Postcard from New Mexico

7 August – 3 November 2010
(Santa Fe, NM)

We had an easy drive back to Santa Fe. Unlike the trip North, it’s pretty much all down hill getting to Raton, NM. That probably made the truck happier, but it’s a real test for trailer and engine brakes. So it was nice to get back to level land again. We pulled into Santa Fe Skies RV Park and were given the space adjacent to where we were before we left for Canada. Great site and it’s easy to get into.

Once we were settled in we took a look at the house and confirmed that things are what folks said they are… a mess. There was definitely an electrical problem, so I went back to look at the power drop from PNM (our utility supplier). I couldn’t see anything obvious but I did see that the roof in the shop had leaked and the shop smelled like mold. It was really bad!

I called Johnny Bowles who came over. Within 15 minutes he told us that we had no power inside the house cuz we had no power coming from PNM. He gave me a number to call at PNM and said if we still needed him after they got things fixed to call him back. PNM took a couple days, but they repaired what proved to be a broken line. They first had to trim a tree at the rear of the property. Our tree had grown up thru the wires and a wire was rubbing against a branch. The branch won and the wire broke… the wire was literally worn thru. Not just the insulation, but the metal as well.

After that was fixed we got Johnny back to the house and after 2 days of nasty trouble shooting (I’ve come to hate old adobe houses!) he had us up and running. Seems we had a couple shorts in buried wires that weren’t shorted when we left town. Odd, but the problem is fix and the previously shorted wires were re-routed in conduit over the roof. Plus we had him sort out what had become a mess in the conduit after the new roof was installed on the main house in 2006.

The blackened area is the mold

The shop was not so easy. We had our favorite builder (Daniel Tellez) take a look and he cut a hole in the ceiling to confirm that there was mold damage. Once more wallboard on the ceiling was cut away I could see what was causing the problem. It turned out to be coming from a poorly sealed area at the canale (the troughs that allow the roof to drain). The roofer who installed the foam roof said it was a bunch of holes caused by bees and sent a bill for repairs. Some warranty, but both the warranty and the leaks are about what I’ve been told to expect. Welcome to the real world, Bruce!

Same area after remediation

We got an well known mold repair company (Paul Davis Inc., a Canadian company) to clean up the mold. Took several days, but when they were done it looked like new wood.

Then Daniel took over and installed new insulation & wallboard in the damaged areas, painted the walls and installed a new TPO roof. The material is white and seems nearly bullet proof so I have high hopes. We’ll see.

The north wall; south wall had even more

Not only is the odor from the mold gone, the shop looks like new again. Especially after new epoxy paint was applied to the floor. Plus Daniel did some repairs to the outside stucco which made everything look right again. Almost looks good enough to live in! 🙂 (We’re not living in the house… we prefer the Montana.) With more time we would have been able to get the house on the market, but we’re running into the limit of days we’re permitted to be in the state without reverting to NM residency.

As I was saying goodbye to Daniel in the car port, he casually asked “Do you want me to do anything about these posts?” Turns out the 10″ diameter posts which support the car port were hollow. Yikes! Because of a combination of building errors (6″ beam on top of a 4″ corbel on top of a 10″ post), water could collect on the top of the posts and rot started in the end-grain. It had been going on for years and no one could see it. It was only because Daniel knew what could happen with that combination that we were saved from having the carport collapse on the car while we were gone. So Daniel replaced the posts (square 6″ this time) and the corbels (also 6″) plus he repaired the posts and corbels of the front portal (the ‘porch’ at the front door). Thank you Daniel for once again saving our butts!

While still in Santa Fe, they had their annual Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque. We’d planned on visiting one night, but as often happens they had excessive winds and had to cancel the evening’s ‘balloon glow’ or ‘glow-deo’. But at least we got to see some of the crowd. Santa Fe Skies gets overflow from Albuquerque and the park was full every night starting a week ahead and continuing till the week after Balloon Fiesta. They have 98 sites and one night they had 105 guests. It was chaos. Orderly chaos if there is such a thing, but chaos. Then one night the temps dropped to freezing and within 3 days they were all gone. Poof! Now we’re seeing mostly Canadians heading south.

We’ll leave for Arizona soon. We have an invite to join a USAF retiree at Davis-Monthan AFB (near Tucson, AZ) for a couple days and we’d like to take him up on the offer. As I understand it, Davis-Monthan is where the USAF ‘bone yard’ is located. I’ve been hearing about it for decades (as early as 1957 when I was a student at Northrop Aero Institute in Inglewood, CA) so I’d love to have a look-see.

Our truck will be serviced tomorrow and the car shortly thereafter; we’ve seen doctors and dentists while here; gotten prescriptions refilled; we’ll get hair cuts tomorrow; and we’re pretty much ready to head West. That’s assuming we can still figure out how to connect to the truck!

About bruce10b

Celia and I are full-time RVers wintering (and now summering!) in Benson, AZ. The 2 bernese mountain dogs that initiated the name of this blog are gone but forever alive in our memory.
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