Friday, October 30, 2009

On To Casa Grande and Sunscape RV Park

We packed up the RV and left Beaudry's RV by 11:00am heading north to Casa Grande and the Sunscape RV Park. This will be our new home for the next two months. It is nice to be in a familiar place. We of course have friends here in Casa Grande as well as in the park itself. Topped off our diesel and propane at the Flying J in Eloy, so we are good for a while.

Now, I hate to say it, but it is time to look for jobs to replenish our funds. Peg is looking in town and I am putting in resumes on and on Craig's List. We will see what turns up in the coming weeks.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Beaudry RV Bound-Monaco Rally in Tucson

Since our windshield was now cracked from top to bottom on the drivers side, we were glad the time had come to go to the Monaco Rally at Beaudry RV in Tucson so we could get the windshield replaced. We had set this up a week earlier and the new windshield was waiting for us.

On our way to Tucson, I got a warning indication on my tire pressure monitoring system that the front tires of the car were getting hot and indicating high pressure. There was no place to pull over, so I slowed down and waited until we got through Phoenix and over to Chandler where we were going to stop for fuel. We stopped and I got out to see what was wrong. Apparently, our car air brake was on too tight causing the car brakes to rub and heat up. One of the front hubcaps was gone and the other severely melted and ready to fall off. As I fueled the coach, Peg unhooked the brake cylinder for the car since we were pretty close to our destination anyway. She also told me the brakes went right to the floor in the car....Not a good thing. We finished fueling and continued on.

Made it to Beaudry's, unhooked the car from the motorhome and, as Peg said, the brakes were almost non-existent. She carefully pulled the car to the side and parked and we got the coach in to the service department for the windshield repair. Glen, the service manager, knew of a place we could get the brakes replaced so he called and set it up and, after checking in to get a spot for the rally (being held at the same place), we carefully traveled about 6 blocks to the repair shop.

By this time it was almost 2pm and I had to eat. We walked down the street a few blocks to a Burger King and had a long awaited lunch. Back to the brake shop and they said they will have to replace all four rotors (they were colored red from heat) as well as the brake pads. I also suggested changing out the brake fluid since it is no good once it is "boiled" as I am sure it was. They called Beaudry and Beaudry sent someone to pick us up and take us to the waiting room for the coach.

After waiting about and hour and a half, the windshield was in and we drove it to our site (after paying our $500 deductible that is). About another hour later, Beaudry called and said the car was ready and they could take us back to the brake shop. That worked out well since we had just completed our set-up of the coach on site #1371 and we were ready to go.

Picked up the car, paid a reasonable $324 for the total brake repair and we were on our way back to the campground. What did we do next.....WE RELAXED! The rally was almost upon us.

Believe it or not, we did not take any still pictures of the rally, just video. Look for the rally video
on American RVer show #42, December 2009. We became reacquainted with Rosalie and Mike Mahr (parked in the next row behind us), Les and Letha Lollar, Lee and Vicky Dillard and John and Christine Fraiser. Bob and Marlene Rea and Hank and Lillie Corbitt drove down from Casa Grande to see the vendors and to visit with us for a while on Wednesday and we all went out to a Mexican lunch...See Photo.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Lunch with the Gentiles

As luck would have it, Peg had met Carol Gentile back in Shallotte, NC (where our house is) and Carol had mentioned that she was going to be in Camp Verde/Cottonwood area once again this fall with her husband Sal. They made a pact to get together when we got there. Peg called and Carol and Sal came over and we all went to lunch.

We tried to get into the restaurant at the local golf course but it was closed. We later found out that it had gone bankrupt and someone else had bought it and would open it soon. That did not help us today for lunch, so we went to a little sandwich place near there called Cricket's. Sal and Carol had eaten there once before and enjoyed it, so we thought we would try it.

It was a quaint, rustic kind of place with sandwiches and great deserts. The manager told us that she actually owned the Taco Bell in town and
just liked working here! She was also a big fan of the TV show One Tree Hill seen on the WB network. I told her we lived about 35 miles away from where the show was filmed, in Wilmington, NC. She really wanted to go there and see her favorite stars in the show. I said she should go sometime. I think she just might!

After lunch we stopped at a flee market on our way back to the coach and I finally found a used 4 cup coffee pot so I could use my coffee maker once again. I was thrilled and it only cost a couple of dollars!!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Hill Town of Jerome, AZ

While camped at Camp Verde, good friends of ours from Casa Grande, Stacey and Gail, were staying at the Thousand Trails park a few miles away. We got together today and decided to take a short ride to the hill town of Jerome on Rt. 89A. We took our car and I drove up the winding road into the mountains where Jerome is found. As you know, I love driving the roads with steep drop-offs and so this white knuckled adventure was just my cup of tea! (NOT).

