Apr 032009

When last we left our erstwhile young RVers, they were in Kingman, Arizona, trying to decide whether to hang around while a windstorm came through the area, or to head over to Show Low ahead of the bad weather, so they could spoil grandkids beyond redemption.

We decided yesterday morning that we’d go ahead and hit the road. We really wanted to get settled in at our campsite in Show Low, and besides, I had drunk up all of the Pepsi in my buddy Mike’s house.

It was too brief of a visit, and if Kingman ever gets high speed EVDO wireless service, and if Mike ever restocks his refrigerator with Pepsi, I’m looking forward to going back.

Mike is a confirmed bachelor, so Miss Terry had fun making him a home cooked meal and a big batch of chocolate chip cookies while we were in town. I keep telling Mike that if he’d find a nice girl and settle down, he could have home cooking and cookies all of the time. But he’s pretty picky when it comes to women; he insists that the number of teeth they have exceed the number of tattoos. In Kingman, finding a woman who meets that strict criteria is quite a challenge.

We stopped at the Flying J for fuel, and because the RV island was backed up, and is so hard to get in and out of, I opted for the truck pumps, which ticked off one trucker. When we can use the RV islands, we do, but the layout in Kingman is terrible. On one occasion a few years ago we were struck for over an hour because someone had parked his pickup in a marked slot in front of the RV island and left in another vehicle, which made it impossible to pull a big rig out. We had to unhook our toad, and I had to maneuver our motorhome in a series of short back and forth turns to get past the truck. What a mess!

We got onto Interstate 40 just before 11 a.m. and began the long, slow crawl uphill all the way to Flagstaff, 150 miles to the east. Even with all of the work we’ve had down to our bus, it just is not suited to RVing in the West. At one point, between Seligman and Williams, our speed was down to 10 miles per hour, I was driving on the shoulder with my emergency flashers on, and even with the misters pumping water onto the radiators, our temperature gauge was flirting with trouble. We have come to realize that while our bus does okay back East and in the Midwest, it is just not suited for traveling out here in the West, where the mountains are high and the air is thin.

From Flagstaff to Holbrook is mostly downhill, and we rolled right along, even passing a slow moving eighteen wheeler now and then. When we left the interstate in Holbrook and got onto State Route 77 for the 46 mile run to Show Low, we began a series of long, shallow upgrades that again had us slowing down some, and the headwind didn’t help much. But within an hour or so we reached Show Low Lake Campground, a nice little city-owned campground where we usually stay when we’re in our old hometown. We had covered almost 300 miles since we left Kingman, most of it uphill.

We got the bus backed into our site, hooked up the 30 amp electric, (no water or sewer hookups here, just a dump station and several hose bibs scattered around), and then met my daughter Tiffany, her hubby Jim, and our granddaughters, Hailey and Destiny, for dinner at Pizza Hut. I swear those girls have grown a couple of inches since we saw them a few weeks ago at Sea World!

We’re going to be here a while enjoying family time, visiting with some old friends, and just relaxing in Arizona’s beautiful high country.

Thought For The Day – Seat belts are not as confining as wheelchairs.

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Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  3 Responses to “300 Miles, Mostly Uphill”

  1. Have fun Folks!!! and remember, tell those kids you love ’em, cause they may not be around forever……….

    Mike (& Pat)

  2. Hi Nick,
    Was reading your post this morning and from Fulltiming here in Prescott I know that climb for sure. I own a 58 GM 4104 and it is notoriously slow on the long grades also.

    I was having similar frustrations on performance on my coach, and found this out…It may not apply, but I thought I would chime in anyway.

    Being a 58 there has been alot of rusting inside my diesel tank. There is a Check Valve just before my Primary fuel filter. It is there to keep fuel primed to that point and not draining back to the tank. I removed this valve and it was full of rust flakes preventing full fuel pressure. It still ran but hindered the fuel pressure. After I cleaned it out. she performed 25% better. Just a thought. I now clean this valve before any trip. Someday I will pull the tank and clean it out.

    Have a great stay in The White Mtns. Big Sky Chef

  3. Well, we see you are on the move again. Just north of us. Anytime you want to drop of some cookies here in Tombstone is OK with me. All the Best, M&C

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