We’re Here!

 Posted by at 2:33 am  Nick's Blog
Mar 182013

After several long days of hard driving, we arrived in Apache Junction yesterday and are settled in for a few weeks while Terry’s family deals with what could be a serious medical issue for her 83 year old father.

Because high winds were predicted for Interstate 10 across southern New Mexico Sunday afternoon, we were up and on the road before 8:30 a.m. After filling our motorhome’s tank at the Pilot in Las Cruces we drove 115 miles west on I-10 to Lordsburg, where we left the superslab behind us and took U.S. Highway 70 northwest 150 miles to Globe, Arizona. I much prefer the slower-paced two lane U.S. highways over the much busier interstates.

U.S. 70 is a good two lane road, though part of the 30 mile section to the Arizona state line was being resurfaced.

US 70 New Mexico

There were a few curves and some hills to climb, but nothing to fret about.

US 70 curve 

Traffic was light, and we got a nice wave from the folks towing this Heartland Bighorn as the passed us going the other direction.

Bighorn US 70

The rugged mountain scenery of the Southwest is pretty dramatic.

Rugged mountains

A lot of people are surprised to learn that they get snow in Arizona, as these picture Miss Terry took near Safford show. Actually, one of the most popular snow skiing locations in the Southwest is near our old hometown of Show Low. You would know this if you read my Big Lake mystery series. Smile

Snow scene

In Globe we got onto U.S. Highway 60 for the final 60 mile run into Apache Junction. We passed the huge open pit copper mining operation at Miami.


This stretch of U.S. 60 is winding mountain road through some awesome scenic countryside, with lots of rock formations.

Rock formations

We followed an eighteen wheeler up the hills at 45 miles per hour, even though our Winnebago would go a lot faster. But I like to take it slow and easy in the mountains. Besides, I knew he’d want to let it run going downhill, and I’d rather have him out in front of me than climbing up my rear end. In my days running small town newspapers I covered a lot of bad accidents involving big rigs in the mountains. We had several miles of 7% downhill grades, and I put my Allison transmission in third gear and let the exhaust brake hold us back.

Soon the eighteen wheeler was out of sight, and when we went through the Queen Creek Tunnel the smell of hot brakes was thick in the air. Sure enough, when we got to the bottom of the mountain in Superior, the same big truck was pulled to the side and smoke was billowing out from his brakes. This driver was lucky, I’ve covered stories where less fortunate truck drivers burned out their brakes and crashed, or where their overheated brakes caught fire and burned both truck and trailer to the ground.

Queen Creek Tunnel

Besides the snow I showed you above, the desert can also be a colorful place, especially in the spring when the wildflowers are in bloom.

Flowered hillside

We got to Patio Gardens, our regular place to stay in this area and got parked, with 327 miles behind us for the day. According to my Silverleaf engine monitor program we got 7.2 miles per gallon, which I am pleased with, especially considering that a lot of our driving was in the hills and mountains.

Once we were parked and hooked up we drove the mile or so to Terry’s parents house, where we were greeted with lots of hugs and a happy reunion took place. Terry was relieved to see her dad, and to know that she’ll be here for his biopsy on Tuesday.

Today we’re going to try to catch our breath after the last few hectic days. We’re both very tired.

Thought For The Day – Don’t stress the “could haves.” If it should have, it would have.

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Nick Russell

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

  4 Responses to “We’re Here!”

  1. We will hope for the best for Miss Terry’s dad. Nice photos. Loved the desert flowers.

  2. How Apache Junction has changed since the 50’s when I was at Williams AFB Chandler,Az. Then it had about three lonely buildings & a small gas station.

  3. As someone who often lets life “should” on me, your thought for the day is fantastic. I think I should copy and post it all around me until I finally “get it”. 🙂

  4. Glad that you made it safely after a hurry up long trip, our thoughts and prayers are with you and Terry’s family that all comes back good on Tues. Please keep us posted

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