Another way of titling this would be high speed moving.
After leaving Tucson we made a small move to Phoenix, Phoenix Metro RV Park which is just about as citified as RV Parks get, even those on the edge of the desert. During our stay there we spent another day at MIM (Musical Instrument Museum). The small exhibit (in floor space, not content) “Women who Rock” took us two hours to enjoy. We took a break for lunch in their cafe, listening to an Irish group on the lunch patio, it was March 17, before reentering the galleries to spend some serious time in the geographical areas where we had just been traveling, mostly Asia. Of course we had to take in the Japan music area as well since we are headed there shortly. This consumed another two hours and our heads were full, our feet and legs sore and it was time to take a break from “museuming.”
We met Rick and JoAnne Morgan and their travel companions in Scottsdale for lunch in the gallery area. We had a delightful time touring galleries and having a very nice lunch at Daily Dose. It is always fun to catch up with people we have followed through their blogs and spend time with them in person. We last met Rick and JoAnne in person in White Sands National Monument. During our conversation they talked about Sedona.
I checked the weather because the last few times we thought of going there the daytime highs were in the 30’s. This time the highs were forecast in the 70’s so after we visited the Markusens in Cave Creek we made plans to drive the coach up into the mountains to visit Sedona. We elected to stay at the Sedona Elks Lodge. It turns out to be right in the middle of all the places you might was to visit and the view from the camping area is mountains, red rock peaks across the valley, OMG! The drive was fairly straight forward although the endless number of roundabouts on the way in on 179 gets tiresome, it’s bad enough in a car, but in the coach. . . Carol had the privilege of that stretch of highway. We drove Schnebly Hill Road in the Jeep. The first 6 miles were a mild challenge, we saw passenger cars on the road and heard their frames banging on the rocks – they must have been rentals, no one in their right mind would do that to their own car. The second six miles were basic smooth dirt. We also booked a tour on the Verde Valley Railroad. This looked like an expensive tourist trap, but we decided to give it a try. Worth It, every penny!!! Susanne in the parlor car serving drinks and keeping everyone happy and Ralph, the Attendant on the open air car, pointed out all the rock formations (Presidents canyon with Lincoln in front and Tricky Dick in back with lots of little bushes) and eagles and many other sites. 18 miles and 2 hours in the train stopped and using a siding they moved the locomotives to the other end of the train to pull us back to Clarkdale Station. The locomotives were built for the Alaska RR, and then served other lines before being acquired by Verde Valley and reconditioned to pull their tourist consist. We had turned down the opportunity to take the trip on the cheap by sitting through a timeshare sales pitch, I would rather pay my money than subject myself to 90 minutes of high pressure sales presentation for something I have no interest in whatsoever.
It was time to begin a high speed move. We had made plans to have dinner with AnnaLee and Jerry in the Sacramento area and we had just under 800 miles to cover in two days. For folks who consider 250 miles a long day this was a challenge. Fortunately we had John Grisham’s Sycamore Row queued up (actually we had been listening for several hundred miles already and were looking forward to road time to finish it). 471 miles later as dusk was settling we pulled off the road, CA 58, at an intersection with 202 just west of Mojave, the town not the desert, and found a level piece of packed sand left by road crews and set up camp there just off the road along with at least one other camper we saw and spoke to. We slept fine to the lullaby of passing traffic and the occasional train. Early in the morning we had breakfast and set out for Sacramento, the KOA just west of town. By 2:30 we had covered another 322 miles and were setting up in a full hookup campground where we could do laundry and take long luxurious showers. Grisham still had hold of our concentration with his very detailed unrolling story.
After a delightful dinner at Vic’s Ice Cream !? which of course included ice cream, with Jerry and AnnaLee we went to their home and spent the evening sharing travel stories until it was time to get back to the coach, we had to move on immediately. 2 hours after starting we were settling into the Alameda Elks Lodge, not far from Berkeley, or anyplace else in the Bay Area. Although Alameda has a reputation as a gritty industrial area, it appears much of the grit and industrial is gone and the town appears to be quite nice. The Elks Lodge is right next to the city hall and it is somewhat surprising that in this august neighborhood we would be permitted to stay in our coach, but there you are. We are not alone in the lot either.
No more moving until Saturday!