Bethlehem is a town of great renown, of utmost importance to the history of this planet. Belen, the Spanish for Bethlehem, is not.
We waited many hours before AAA came to tow us again last night. They had to transfer us around to many different AAA headquarters in different states, and hang up on us a few times, before they could call back to verify that the information we had given them on our whereabouts and destination were indeed correct. A couple hours later a tow truck arrived. We are not impressed with New Mexico AAA.
In order to tow, they have to disconnect the drive train. They don't actually, but they are worried about being sued. In order to reconnect the drive train, you have to pay them an extra $105. However, we got a very kind-hearted tow-truck driver, who argued vociferously on our behalf with AAA, and reduced the tow price from $1200 for a mile of towing to $100. (Honestly, if AAA wasn't going to be in our corner, someone had to be.)
So now we are stuck in a campground in Belen, Hub City, the center of nowhere. I do not say this of my own accord. A number of residents of Belen confirm it. There is one video store in town. There are no movie theaters. For something to do in town, Belenites go to the Wal-Mart. Nothing happens here. (Actually, this is beginning to sound a bit like Bethlehem, B.C.) It's a town of less than 7,000, a place even Palin could handle governing.
La Mirada RV Park is in the middle of the nowhere of Belen. There's a diner in walking distance, and...that's it. But we have beautiful views and very friendly staff, while we wait. Dave and Vinny had to bow out of traveling with us, as they'd already greatly exerted themselves on our behalf, in packing my dad up and traveling in a dilapidated RV over a third of our journey. So they've returned to their homes in Albuquerque. On Monday we hope to find a new repairman, perhaps even the great Bill Lowery, to come and fix the RV, and maybe travel with us the rest of the journey.
Today a fierce storm rose up, with mighty gusts of wind and a driving rain. My dad quickly realized that this might blow the canopy off, and so we hurriedly pulled it down, just before the drenching downpour and tropical storm-force winds arrived. After it all, the earth was fresh and clean, the skies blue, and a promise in the sky. We are delayed, but the journey continues.