Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The Trip - Back in California

We got back to my house last night.

Sunday we made good time in the new motorhome. No matter how hot it got outside, the engine temperature held steady. We crossed the western half of New Mexico and a lot of Arizona, and we were working on getting to Casa Grande for the night. But somewhere west of Tucson, some guy in a truck motioned to me that we had a flat tire.

I pulled over to the side of the road, got out and looked at all the tires on the motorhome, the tow dolly, and my car. Nothing was flat. One tire was a little low, so we continued on and pulled off at the next exit with a gas station to put more air back in that tire. But when I got out at the gas station, the tire was now flat. When I put air in it, it just hissed back at me.

We called AAA, turned on the generator, and sat at the dining table in air-conditioned comfort to eat a snack of cherries and yogurt while we waited for help. When the tow truck driver came, he said we'd be OK to drive to his shop, which was just on the other side of the highway.

We waited inside the mini-convenience store while the guys did their work outside in the heat. They replaced the valve stem on the tire, which was bad, and when they tried to put air in the tire to get it back up to 80 psi, it blew up on the inside at only 40 psi. They came in and asked us where the spare was.

Spare? What spare? When we bought the motorhome, they gave us a tour of all the gadgets and buttons and hoses and gizmos in all the compartments, but neither of us remembered being shown a spare tire. So the guys at the shop looked all over, even on the roof, and couldn't find one. They even called up the sales guy from the RV dealer (we had his business card) and asked him if he knew if there was a spare. But he said he was just a sales guy and had no idea.

Now, normally this repair shop has tires our size in stock, but Sunday they were out. So they called over to their other shop, and they had exactly one. The guys told us this in an apologetic way, as though one wasn't enough, but that's all we needed. So the man from the other shop a half hour away drove the tire over, and they got it installed and filled up without exploding, but by this time it was already dark.

There was an RV Resort (not just an RV Park, mind you) a mile down the service road, so that's where we went. At the security booth, the man asked if there were any adults under the age of 30 with us, because this RV Resort was 55+, and they'd forgive me for being underage, as long as my mom did the registering.

When she registered (I stayed with Scooter in the motorhome), the man warned her to watch out for snakes in the morning. (Oh joy!) But it sounded like nighttime was safe enough, so we got set up and bunked for the night.

In the morning, this is the view that greeted us. It's Picacho Peak, in Arizona, and it has its own state park with lots of hiking.

My mom noticed before I did (my eyes were on the ground, watching for snakes) that nobody was in those other RVs. The wheels were all covered, the hatches battened down, and there wasn't another soul in sight, besides us and the caretakers. And this is the reason why (the thermometer came with the motorhome):

Nobody in their right mind vacations in Arizona in July. They certainly don't climb up to the top of Picacho Peak when it's almost 110 degrees outside. We certainly didn't. We headed west without hiking and without seeing any snakes.

Still in Arizona, we stopped at a rest area to have some lunch. The signs at this rest area were a different breed from all the other rest areas we've visited, so I took a couple pictures.

We did not notice any bees while we were there, for which I am thankful.

And we were sure to keep all our livestock securely inside the motorhome. No unloading of livestock for us, no sir! Though we did take Scooter outside so he could mark some territory, but I don't think that's what they had in mind.

But we're home now, trying to clear up enough loose ends (like getting a realtor to call me back, so I can get my house officially up for sale) that we can leave for our tour of the Pacific Coast and the Northwest soon, hopefully Saturday. We'd really like to have a chance to do some sightseeing. We've had enough of car repair places and driving to get miles put behind us. It would be nice to be able to slow down and enjoy the places we go.


Bekah said...

Suddenly my walk in 90 something degree heat yesterday doesn't seem so bad! This must be one more reason why I don't live in Arizona!

And I'm very glad that you didn't have to violate the livestock unloading rule...when I moved into my house 7 years ago (in town) the seller of the home informed me that there's a rule against livestock in the city limits. Apparently she'd temporarily housed a lamb overnight in the backyard and the neighbor (who knew every city ordinance) called the cops. So I've tried to keep my own interaction with livestock at a minimum.

janice said...

The view is beautiful!

Let's hope you left "Murphy" in Arizona.

CG said...

Don't you love it when somebody mistakes you for being under 30!!

SkyePuppy said...


Aren't you glad the seller warned you that you have that kind of neighbor? It's best to know what you're up against right up front, so you can avoid the 2 am police raids.


There were quite a few places in Arizona and New Mexico that I wouldn't have minded lingering over. Some other time of year.


Sadly, he didn't mistake me for a 30 year old. He was looking toward the back, as though we might be hiding some "yutes" back there.

Malott said...

I always keep my livestock loaded at all times.

In Greentown there is a man who lives along the railroad tracks who keeps cows and chickens...

I love it... When I have my windows open I hear roosters crowing in the morning.

Bekah said...

I remembered the lady from when my grandparents lived in the house years before. She was your stereotypical crochety old lady busybody. She played Bingo religiously, visited the riverboat casino every chance she got, drank beer every day, and cussed like crazy, but I grew to love her in a fearful respecting sort of way. I always knew the neighborhood was watched with her on duty!

In fact, I didn't know she had died (happened very unexpectedly) two Christmases ago...and some man I didn't know showed up on my porch. He had read my writing and wanted to meet me. I only felt safe because I thought if he tried anything, she'd be 911-ing the cops so fast, he wouldn't stand a chance. (Turned out, he was harmless.) The next day I found out she'd died a few days earlier and was nowhere around watching when he showed up.