Friday, April 3, 2015

Moving Around And More

Yesterday, Thursday, we drove from Picacho to Camp Verde north of Phoenix and just south of Flagstaff.   The weather conditions here are very different from those in Picacho.  We had a beautiful afternoon on Thursday but this morning we awoke at three in the morning to winds blowing causing our open vent covers to jump up and down so I got up and here I am writing in the blog. 

We will spend a week in this location and visit Sedona, Williams, Flagstaff, the Grand Canyon, Winslow, and some of the other smaller towns around us and move on towards New Mexico next Thursday.  I have an appointment Monday, April 13th to have some work done to the trailer at Camping World in Albuquerque.  We are in a very nice park call Distant Drums and there is a casino right across the highway from our current location.  I am not sure if I will be traveling over there or not as leaving Honey home alone is frowned on in most of the parks that we visit and can be reason to be expelled if she is a disturbance to the neighbors who are very close to us.

And as much as I love Honey to death, taking a dog with you on a cross-country trip can create some unexpected issues, as, we have learned, can kids.  Let’s start with kids.  A vast majority of the privately held properties for RV in Southern California and Arizona are vast resorts that cater to the over 55 crowd who come down here to escape the winter in whatever part of northern America and Canada that they happen to live.  So most parks have all the attributes that older folks want, like golf courses etc.  There are no provisions for kids and very few for pets, thus the need for KOA the more expensive (sometimes) kid and pet oriented parks. 

Pets can be a problem in some parks but most have nice fenced areas for them and expect that you can control their bowel movements until you walk them to the park.  Yesterday we visited a resort here in Casa Grande that had signs indicated that pet were not allowed in certain areas of the park.  This I really have no issue with.

Unfortunately many of the things that we would like to see have no pet policies.  The Biosphere2 does not allow pets.  The observatory doesn’t allow pets.  Most of the National Parks allow them to enter the park but strictly control their movements and where they are allowed to go.  For example, Tonto National Forest has no issue with dogs in the park as long as they are on a lease but they cannot be on trails or in museum areas.  It is interesting to note that some National Parks do allow dogs on a leash to visit the facility.  The Casa Grande Ruins is one such place.  She was allowed to accompany us as we walked though the ruins but she had to be picked up and carried during our time at their museum.   Others don’t allow dogs even in the visitor’s center.

All that being said, I still would not have taken this trip without her.  Her companionship for Mia and I is amazing.  She takes everything in and I really think she is enjoying herself so far.  In the morning when I ask her if she wants to join us on a road trip, the tail wags, she heads for the door, and out to the truck as soon as we let her out.  She is a constant source of fun as we watch how she absorbs everything around her.

While camping in our previous spot we noted some interesting things.

If our economy is in such dire straits why do so many trucks run up and down Interstate 10 and freight trains run down the tracks parallel to the highway every other hour?  I am not sure where all this stuff is going but there is a bunch of it.  It could be going or coming from Mexico but I can’t recall another location with as much freight transport equipment constantly moving.

While on the subject of transportation, while we were at the KOA campground in Picacho, we experience a new phenomenon that would scare the average person.  You’re sitting quietly in your chair, in the shade with a book in one hand and a drink in the other when there is a sudden, loud explosion.  It sounds like an early cannon being set off.  You sit up; drop your book and maybe your drink wondering what the hell just happened.  You listen carefully for the next explosion (some fool with a cannon) but the only thing you hear is a flapping sound.  If you have experienced this before you know what has happened and I can tell you with the numbers of transport vehicles running up and down Interstate 10 on these hot, hot summer days it happens quite often.  Yep, when a tire explodes on the semi-truck, there is a huge explosion not unlike a cannon and then the tire litterly shreds itself as the driver tries to control his truck and get to the shoulder.  Smaller explosions are travel trailers or fifth wheelers who have the same issue.  In weather like this it serves you to check your cold tire air pressure before you venture out onto the highway.  It’s no guarantee that your tire won’t blow but it is a precautionary procedure that has become a habit with me.

Another interesting tidbit about Arizona that I noticed at my first fuel stop, there are very few ozone recovery nozzles being used.  That is the nozzle with the large flexible (debatable) tubing that returns the vapors to the underground tanks in and effort to help save the ozone.  It turns out that because vehicle manufacturers now have on board evaporator systems in 1998 and new vehicles these fun nozzles are redundant.  In August of 2014 the state began phasing out the evaporator nozzles claiming they no longer serve the intended purpose. 

On another note we have experienced the differences between what some people want done and what others are willing to do.  As an example, we have rules, laws and stringent considerations when we throw things away.  Anything that can be recycled in King County, Washington State is expected to find its way to the recycling bin and on to a better afterlife.  Perhaps it is because we aren’t close to major hubs of civilization but during our travels here in Arizona we have tried to recycle the same things that we do at home.  Unfortunately, depending on where you are, most of the items we consider recyclable are put in the garbage.  Two examples are plastic bottles and small propane bottles. 

While Arizona has regulations governing the disposal of recyclable products, it appears that many residents and businesses choose to ignore them.  When you ask the residents of the smaller communities where to recycle, they just say, “throw it in the garbage.”

One final word...the sunsets are ever changing and absolutely stunning.

Hope all is well and thanks for stopping by.

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