This was lucky in so many ways...

I now am hyper-paranoid...any change in pavement, a cross wind gust, the slightest vibration and each time I pee...
I get out the cross lug and check my nuts.

The next few days I ran without chrome covers to make it easy to tighten.
They did need it twice.
I painted a torque mark to make it quicker for a visual and installed covers with a simular mark.

Now...the rest of the story...
We we're heading back out from the Gila Cliff Dwellings, now known as the road trip from he//.
If you have ever traveled you know it takes 2 hours to go 40 miles if you haul butt.
Hauling butt = 10 mph
Now I had just checked all wheels for heat and even had my hand on the covers...did not feel anything that needed attention, but did not check tightness.
This was 20 miles back at welcome center...thats why I stayed so paranoid.
How could this happen in just 20 miles?
A few ideas...
Wheels were hot from all the braking to get there,
Then they cooled.
I'm talking hot!
I am replacing brake pads no matter what they look like.
Smelled like burnt rose pedels....r i g h t.
Lug nuts on these are flat washer type, not the taper found on most rims.
I imagine once there is slack, they can unscrew freely.
(My old Hudson had left hand threads on the drivers side...hummmm)

We were so lucky...
Wheels came off at a change in grade...semi level.
One wheel went into a ditch on right side.
Found the other in middle of road.
Found 6 of 10 nuts and cap!
Wheels did not roll off the side of the mountain.
Wheels did not hit anyone or a car.
I was going less than 10 mph
Very minor damage to fender trim.
No flats...this is what I expected to see...not totally gone!

So...check your nuts!
Don't just look at them.

This is where wheels could have gone....

It got dark before I could finish
No...that is root beer...

And these little SOBs !!!!
Stickers everywhere!
Locals called them Go-Dads...or something like that.
I threw rug and socks away.

looking back I had very little warning...
Only a slight wobble one curve back.
And it felt more like a pavement patch, which there were many.
When they came off it felt like dual blowouts...sounded like it too.

Also, we did not make it to the Cliff Dwellings in time...
You must be there before 4pm, and our cell phones were reading Arizona time.
If you ever want to go head out from Silver City by noon,
Or get out there and spend the night at many Federal campgrounds.
Beautiful sites along a river.