandise to buy, exhibits to see, and a fun slide for the kids. You pay to get into the
 Area 51 in the back...this is where the alien fun begins.

Even aliens going through earthly probes and other scientific testing like to take a break once in a while.

As skeezed as I was about this couch, I had to get the picture.  Don't put your heads on the fabric kids!

This was amazing!  They floated right up to the ceiling!  Worth the $3.

Snack time!

Potty break.

Dr. Chloe collects some extraterrestrial data.

After a long day in the lab, the scientists need a belt.

The kids' new friend.

They were even invited to a BBQ.

I put my foot down when they were invited to head back to see Zolton X's planet.

There's also the UFO Museum,  http://www.roswellufomuseum.com, that we never ventured to see.  We were told there was a LOT of reading, and, as fun as it may be I had a feeling it wouldn't entertain the twins all that much.  Nominal fee to visit.

Now, this isn't to say that the town of Roswell, NM, isn't a nice place to live.  They have a newer stretch of commerce north on Main Street...Walmart, Target, Office Max, among others.  Some newer neighborhoods have been built with nice homes.  There seems to be the beginnings of a movement to get Main Street up and running again and I hope they can.  If they want to keep the alien theme to bring people in, the city needs a lot more to attract visitors.  It needs a face-lift, and maybe a better sense of pride starting with business property owners and managers.  Not overly clean.  We went a week without heading to the laundromat because there wasn't one in town I'd set foot in.  (Washed by hand and hung out to dry, just like the pioneers.)

I wouldn't encourage anyone to purposely head to Roswell for the alien thing, but if you are in the vicinity, stop in, patronize a bit.  You never know if you might run into a visitor from WAY out of town.


As disappointing as the aliens were, the scenery and geology in the area is breathtaking.  Large cliffs of red rock look over vast grazing ranches, bristled brush, and dry river beds of the Chihuahuan Dessert. Nearby are the bottomless lakes, so named because the vaqueros (cowboys) tied ropes together to measure the depth, but the ropes were not long enough.  And so, they considered them to be bottomless.  These lakes are actually sinkholes formed over time by the collapse of underground caverns or caves.

And the sunsets are out of this world!


We never actually encountered any real aliens, well, not the outer-space kind anyway.  And if we did, we may just have kept it to ourselves.  To talk about it may have been dangerous... http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/physician-told-handling-roswell-debris-dies-20096004