We pulled out of Patio Gardens at 11 A.M. yesterday and had an easy run southwest on the 202 Loop to Interstate 10 just south of the Phoenix metropolitan area. With the southeast section of the Loop now finished it makes it a piece of cake to get to the East Valley. Where once it would take us an hour or more to get to Miss Terry’s parents in East Mesa by following Interstate 10 to the Superstition Freeway (U.S. Highway 60), now we are there in 25 to 30 minutes, and with a lot less traffic to deal with.
Interstate highways are good for getting someplace in a hurry, but whenever we can we prefer to get off on the state routes and U.S. highways. This trip, only a mile or two after we got onto Interstate 10, we left the superslab and took state Route 347 south through Maricopa, past the AK Chin Cultural Center on the Gila River Indian Reservation.
State Route 347 is a good divided four-lane road, with just a little bit of traffic as we drove through Maricopa. We passed Harrah’s Casino, where several RVs were dry camping in the parking lot, and then continued heading south through mile after mile of desert scenery
We got onto Interstate 8 and followed it west, the terrain changing as we climbed. We started seeing saguaro cactus climbing the steep hillsides, and the farther west we went the higher the mountains became.
As we crossed the small mountain range just east of Yuma, I commented to Terry about how nice it is traveling in our Winnebago diesel pusher. I remember taking this route in our old MCI bus conversion, and sweating all the way as we ran the radiator misters and watched the needle on the temperature gauge climb higher and higher. We would usually top out at about 15 mph in low gear, and breathe a sigh of relief when we started the downhill run. With the Winnebago, our big Cummins turbo-diesel climbs up the hills with ease, and I have to slow down on some of the curves.
These are really rugged mountains, and if you go wandering around out here don’t know what you’re doing, you can get yourself into a lot of trouble very quickly.
We noted that diesel fuel was considerably more expensive in Yuma, $4.05 a gallon, while it’d been about $3.87 in the Phoenix area. If you’re coming to our Gypsy Journal rally, fill up before you get here!
We arrived at the Yuma County Fairgrounds about 2:30 P.M., checked in at the office, and picked up some packages that were waiting for us there, including the Sea Eagle kayak that our friends Tim and Crystal Ryerson from Inflatable Boats 4 Less donated as a door prize, and a box of printed copies of my mystery novel Big Lake for anybody who wants one at the rally.
We parked over by the horse barns, where we will be until the rally starts, and once we had the RV hooked up and the slide rooms out we just needed to stop and catch our breath for a while. It was about 85°, but with the windows open and the fans of our three roof vents on, it cooled down very nicely.
We are plugged into a 20 amp circuit, which is more than enough to get by comfortably. Before every rally I always hear from people who are freaked out because they just can’t believe that they can actually survive without 50 or 30 amp electric. Yes you can! We’re setting here watching TV, we have three computers on, I run my laser printer, the refrigerator is on electric, and guess what? It all works! Terry just looked and we are pulling 13 amps. No, we can’t run our air conditioner, and when Terry makes coffee in the morning she will make sure we don’t have a bunch of other things on at the same time. It’s all about energy management folks, and if you don’t know how to do it before the rally, I promise you that there are plenty of people here who will help you, and you will know how to by the time the rally is over!
We’ve got an awful lot to get done in the next few days, from mailing out the new issue of the Gypsy Journal to getting all the rally chores finished, sending out the digital edition of the paper to our subscribers, and a few hundred things I’ve probably forgotten about right now. But as Larry the Cable Guy says, we’ll “git ’er done!”
Thought For The Day – Happiness is not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort.