Forest Fire

 Posted by at 6:34 am  Nick's Blog
Jun 192010

We pulled out of our RV site at the Show Low Elks campground just before 9:30 a.m. yesterday morning, stopped in the lodge’s large dirt parking lot long enough to hook up our Blue Ox tow bar to our Ford van, did a light check, and put our old hometown in our rear view mirror.

We drove north 50 miles on State Route 77 to Holbrook, and then got onto Interstate 40 headed west. 30 miles later we stopped for fuel at the Flying J in Winslow. We still had just under half a tank of diesel, but I like to run on the top half of my tank whenever I can. It gives me more margin for error for whatever unexpected change in plans may lie ahead.

As it turns out, our fuel stop had an extra benefit; my daughter Tiffany was in Winslow for her job, and met us at Flying J for one last quick visit, a final hug or three, and then she was headed back home to Show Low, while we were back on the highway headed west.

We passed Meteor Crater, then started to see the San Francisco Peaks that tower over Flagstaff off in the distance. There was still snow on the tops of those high mountains.

A few miles past Flagstaff, Miss Terry pointed out a dozen or so cow elk standing in the forest’s edge right alongside the road. A mile or so later we saw a dead elk on the shoulder of the highway, and were glad we weren’t the ones who hit it. Those critters are as big as a horse, and hitting one can really do a lot of damage.

About the time we put the elk behind us, we started to see smoke from the Eagle Rock forest fire, which has burned 3,400 acres of ponderosa pines some eleven miles northeast of Williams. A news report I read later in the evening said that as of nightfall, the fire was 30 percent contained, but that fire crews were concerned that the winds might pick up and expand the wildfire. Sure enough, the wind kicked up, and is expected to be strong for the next two or three days.

Forest fire 2   

Forest fire 3

Thirty miles west of Flagstaff, we pulled into Canyon Gateway RV Park in Williams, a Passport America affiliate located just off Interstate 40.  This is typical of many Passport America parks, nothing fancy, but clean and friendly, and a good value at $24 a night, tax included, for a level, 50 amp full hookup RV site. Some other RV parks here in Williams charge twice that.

Canyon Gateway RV Park 2

Canyon Gateway RV Park

The campground has gravel roads and sites, and small trees at every site. There are a few older rigs that look like they are permanents, but there is nothing wrong with that. Not everybody is made to live in a sticks and bricks house.

Canyon Gateway RV Park 3

Here is our Winnebago, all leveled out and hooked up.

Winnie at Canyon Gateway

We had covered 175 miles since leaving Show Low, but we weren’t done yet. As soon as we had the RV parked and hooked up, Terry drove us back to Flagstaff in the van, where we stopped at the Arizona Daily Sun newspaper to pick up the new issue of the Gypsy Journal, and then we stopped at Sam’s Club and Office Max for some mailing supplies.

We have been craving a good Chinese buffet for weeks now, and I had always wanted to try the Mandarin Super Buffet in Flagstaff, so we stopped there before heading back to Williams. I had not been feeling well for a couple of hours, so I don’t know if the food wasn’t all that good, or if I just couldn’t appreciate it. But I really did not enjoy the meal, which seldom happens. I drowsed most of the way back to Williams, and once back at the motorhome, I laid down for a while, which seemed to help.

By dark the wind had really picked up, and I’m glad it is blowing from the southwest, which means if it does spread the fire, at least it will be burning in the opposite direction of town. Hopefully the fire crews can knock it down before it gets any larger, or does any more damage.

We’ll be here for the next four days, while we get the new issue of the Gypsy Journal ready to mail out on Monday. We have excellent Verizon service, a  clear aim at the sky for our satellite TV dish, and Williams has a couple of good restaurants if Miss Terry wants to take a break and not cook. It’s good to be on the road again!

Before I close, one last thing. Several blog readers wanted to know if our new Levolor window blinds rattle or make any noise going down the highway. Now that we have actually driven the RV with them, I can report that they don’t make a sound, which is exactly what we expected.

Thought For The Day – I love to give homemade gifts, which one of my kids do you want?

Click Here To Register For Our Eastern Gypsy Gathering Rally!

Nick Russell

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

  6 Responses to “Forest Fire”

  1. I’ll take the RICH one!!!

  2. Your Winnie looks great!

    I look forward to meeting you in Elkhart.

  3. Hey Nick…we stayed at the same campground about 4 yrs. old. There was a really nice Italian place on the west end of Williams in a small shopping center behind the Dollar Store. Everything was made from scratch. Great place. John

  4. Hey there you two! We just experienced Williams and the Grand Canyon for 4 days. We didn’t do the train ride, but we did do the van tour with Marvelous Marv and I would highly recommend that! He is very personalized, knowledgeable, since he grew up there. He will come and get you there and bring you back. It’s a full day but you get lots more info I think than the train. Two restaurants in town not to miss…the hambugers at Twisters diner and Miss Terry, if ya don’t do anything else and even if you resist a piece..the Pine Country Cafe downtown has the BIGGEST pieces of pie I’ve ever seen! We couldn’t resist. Their pie case is worth just going in and looking if nothing else. I recognized the park right away. We were in the first row for 4 days!

  5. I am sure you have this link concerning wildfires but some of your readers may not.
    There is a lot information concerning wildfire across the country here.
    Stay safe.

  6. We have stayed at Canyon Gateway RV Park twice and enjoyed the friendly employees there. In Williams, at that time, there was entertainment on Route 66 in the evenings, including a division of the local high school band in Civil War uniforms playing period music. They were excellent and many gave donations for their college fund. There was also a cowboy shootout, which was very funny. Down the block there is a old west type of entertainment/restaurant complex, which contains a small museum. The admission price was small. The docent on duty gave us a personalized tour of the exhibits and brought the history of the area to life. There is a brew pub just off Route 66 behind a restaurant, which I mention not because of the beer (DH says it is excellent) but because most of the interior of this pub is pine logs, including the bar, bar stools, and the pool table. I loved the atmosphere and the pizza was good, too. We enjoyed our time in Williams but DH was having a hard time with the altitude and we had to leave.

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