On Friday we got a decent start out of Pomona. It was a beautiful warm day and we followed our plan precisely, a rare happening. By mid afternoon we were pulling in to Mayflower County Park just north of Blythe, CA. This park had been suggested to us by a passing RVer at Dockweilers who had spent some time there. We stopped first at Hidden Beach RV Park and selected a site and paid for it, they had a laundry which the county park didn’t. As we pulled up to the site it became apparent that the person who was responsible for irrigating the area had turned on the system and forgotten about it. All the sites it the transient area were under an inch or more of water. I went back to the office got a credit and moved on to Mayflower.
Boy, are we glad we did that. If you are looking for a wonderful quiet place on the banks of the Colorado River with some of the nicest RVers you are likely to meet (that is going some) this is the place. The sites have plenty of space and there is shade and sun and families and older folks and long time residents and transients. It is a great mix. Also the sound of the birds was fantastic, especially after three weeks of no bird song at all. The first bird we saw was a Vermillion Flycatcher (I am not counting all the various black birds). The next was a Great Horned Owl perched on her nest hatching her brood. Dad was flying about in the neighborhood and hooting to let us know he was around too.
I set up everything for are campsite even though we planned to leave the next morning.
It was great to have the awning out (and need it) and our rug and tables and chairs. We sat around and read, when we weren’t talking to neighbors, and at dinner time I grilled myself a steak and some veggies and a veggie sausage for Carol. We were kicking ourselves for not finding a way to stay on for a few days. However we were staring at 2,400 miles and two weeks to do it. If we took a couple of extra days now, we would have no slack whatsoever to play as we went. We will get back to this campground in the future.
In the morning, we took our time getting things put away for travel. By 9:30 we moved out and drove 6 miles to a supermarket to restock after spending the week in Pomona without buying any supplies at all. We then drove another 7 miles into Arizona and our first Flying J of the return trip. This stop took almost an hour to buy 30 gallons of gasoline. The line was long and the first person in line seemed to have no odea at all that there were others waiting. Even after he finished pumping he continued to clean the front of his coach with the window squeegee. Finally we were able to fill the tank and get on down the road..
We left I 10 behind shortly and turned north on AZ 60 to 89. the signs along the way provided constant reminders that trucks over 40 feet were banned from the road ahead. After Carol took the wheel we learned why the long trucks were banned, the road twisted back on itself like a snake coiling up to sleep. Speeds over 35 mph were not possible over much of the road. Elated and a bit tired we pulled into Point of Rock RV park just outside of Prescott, AZ where we spent the night.
Sunday, March 26. We go on the road again fairly early. I had stopped at the office and been convinced that taking Gee 2 up 89A would result in gnashing of teeth and frayed nerves. The turns were tighter than what we had encountered already and stone walls came right down to the road. Not being totally without commonsense we elected to take the slightly longer in mileage route up 89 to I 40. This put us on I 40 about 40 miles west of Flagstaff rather than coming right through Flagstaff. I your car you might be aware that I 40 had some hills. We got in line with the trucks and spent a fair amount of time in the right lane at speeds well under the limit of 70. Actually we passed a lot of trucks as we were able to sustain 50 mph or so most of the way. I was seeing $$$ spewing out the tailpipe as we climbed at 4000 RPM. Somehow at the end of the day when we filled the tank our mileage came in just a mite below the norm (since you asked that is 6.5 mpg).
As we rolled we looked at our maps and discovered that we were about to pass the famous Meteor Crate only five miles south of the highway. Since we would get there at around lunch time, it seemed reasonable to make a stop for lunch and decide from there what to do. After eating in their parking lot, we went up to the window and decided to fork over the senior’s admission fee of $13 each (this is privately owned and operated) for access to the crater and a tour and movie. Our guide was Kate, a fulltimer who workamps with her husband across the country.
The crater as formed some 50,000 years ago when a modest sized meteorite (150 feet in diameter it is conjectured) plummeted to earth at a fairly step angle. It is very well preserved as there is no rain in the area and thus little water erosion and almost no plant life to bury the crater or change it or disguise it. It has been a mine site (no success on that score), a movie site, an astronaut training site and even the site of a real plane crash. I did not take any aerial shots as I did not have a plane no [icture taken from the ground will do it justice. Go to http://www.barringercrater.com/ for photos and more information.
Kate and others told us that there would have been problem coming up 89A, it just would have been slow. Oh well we will try it another time and go on into Sedona in the process.
We spent the rest of the day driving east and we stopped in a Wal-mart parkinglot in Gallup, NM for the night. Monday we rolled out early and with nothing to prepare to get underway we breakfasted and were on the road by 7:50 MST and pulled into Amarillo, TX 437 miles later at 6 PM CST. We are in a KOA and the WiFi is free if you can see the signal. For some reason this time I can and Carol cannot. Go figure!