Anyway, we parked the car (on a hill) and proceeded to walk the town. It is located near an abandoned gold mine and the locals say the mine is haunted! Makes for a good story I suppose. This town was also known for its bordello's and houses of the ill repute. With all those miners, business was certainly good! Here we see a sign to that effect where you can "get a piece" at Belgian Jennies.

We were quite high up into the mountain so the view was pretty fantastic. The town is actually built on the side of the mountain and speaking with a few of the merchants here, I was told that they have to drive the road up the mountain to their shops each day. No Thanks! They also told us that the real estate was extremely high here (no pun intended). I guess you pay for the view.

I took this photo of a yard at a house in town. Apparently, this guy is a collector....of everything! With all the "stuff" and the colorful items, it looked kind of cool. There are other "collectors" here as well. We went into one winery shop and they were perched on the edge of the hill. They have large windows overlooking the valley. I must say it was pretty spectacular.

To end our day in Jerome, Peg and I and Stacey and Gail decided to eat at the Jerome Palace, home of the haunted hamburger. It was Wednesday and each Wednesday they have a special 2 for 1 burger price. Gee, could it be we knew that? We ate on the top floor and again had a view. By the way, the jail in this town used to be on an upper street and in the 1800's the rain came and washed it from its foundation down the mountain to its current resting place, about 250 feet from its original location! Can you imagine being a prisoner in the jail that day???

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Montezuma Castle, Camp Verde, AZ

Today was a clean up day for us. The motorhome was a real dust bowl, so we paid our $5 fee at the Camp Verde Western Horizons Park and went to work to clean things by 8am! We washed the motorhome, the motorcycle and the car. I used my deionizer tank, since I know how hard the water is here, and my little pressure washer. I started with the roof and ended up with the tires and wheels. At least we do not have to be embarrassed with any of our vehicles any longer!

We have heard good things about Montezuma Castle and it was quite close to this park, so we decided to go there a little after 3pm. The signs in the park said the gate closes off the road at 5pm, sharp, so we lost no time in getting into the 1/3 mile paved walkway to see the castle.This national monument was a five story, twenty room pueblo, sheltered within a cave, high on a limestone cliff overlooking Beaver Creek. It was the home of the Sinagua people for many years. It was abandoned after A.D. 1400.

Next to Montezuma Castle was what they call Castle A,
which the Sinagua also occupied and that was a six story dwelling, although it is quite deteriorated.

President Roosevelt declared this site a national monument in 1906, one of the first of such sites in the country to be designated a national monument. I enjoyed this monument since the walk was quite easy, it had paved walkways and there were no ledges to walk around or look over!!!!!!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Monument Valley

Day two in the Bluff, Utah area and we decided to drive the opposite direction from yesterday's trip and go to Monument Valley. We took highway 191 to Rt 163 and that took us into Monument Valley. As you can see by the sign, we made it!

We decided to head for the local museum and trading post called, appropriately enough, the Goulding Museum and Trading Post (and hotel, restaurant, car wash, grocery store, etc. etc.). It was a small museum but it was neat to look around and see what the area looked like many years ago. "Harry" and husband Mike Goulding made this area come alive with their foresight and hard work, developing the ground we stood on. There is a memorial to the couple for all they did in this valley. A cabin John Wayne stayed in was also on the premises with several movies of his playing on a large screen TV.

We noticed that there was an RV Park (Good Sam rated) up the road a mile or so, so we decided to see if it was busy and if it was
a good place to stay. When we arrived at the entrance, there were 3 large RV's waiting to get in and the place was filling up quickly for the middle of October! It was a decent park and the sites were fairly well thought out. The view was excellent there! When we turned around and started heading back towards Gouldings, Peg took this cool shot, a real postcard view of the valley!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

We Traveled To The Four Corners!

Today we left Moab and traveled about 100 miles to the small town of Bluff, Utah. We are staying at the Cadillac Ranch RV Park for a couple of nights as we see some of the sights on our bucket list close to here. By the way, this is a nice, full hook-up park surrounded by the Red Bluffs seen in this part of the state. It has easy access in and out and fairly wide pull through sites.

We arrived around 2pm so, after getting the motorhome set up, we headed for the Four Corners, the place where four states meet (Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah). Both Peg and I did the usual routine of standing at the corner of all four states at once. I did one better by doing a "crab walk" with a foot or hand on each state and my butt above all four! How's that for a split personality!

While there we also checked out the Navaho and Ute Indian "trinkets" that were available all around the four state marker. They had some pretty pottery and good looking jewelery. We came away with a hat pin (which I collect) and some fried Navaho dough, a rather nice treat since it was late in the day and near suppertime.

Your Are Now Entering Moab!

