Monday-Johnson Creek RV Resort to Saddleback Mountain RV Park
We were up early this morning because we want to pull out by 9am, and lo and behold, we did it! We traveled with Dave and Nancy, who we have been traveling with for awhile and Larry and Mary Anne who had decided to go to an Arizona rally before returning home. We are glad to have them with us.
I tried to follow the GPS but it malfunctioned, sending us the wrong way as soon as we left the park. Stella's I Pad also didn't work properly so Stella called Nancy, and both her GPS and I Pad were not working either. It must have been a sunspot or some alien interfering with the flow of electrons powering electronic devices. We finally found a road that led us to I-10 and we were on our way west!
Since we had good road shoulders on the Interstate Highway, we merely pulled over when Stella and the other girls needed to stop, and we still made pretty good time. We took a nice lunch break at a rest area and all enjoyed the rest and getting out of the trucks for awhile.
We continued on to Balmorhea (BAL-mo-RAY), a tiny town known for it's "world's largest spring-fed swimming pool" located in the Balmorhea State Park. The city gets its name from the three founders of the town, Balcom, Morrow and Rhea.
We were actually delighted with this park. At first it looked run down with lots of permanent residents, but we soon learned that the park was an excellent choice. The roads and sites are wide and easy to navigate, the sites are level with a hard surface that was obtained when the highways were re-topped. The contractors needed a place to get rid of the torn-out materials so this park took it for free and topped their entire park with a great material to park RVs on. They have full hookups and it only cost $20 pr night. Perfect for an overnight stop.
We were all tired and it was VERY hot, so we all went inside and didn't go outside again. I was told that the night sky was beautiful and there were nice views of mountains in the distance.
Tuesday-Saddleback Mountain RV Park to Dreams Catchers RV Park in Deming New Mexico
We again left right on time-9 o'clock sharp. We made good time down I-10-which we will follow into Arizona when we turn off into Utah. We stopped at a truck stop out in the middle of nowhere. They have truck lanes but the pumps were out of order. They sell diesel in the front (passenger car) lanes but the truckers were all made as they drove around back and found no diesel for sale there. The pumps were very slow, so when all three of us filled up, we were there for almost an hour. We stopped again at a rest stop near Van Horn TX and when we left, Dave and Larry, who were behind me, noticed a silver car that left at the same time. We had traveled only a few miles when I glanced in the mirror and saw the silver car in a huge cloud of dust turning over in the air and coming to rest on its wheels in the center median of the freeway. It was some distance behind me but in front of Dave and Larry who stopped and ran across the freeway to help the occupants. Stella and I stopped but it was too far back for me to walk, so I helped by calling 911 for help. We later learned from Dave and Larry that a young man, approximately 15 year old was ejected and seemed to be severely injured but of course, we don't know his condition. His mother's injuries and condition are also unknown.
After negotiating traffic in El Paso, we stopped for lunch at another rest stop. This is where we got filled in on the accident, so we were all pretty somber and shaken. This is the first accident that we have actually seen in our time on the roads, so we consider ourselves very lucky.
We continued on, still making good time, made even better when we gained an hour by crossing into New Mexico. The speed limit is 80 mph on most of the highway, but our speeds are still less than 65. My cruise control has stopped working so I must actually step on the accelerator. It's hard to get used to but I think I'll manage.
Then to add to an already slowed-down day, we ran into a huge traffic backup because of another bad traffic accident involving an 18 wheeler. It looked very bad and we heard that it was a fatality. Crews were unloading the 18 wheeler and partially blocking the freeway. Another 30-45 minute delay!
We were glad to finally arrive at the Escapees Dreamcatcher RV Park. This is another nice park with wide and flat spaces and not too expensive. They cater to Escapee members but it is open to anyone.
Wednesday Escapees Dreamcatcher RV Park to Ticacho/Tucson NW KOA
We were up and packed and pulled out at 9 again. 3 days in a row! Must be some kind of record.
We made an easy day out of this trip, with no issues or drama until we arrived at the park. Stella turned on the pump to transfer fuel between the auxiliary tank and the truck as we checked in. We both forgot about turning it off or at least checking on how much fuel had been transferred. We got all set up and went inside for a few minutes when Nancy told us we had fuel leaking. We immediately went out and turned the pump off and only a small amount had been wasted. Bummer! We felt pretty dumb by forgetting something as important and expensive as fuel, but when we refill the tank we should be able to figure out how much we lost.
Dave and Nancy went to refuel after we all got set and invited us to ride along. We discovered a Dairy Queen at the service station and decided to get something to eat there. We went in, expecting to be able to order some good burgers, but it was an ice cream only store. It was right next to a Subway, so I guess they don't want any competition. We ended up at a nearby Denny's and had a good meal.
Thursday-Moving Day-Ticacho/Tucson KOA to Flagstaff KOA
We left a bit after 9 this morning and left Larry and Mary Ann behind. They are going to the Arizona chapter rally in Phoenix, which is only about 90 miles away and didn't want to leave this early, so they decided to take it easy and leave later in the morning. We left them after hugs and handshakes and again got out on I-10 where we again made good times. This will be our last day on the long highway and we have enjoyed the smooth roads, wide shoulders and numerous rest stops and plentiful service stations. There was more traffic on the road today than we have had all week. After making it through Phoenix, it began to rain and the temperatures began to drop. We made a quick fuel stop at a Shell truck stop and I almost froze while getting fuel. Luckily, they had the large nozzle on the pump and it went fast. It was 55 degrees when we arrived here in Flagstaff but the rain had tapered off to a slow drizzle. We didn't like the site that we are in, pretty tight and way out of level, but we'll make do. Dave and Nancy's sucked worse than ours did. They are in a "deluxe" site but they are surrounded by trees and have no satellite service. Then they found they have no cable television either. I guess they'll be watching movies tonight.
Friday-Moving Day-Flagstaff KOA to Bauer's Canyon RV Resort-Homestretch!
This park has some tight roads and the site that we were in has trees that are very close, so I had to be careful when pulling out. The first thing I had to do was to pick up and remove lots of tree limbs and leaves from everything. We had a big rainstorm overnight with high winds and what sounded like hail, so I didn't get a lot of sleep but I'll make out. We don't have very far to go today-about 220 miles. It was a beautiful day for a drive in some of the most spectacular scenery that we've seen. When I finish this entry to the week-long drive I'll add another entry with nothing but photos.
We only made two quick stops with no meal break because we couldn't wait to get to Glendale and get set up for the next week. We arrived at the park about 2pm and were soon checked in. It took me three tries to get into the small site they put us in but we are here now and get started exploring the area. There are several other Heartlanders here already and we had a nice campfire after dark. Before long, I was cold and called it a night but it looks as though we are in for some good fun here.
In closing of this long post from a week-long journey, we are all tired but looking forward to the next couple of weeks. One week here in some gorgeous country and the next week in Las Vegas.