Let me confess and get it out there. Every RV trip does not go smoothly without any bumps and most RVers will be quick to tell you that. Let's talk about bumps or rather blowouts. I had two along the way. The first one occurred about 20 miles south of Albuquerque. Thank heavens I signed up for Good Sam Roadside Assistance the day before I left on this trip since I was going to be traveling a long way and on my own (aside from my other female cohorts traveling in their own rigs. Good Sam got someone to me well within an hour. I carry a spare so he changed the tire, removed the metal strip (which protects the underbed) that was hanging nearly off over the tires so it wouldn't damage the spare and the other tire on the passenger side. The wheel well cover was broken off and the trim was peeled and sticking out. I duct taped that. Being that it was nearly traffic time in Albuquerque and I didn't want to arrive at Cochiti and park in the dark, I drove through and on to Cochiti meeting up with my traveling companions. We stayed an extra day so that I could stop in Albuquerque at Discount and get a new tire before traveling any further. Now, let me make it perfectly clear.....my tires were NOT old, were properly inflated, and were actually heavier ply than the tires originally specked for the 5th wheel. Also, my RV is well underweight and my driving speed is 59-60 mph. I just mention this because a gentleman sitting outside of Discount struck up a conversation like this "That your rig over there. Yes I had a blowout. So were your tires about 8 years old. Ah...no. they were three years old. You drive about 70-75 mph on the highway. NO, I drive about 60. I've been pulling/driving RVs for a few years now so I am a lot more knowledgeable than that." After that the conversation improved and he told me he had a blowout that took out the floor and bottom of his refrigeration....did about $8K in damage. Discount checked out the tire, couldn't find any evidence that I hit or ran over anything so they filed a claim with Goodyear for me for damages. We will see how that goes. So I was off after they thoroughly checked out all my other tires. I met up with Birdie and Mary Jane later in the day after a drive of only about 125 miles at Red Rock RV Park near Gallop NM.
The next day we were on the road again and hadn't gone far when I had another blowout to the same back tire but on the driver side. Called Good Sam again and again they responded within an hour. Mary Jane insisted that she wait with me this time and we had lunch while we waited. Birdie went on to Homolovi State Park because she was supposed to meet another Pink FlaminGo to go kayaking. I bought both of these tires at the same time and Discount had checked it out thoroughly before I left. The guy came and put the spare on to replace the blown tire. He also removed a strip of metal hanging down and coiled/wired up a bunch of wiring that was wrapped around the axle. He also checked out the tail and brake lights which all worked. Outward damage minimal but there goes the slide. I figured the slide wouldn't work because of the electrical but fortunately my RV is completely usable with the slide in.....just not as spacious. The lights and outlet in the slide didn't work but again I was able to manage. Flagstaff was the nearest Discount store so I called and they had to get a tire in so I arranged to come in for the tire at the end of our four days there so that I wouldn't have to park and set up twice. Soooooo.......now we are in Flagstaff and the actual rally begins.
We stayed at Black Bart's RV Resort. I wasn't sure how that would go since the park reviews were a little negative but I have to say it was just great. The staff were friendly and helpful inspite of negative review comments and the park was nice as well. They had us all grouped together in nice spaces and there were beautiful pine trees throughout the park. That night we all went to Black Bart's Steak House for dinner. Mary Jane and I split the special and were very glad we did because it was huge and delicious.
We met up with 5 other Pink FlaminGoes here and two more showed up the next day.
The restaurant is well known for their musical show which is performed by all the wait staff. They managed to provide us with both great service and good entertainment.
We had reservations as soon as they opened and they completely filled up so the reservations were a good idea even though it was a week night.
I put the trauma of blowouts aside and the rally was off to a great start.