We left Carlsbad on the 62-180 headed toward El Paso. As we were driving through Guadalupe Mountains NP we noticed the car shaking pretty bad. We pulled over and noticed one of the tires was bulging and cracking and looked ready to pop, so we switched it out with the tire we got in Albuquerque. 2 tires down (5 to go?). In El Paso (Texas, state #8) we made a necessary stop at Buddy's Beer Barn, a place I remember loving when living in this area. It's a drive-thru barn full of random stuff and coolers of diverse beer. The RV didn't fit for a drive in, but we enjoyed walking around and each got an assorted few beers. Buddy was there and the guy's awesome. When he found out we came from so far and his bar was the farthest point away from home we'd be and we made an extra detour to go there, he was pretty excited. We asked to see his whiskey shed and he unlocked it for us and chatted about life and his barn. While he ran to get us a handful of stickers for our trailer, I found a hidden treasure in the shed. In a box behind a counter were cans of vanilla flavored alcoholic whipped cream! It does exist!!! I think we each found our own treasure in the whiskey shed. Mike found an inexpensive bottle of coffee liquor and Dave, after asking Buddy about it, was given 2 free bottles of Sotolito. Alcohol made from the Sotol plant. Seems it was a hard selling product. After saying goodbye to Buddy we took off and drove through Chaparral and I got to see the high school I used to teach in. Then to Las Cruces where we ate at my favorite New Mexican restaurant in town. And then we called or visited every tire shop in town. No one has the tires we need, so hopefully we'll make it to Phoenix without any troubles and get all new tires - the ones on the truck turned out to be 11 years old and are now just time bombs. Silver City was the next stop and as we were in town a huge thunderstorm passed over! Very exciting and very close and crackling thunder. By then it was dark so we were driving on hwy 180 having a hard time figuring out a good turn-off for the night. We pulled over to let the car behind us through when it turned out to be the sheriff who turned on his lights and came up to the window. He was just checking that we were okay and he ended up giving us directions to a lake we could park at for the night. We never found the lake, but parked down a road nearby. Now we're driving throug the Gila NF soon to enter Arizona, state #9!