Tuesday, April 23rd, 2019

Hi Folks!

If you’ve been following our journey on Facebook (or from our LIVE GPS feed) you know Kathy and I have arrived to Albuquerque, New Mexico. What a trip! Let’s catch up briefly…

After Laughlin, we needed to travel to Las Vegas due to a guy brushing by the Phaeton and ruining our two awnings. 

After a week there we were advised the parts wouldn’t be delivered until after May 1st. That wouldn’t work, so we made plans to have this repair completed in Lincoln, Nebraska where Kathy’s mom lives.

Meanwhile, there was something wacky with the solar power-plant (we call this the solar core). After a few calls and several on site tests we were told by Denis, the engineer at Dragonfly Energy (Battle Born Batteries), a side trip to Reno was necessary. He needed to check things with his equipment. 

325+ miles later we were in Reno. After 4 hours of equipment being attached and numerous tests we discovered all 4 of our crazy expensive (roughly $400 each) lithium ion batteries were shot… It was damage done while installing the batteries. 

All 4 batteries were replaced under warranty and advice was given that made the system run amazing. Final testing done showed the system was perfect. Because of this trip, new friendships were made.

Next, we headed to Death Valley for a short stop before continuing on to Ridgecrest California to visit a friend.

We only spent a few hours in Death Valley. It was crazy hot… and, it was only mid-April! 


Our route took us westward… The long climb from190′ below sea level (up the mountain) was arduous. At best we hit 35mph. It was a relief to finally crest the top… Well, until we saw we were about to hit a 25 mile 9% downhill grade!!!

The road is straight for awhile and then goes into switchback curves. The Phaeton weighs 18 tons and can rapidly gain speed… uncontrollable speed, unless you ride the brakes.

At roughly 10 miles down we started smelling that crappy burning brake smell. I looked behind and saw brief wisps of smoke. 

The real issue occurred at 15 miles down as I had to almost stand on the brake as we were quickly following a long downward curve. It was at about that time I realized I had to quickly find a place to pull off. I could tell the brakes were starting to fade. With large volcanic rocks and steep drop-off’s at every glance, I was worried we might have a serious issue if I couldn’t pull off and stop quickly.

Kathy, strapped in, pointed to a short area ahead. It was level enough and, aside from the steel fence poles every 15 feet apart, it was what we needed.

I dodged the fence poles and quickly stopped. The wind blowing across the mountain filled the air with the smell of burnt brakes from clouds of noxious smoke that continued to roll from beneath every wheel.

I grabbed the fire extinguisher and ran out the door. Fortunately there was no fire, though the wheel drums were obviously roasty toasty. Tire pressures were way too high, but not critical. We sat there for nearly 2 hours as everything slowly cooled off. By then, it was completely dark. We were amazed there were no cars driving up or down. We were completely alone on the side of this remote mountain… and there was no cell service even with all our sophisticated equipment.

Once all the sensors (yes, we have pressure and temperature sensors on every tire – Tireminder.com) were back within range, we uncoupled the Jeep. The decision was made to find out if the Phaeton was operational… It was, and we slowly drove the remaining 5 miles to the bottom, Kathy driving the Jeep.

Wearily, we arrived to Ridgecrest several hours later. The Phaeton’s brakes seemed no worse for the insane challenge we had survived.

After a very brief stay in Ridgecrest we headed easterly along Interstate 40. It was time to leave California… Gas (Diesel fuel) was a holy hell $5 a gallon, and every time I bought something at a store they kept asking me if I wanted a plastic bag for 10 cents. Nope.. I just wanted to get outta there : | 

By nightfall we arrived to Sligman, Arizona and stayed the night at the far end of an acres large gravel lot near a truck stop… Boon-docking ; ) No problem! We had plenty of electricity and water! With a glass of Malbec (red wine) in her hand, Kathy went outside for awhile to gaze at the sky and occasionally howl at the full moon. It was a blast : )

Thanks to a suggestion from JoAnn Steinberg, we enjoyed a great breakfast at The Roadkill Cafe. Afterward, we broadcast LIVE and 4 of our supporters were watching. So, we bought them each a gift… I still need to mail these (sorry for the delay folks).

The rest of the day and into the night we headed eastward, finally arriving to Albuquerque around 10pm or so. 

Molly, one of our supporters, suggested we stop for a quick visit and a “Cup of Chaos” as we passed through Gallup, New Mexico. Molly is a great lady who spends a lot of time helping others. She and her husband have several youth programs to help the kids on the Navajo Reservation.

Molly had asked if she could invite a friend. Of course! We were excited to meet him. Her friend was someone we had on our show a few months ago; Stanley Milford, one of the duo of The Navajo Rangers! If you haven’t heard this show yet you should. It was incredible!

This visit was crazy interesting. Molly and her family live on the Navajo reservation. For nearly an hour she told us, in a very matter-of-fact way, fantastic details she and her family have had with Bigfoot, UFO’s, and Skin Walkers. Stanley Milford is a great guy with a warm smile and deeply serious expressions. You can tell by watching his expressions and listening to him he only tells things factually. The stories they shared could stretch anyones imagination to the breaking point. As I said, this was a crazy interesting visit! If you missed it, this conversation was broadcast LIVE and is still up on our private Facebook page, LIVE Broadcasts.

Our short visit turned into a few hours and lasting friendships were established. Because of this meeting we are invited to drop through the Navajo Reservation to join Staley and his partner John Dover to be shown where high strangeness exists. And yes, we plan to stay awhile to see what we might find. Even better, we were told we can bring our Explorers Group members along to join in on the investigation!!!

Kathy and I are excited to plan this and will let everyone know the details once we have a plan in place. We expect this to be happening toward the end of summer given the temperatures in NE of Arizona should be more favorable late August or early September.

We left Gallup late in the afternoon and continued on to Albuquerque. By the time we arrived to Albuquerque we had traveled 415 miles. This leg was exhausting because high winds were blowing the Phaeton like I have never had to deal with before. I was exhausted when we arrived. So, I decided to once again broadcast LIVE to our private Facebook page. Haha… Yeah, I do some crazy stuff!

For Easter Sunday we spent the late afternoon and into the evening visiting an old friend of ours; Linda Moulton Howe. It was a long overdue visit… She has so much information, and I have a few things to share with you later this evening at LIVE Broadcasts. Kathy and I hope you can tune in.

BTW, if you haven’t already you should check out her terrific informational website EarthFiles.com and her YouTube channel!

So, here we set in a nice RV park, El Rancho. Tonight the rain is falling. Lightning is streaking across the sky, the wind is blowing, and the air is wet and cold… But we’re safe and warm. The sound of big drops smothering the Phaeton is both hypnotic and musical. It’s similar to being in a hut in the Amazon during the frequent downpours we love so much. This is so much better than being in a house. There’s a romance to this that has captivated us years.

Tomorrow (Wednesday), if weather permits, we’ll head north passing Santa Fe as we make our way to Denver and beyond. 

Dinner is ready. Kathy made a fantastic smelling pot of fresh soup (is it wild chicken and tame rice? I don’t recall…). After dinner I’ll fire up the next broadcast. See you there : )

There is no rush now… Just great mysteries to stop and investigate, old friends to revisit, and new friends to meet as we continue our fantastic journey. We hope to meet you for a Cup of Chaos or a glass of wine at some point along the way.

Best Wishes
Kathy & Jerry