Bright and early this morning I pack the crew into the Perfect Tow Vehicle.
I scrape the frost off the windshield, double-check that the Casita is locked, and head out of Percha Dam State Park. We get on I-25 and drive north to Elephant Butte for the PTV’s 8:30 appointment at Baker’s RV Service. I’m so excited to finally have the solar panel installed on the PTV’s roof that I forget to eat breakfast! Once in Elephant Butte I stop at a convenience store and buy some crackers and peanuts before going down the street to Baker’s.
Jack and Corey first saw off the “ears” of the roof rack.
The rack has metal sticking up in four places and that has to come off. Once that’s done, they attach the roof rack, then the tilt assembly, and the 200 watt panel. All the while I’m watching from the ground, my heart in my throat. I’ve waited so long for this day! I’m aware of the effort invested by Mick in Tennessee and Bill here in Elephant Butte that I don’t want anything to go wrong.
Silly me. I forgot about my charmed life.
Bill and Kathy and Chuck and Geri arrive to watch the progress. Discussion turns to the impending storm which will bring high wind by late Thursday afternoon. The storm is expected to bring cold temperatures, rain, and possibly snow through the weekend. That’s when I remember how charmed I am.
“Look at the weather today,” I remark.
“The sun is shining, it’s warm, and there’s no wind . . . perfect on the day of the solar panel mount!”
We watch the work for most of the morning.
Bill and Kathy leave on an errand. Chuck, Geri and I go across the street in their car to have lunch at Casa Taco. The crew behaves – as best I can tell – waiting in the car. Actually Bridget and Spike are good all day. Spike, always a social animal, enjoys making some canine friends hanging around Bakers’ RV Service. He also interacts with Bill and Kathy’s dog, Holly, who’s recovered from her recent sprain.
The roof rack, tilt assembly, and panel mount takes two guys working over three hours.
The charge is $240 for labor and $5 for bolts. Bill offers to do the wiring from the panel to the interior of the PTV. He and Kathy will drive down to my Percha Dam campsite tomorrow to finish the project.[slideshow]
The crew is happy to get back into the PTV for the trip home.
I stop at Walmart for a few things before getting back on the interstate. The crew is too tired to display the usual histrionics. I’m so proud of my solar panel. As I walk across the parking lot, I smile. I love the way it looks! How can it be that the Perfect Tow Vehicle is even more perfect than before? It’s a mystery.
A surprise awaits us at our campsite!
Stuck in the door of the Casita is a business card. On the back is written, “Sue, been reading your blog. We are en route to Socorro and Bosque del Apache . . . Hi to Spike and Bridget . . . Kent.” I’m sorry we missed the chance to meet you, Kent!