We traveled from Salt Lake City to Moab, Utah. The first thing you see are towering cliffs of red rock! Very impressive. Moab is home to the Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park.

We stayed at the OK
RV Park off Spanish Trail Rd. The park is fairly big rig friendly although we happened to get a rather tight (front to back) RV site, #25. The park was full so we are glad we called ahead. This is Columbus Day weekend so that did not help.

The day we arrived, Sunday the 11th, there was the tail end of a gem and mineral show going on at a rodeo arena just behind the park. We drove over the "back way" and had about 1/2 hour to look around before it closed. There was some pretty interesting "stuff" there and it was good to be out of the motorhome and milling around.

On Monday, we decided to visit the more famous Arches National Park and
take a couple of days to drive through the park and take a few hikes. We saw a several rock outcroppings on our windy drive and finally came to the trail for the Delicate Arch, one of the most photographed arches in this park. We got our backpack, cameras and survival gear ready and headed down the 1.5 mile (one way) trail. Or.....Should I say.....Headed UP the trail. This trail is rated as a moderate climb and for a couple that has not had a to of exercise over the past few weeks, this was a tough one! Good thing we had our walking sticks because some of the terrain was really tough to maneuver. We first checked out the petroglyphs just off the path. Very cool!

We continued to walk. Usually I need a sugar "fix" when walking this far but this time, Peg got light headed and needed to stop and eat about 3/4 of the way to the arch. After about 15 minutes, she was ready to go and we did make it to the arch. Unfortunately, the last 100 yards was a walkway on a narrow ledge around a large boulder with a 500-750ft. drop off. As many of you know, I do not like heights like that so I could not go around the corner to see the arch! Peg did and took pictures. I did manage to see the arch the following day (Tuesday) from below, so I had to be satisfied with that. The total hike took us 3 hours and we were pretty tired that night.

The following day we again went to Arches National park and saw many of the things we missed the first time around including the window arches and the campground at the very end of the drive. That night we met folks we met in Salt Lake City, Marcie and Rusty, who had parked their motorhome at a friends house. They took us around the town and up into the hills and gave us a wonderful tour. We then went to a local Mexican Restaurant for dinner.

On Wed
nesday, we went for a drive on Rt. 128, the Colorado Riverway Road through the Gateway Valley. We stopped at a local winery and the Red Cliffs lodge which had a Cowboy Movie Museum. They mainly has pictures and posters of many of the movies shot in Moab and surrounding areas. Movies that were not only cowboy films but other popular flicks you would know like Raiders of the Lost Arch, Back to the Future and many John Wayne movies. Pretty interesting.

Our friends Marcie and Rusty told us about some dinosaur footprints up on a cliff off Gateway Road so we decided to try and find them. After driving up a very high cliff (oh was that fun!) we came to an area that looked like what they described. Out we went and about 100 feet off the road we found the tracks! Take a look at the size of the footprints embedded in the stone on the top of the bluff. Amazing! Here is a shot I took from the edge of the cliff to show how high we were. Going down the way we came up was another adventure!!!!!

Today, we leave for the Four Corners!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Salt Lake City

We traveled down the mountain range called the two sisters mountains which led us down into Salt Lake City. We were staying at the KOA which was located in the middle of town. A nice park with fairly large sites. We were scheduled to shoot an American RVer webisode at MotoSat which is located on the other side of town. They were nice enough to pay for our stay at the KOA.

Motosat makes satellite dishes and associated equipment. What I did not know was that they actually manufacture almost all of their products in house! Royal Lamb, one of the partners of MotoSat and VP of Sales gave us a tour of the facility and did the interview with us for the show. He is a wealth of knowledge and we learned a lot about the MotoSat operation. This will be a very interesting show! Check it out when it is done....It will be show #43.

The following day we went back to MotoSat to interview the man with the "green" RV, Brian Brawdy. He is well known in the RV circles for his survival knowledge and for his Jayco truck camper being equipped with solar and wind power as well as other self sustaining products. He and his publicist, Ashley were very nice folks and we enjoyed meeting them and doing an interview with Brian.

On Saturday, we drove to Temple Square and did our tourist thing. We
walked in through the west gate and into the Tabernacle. There was a group of students there from the University getting a lesson on the altar/stage and we heard a student playing a violin and the sound was perfect! I can imagine what the choir would sound like.

We then went into the visitor center and learned how the Temple was built. There were many students around the visitor center and two young ladies gave us a nice tour in the center. Outside, students were replacing flowers in the flower beds. Also outside were nearly 60 weddings going on today! Yes I said six zero! Amazing.

We next went to the Joseph Smith Memorial Building. The building was beautiful, full of gold leaf, chandeliers and huge columns. We were told we must go up to the 10th floor and look down upon the city, which we did. What a view point! It was the perfect ending to our visit to Salt Lake City.