Monday, October 10, 2016

Getting packed up to fly home tomorrow.

We are both feeling a bit better today with the 5th wheel cooled down. 

This morning we got all our paperwork together for the flight home tomorrow.  The supershuttle is picking us up at 11:40am and we’ll get home about midnight so it will be a long day.  Phoenix to Seattle, Seattle to Vancouver and Vancouver to Terrace. 

We’ve got lots to do over the next three weeks before we shut the house down and fly back to Phoenix on the 3rd of November.  Oh…by the way Eric doesn’t want to go home.  Tough, he has to go!

After lunch we were off to Al’s RV on east Bell road to find another water pump.  The blocks are long here and it was a twenty minute trip to get there.  Eric found a water pump, I got another folding stool and we filled up one of our 30# propane bottles so it was a successful trip.  We filled up the truck $2.15 a gallon for diesel at Fry’s and we were done. 

I spent the afternoon catching up on my blog postings and now I am done.  Luckily Jim, the park manager has internet so I could hook up and post. 

Tomorrow we are off home and I won’t post until I return.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Cottonwood, AZ to Phoenix, AZ and Frank & Sandi’s park.

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Today’s route,  not too far but turned out to be stressfull again. 

We were packed up and on the road about 10am as we didn’t have far to go today.  It didn’t occur to us that we would have to go up and over a mountain before we went down into Phoenix but we did.  Another 5 mile hill and the truck really didn’t like it.  It was only 20C out but the engine got quite hot so I guess it was quite steep.


Up high.


We came up five miles and now we have to go down five miles.  What the heck I thought today’s drive was going to be flat.


The Saguaro cacti started to appear and they like a little altitude. 


We were into Phoenix around noon and boy was it hot.  We’ve been using a heater and now it’s 36C.  A bit of a shock to the system. 


We are parked right behind that Saguaro cacti.  Within about an hour we were so overheated inside the 5th wheel that we had to get Jim, Frank’s park manager to wire us up a 30 amp connection so we could run our A/C. 


Once we were parked and the satellite was set up Eric and I went out for lunch with our friends for a little catch up.  We haven’t seen Frank and Sandi for almost two years and it was a really enjoyable blab!

After lunch they were off to watch one of their grand son’s baseball games and we collapsed in the rig.  The heat really takes the wind out of your sails!

So a quiet evening of beer, a ball game (The Jay’s beat Texas three straight….go Jays!) a light supper and bed. 

Saturday, October 8, 2016

A quick trip to Jerome, Az

Yesterday was a stormy with thunder, lightning and just a plain nasty day. 

Today it was nicer so Eric thought we should go for a drive and get fuel in preparation for tomorrow’s trip to Phoenix.

I didn’t bring my camera since I didn’t know we were going sight seeing so these pictures were taken on my little Iphone 4S and all in all they aren’t too bad.  We drove through the old town of Cottonwood and then on to Jerome. 

Excerpt from Wikipedia.

Jerome is a town in the Black Hills of Yavapai County in the State of Arizona. Founded in the late 19th century on Cleopatra Hill overlooking the Verde Valley, it is more than 5,000 feet (1,500 m) above sea level. It is about 100 miles (160 km) north of Phoenixalong State Route 89A between Sedona and Prescott. Supported in its heyday by rich copper mines, it was home to more than 10,000 people in the 1920s. As of the 2010 census, its population was 444.[3]

The town owes its existence mainly to two ore bodies that formed about 1.75 billion years ago along a ring fault in the caldera of an undersea volcano. Tectonic plate movements, plate collisions, uplift, deposition, erosion, and other geologic processes eventually exposed the tip of one of the ore bodies and pushed the other close to the surface, both near Jerome. In the late 19th century, the United Verde Mine, developed by William A. Clark, extracted ore bearing copper, gold, silver, and other metals from the larger of the two. The United Verde Extension (UVX) Mine, owned by James Douglas, Jr., depended on the other huge deposit. In total, the copper deposits discovered in the vicinity of Jerome were among the richest ever found in any time or place.

Jerome made news in 1917, when strikes involving the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) led to the expulsion at gunpoint of about 60 IWW members, who were loaded on a cattle car and shipped west. Production at the mines, always subject to fluctuations for various reasons, boomed during World War I, fell thereafter, rose again, then fell again during and after the Great Depression. As the ore deposits became exhausted, the mines closed, and the population dwindled to fewer than 100 by the mid-1950s. Efforts to save the town from oblivion succeeded when residents turned to tourism and retail sales. Jerome became aNational Historic Landmark in 1967. In the early 21st century, Jerome has art galleries, coffee houses, restaurants, wineries, and a state park and local museum devoted to mining history.


We are way up high.



Old mine buildings.




We had a look at some of the old mining equipment.










Onward up to Jerome. 


Steep road with houses perched along the cliffs.




I wouldn’t want to drive these roads in the winter.


Top of town, turn left and head out.


J for Jerome. 


No where to park.


Lots of bed and breakfast, souviner shops etc. etc.


Heading down….very, very steep.




Lots of really old buildings.


Bye, bye Jerome.

So that’s our tour of Jerome!  A nice afternoon drive but once again too many tourists for us. 

Friday, October 7, 2016

Friday was a slow day.


Today we decided to go into Cottonwood to get some fittings for the RV.  We’ve been having problems with the way the 5th wheel is plumbed and as there is back pressure on our water pumps we’ve had two of them fail.   The seals leaked and the motors filled up with water.  That shouldn’t happen and they don’t make that water pump anymore.  What Eric decided to do was install a check valve so that water couldn’t get into the pump from the city water connection.  Now all we had to do was find one. The water was getting through the pump the wrong way, filling up our water tank and then leaking out the overflow.   Also our water hose connections are crap so he decided to find some repair parts.  First stop was Home Depot and we couldn’t find what we wanted there or a guy to help us.  Another guy shopping told us we should go to Ace Hardware and gave us directions on how to find it. 

Ace Hardware had everything we needed and the guy who knew where everything was and how to find it.  Turns out he was working for Ace Hardware because he couldn’t finish his last few years as a locomotive mechanic.  He’d worked 30 years and was too stressed out to stay till retirement.   He said he was on the mountain run up by Grant’s Pass and if they’d moved him to the Coose Bay run he’d have stayed till retirement but….they didn’t so he quit.  A really nice personable guy who was looking forward to retirement and all the the things he would do and see. 

All repair parts in hand we were off to get a few groceries and then back to the rig. 

Eric did his repairs and installed the check valve and it works.  Now he has to fill the water tank and see if the old pump (removed from our old l985 Nomad travel trailor) will be able to pump through the valve. 

I went down to do some very expensive laundry.  $2.00 for a wash and $1.75 for a dry and update my blog while the clothes washed and dried.   I’m using the new LiveWriter which allows me to store my posts until I get internet.  Eric checked on the lack of internet at the office again and was given more run around.  Disgusting!  He did manage to hook up to the office internet and check for emails but the office lady was worried that he would use up too much band width using the phone.  That’s just stupid….a phone uses way less bandwidth than a laptop. 

Eric set up my small barbecue so I could grill a steak,  we watched a ball game (the Jays crushed Texas earlier in the day….go Jays!) had beer and the day was done. 

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Page to Rio Verde RV Park in Cottonwood, AZ….a hard day.


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Today’s 207 mile journey.

We left the PageLakePowell Campground around 9:30am with about a four hour journey ahead of us.  We wound our way through the dumb roundabout to get onto 89 South and were soon on our way. 


Looks like we’ll be going up soon.


Antelope Pass came on in a hurry and it was high, narrow and steep.


Going up fast and looking down.


Big cut in the rock up ahead.


The turns were tight and 50mph was too fast.


Down we went at a steep grade. 


A huge drop off to the right and the huge rim of rock in the distance.


Still going down.  I admit I was holding on through this pass as it made me quite uneasy.


We’re down. 


A long straight very humpy, bumpy ribbon of pavement.  The road was horrible from just south of the Antelope Pass to just north of the town of Gray Mountain.  All of this highway is in the Navajo nation and would likely be under federal jurisdiction and is not even slightly flat.  I was afraid that the dishes would be all over inside the cupboards it was so rough.   Very Mexican type road which we didn’t expect in Arizona.  It is just exhausting to travel on road that is so rough.


Within this stretch of highway just north of Gray Mountain is Cameron.  This is the town at the beginning of Highway 64 which goes into the Grand Canyon.  A multitude of street lights and good highway for about a mile.


Small towns dot the highway as we travel south.  The highway south of the Navajo Nation was better but not great.


Going down before we head up into Flagstaff.


You can see the pavement isn’t flat here either.  Maybe it’s fine in a car but it’s sure not in a truck pulling a large 5th wheel.


Up high again and there are pine trees.


We are leaving Flagstaff and heading south on I17.  We won’t take 89A to Sedona as it is mountainous and there are areas with huge switchbacks.  The sign farther on said no vehicles over 50ft and pulling the rig we are close to that.


No thanks.  I’d tried to book us into an RV park in Sedona which was very expensive (artsy, fartsy, Zen town!) but they had no room until after American Thanksgiving.   


Heading down out of Flagstaff and the hill goes on for……


18 miles!


The rim off to the right.


Oh goody….only 14 miles more to go.  The diesel engine on our truck does a good job of holding the trailer back as we go down these steep hills.  Very seldom have to use the brakes. 


We took the exit off I17 to Highway 30 which heads west to Cottonwood and the Rio Verde RV park.  I was apprehensive about the park as the reviews weren’t great, but….it was all I could find.

When we pulled into the park it was as bad as some of the reviews said.  The young woman on the desk was nice and we went out to view the site where we would be parked.  The park is old, full of fulltimers and quite shabby.  We walked up the gravel road along the small Rio Verde River to the dead end where we would have to turn around and come back to park.  There was a Hydro Power Line company working where we were to turn around and they had two line trucks and three pick-ups in the way.  They said they’d move and we went back to check-in.  We weren’t happy with the spot we were given so we changed to a slightly wider one.  After a lot of wiggling around at the end of the road we drove a back down and parked.  The 5th wheel is hugely canted to the passenger side and it’s like being on a boat. 

What else …..well they say there is internet but of course there isn’t.   The washrooms could use a good scrub and the laundry facilities are adequate but grossly overpriced.  We’ll just have to make do as there are so many people these parks can charge what they want and not deliver the services they say they have.  We complained about the internet and were told that no one else had complained….well that doesn’t mean that it’s working.  Insulting!  If it doesn’t work, say so and don’t lie about it.


Looking over the bank behind our site.


Parked in a row coming down the hill.  Pictures make things look a lot better than they really are.


Looking up and….


and looking down the road.  We are quite far from the main road but we can still hear the traffic roaring although the sound of the water rushing by and the cicadas drowns some of it out. 


Looks level but it’s not.


Behind the rig.


Den of a varmint.  I saw him but didn’t get a picture.  Looked like a large ground squirrel. 

We had showers, beer, dinner and watched the BlueJays and felt a little better about the day. 

It’s all better when you are in your own space with your own things.