My Kind Of RV Trip

 Posted by at 2:53 am  Nick's Blog
May 022013

Since it was only 113 miles to our destination, we woke up about 8 a.m. yesterday and had a relaxed morning, checking e-mail and reading a couple of blogs before we started getting ready for our move down to Tucson.

When I turned on our TireTraker tire pressure monitor it indicated that the Winnebago’s left front tire was down about 20 pounds. Hmmm… what’s that about?


No problem, I pulled my Craftsman air compressorout of the storage bay and aired it back up. Greg White turned me on to this neat unit a few years ago and I’ve been very pleased with its performance, even inflating our big motorhome tires.


We left Countryside RV Resort in Apache Junction about 11:30, and decided to take the slower paced route to Tucson. So instead of always busy Interstate 10, we went a few miles east to pick up State Route 79, the lightly traveled and more scenic Pinal Pioneer Parkway. This is a good two lane road that took us south through Florence, where the high barbed wire fences topped with razor wire and watch towers of a couple of prison complexes made me grateful that my parents raised me to obey the law and stay away from places like that.

If you are in Florence and get hungry for lunch, all you have to do is look at the clock, high atop the Pinal County Courthouse to know that it is almost noon. Actually, no matter what hour of the day or night you look, it’s always 11:44 on all four faces of the clock. That’s right, time stands still in Florence.

Florence courthouse clock

It seems that back in 1891 when the courthouse was built, the project went over budget and the builder ran out of money. So instead of the clock that was part of the original architectural drawings, he simply painted metal numbers and hands on the courthouse tower! Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Pinal County Courthouse is still serving the citizens today and is said to be the oldest public building still in use in the state.

About seventeen miles further south we pulled into a small rest area to pay our respects to one of the most famous silver screen cowboys, Tom Mix. He was every kid’s hero, a straight shooting good guy who never backed down from the outlaws, always tipped his hat to the ladies, and only kissed his horse. And unlike some of the cowboy actors of that era, Tom Mix was a real Oklahoma cowboy and he even spent some time as the marshal of Dewey, Oklahoma before a Hollywood producer took notice of him and made him a star.

He was killed in an automobile accident on October 12, 1940 when his 1937 Cord Phaeton convertible ran off the road and a steamer trunk on the back seat slammed into the back of his head. Today a stone monument with a sculpture of a riderless horse just south of mile marker 116 on the west side of highway marks the spot where the accident took place. The monument site has a rest area with covered ramadas and plenty of room to pull off the highway and have lunch while you admire the scenery.

When we came to Oracle Junction, we picked up State Route 77 south into Tucson. There was some traffic and quite a few stoplights, but we made good time and eventually got on Interstate 10 for a few miles through town to Voyager RV Resort, where we will be for the next couple of weeks. The trip took about two and a half hours, and I don’t think we went over 55 or 60 miles per hour the whole way. That’s my kind of RV trip!

Thought For The Day – Some people should use a glue stick instead of Chapstick.

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Nick Russell

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  4 Responses to “My Kind Of RV Trip”

  1. While Tom Mix did work on an Oklahoma ranch for a short time, he was born in Driftwood, PA, and grew up in nearby Dubois in Clearfield County about 60 miles north of State College, PA. A more accurate biographical sketch of his life can be found at

  2. I know that Emma Moyer is dead, but how about that left front being 20# low?? Actually, I was wondering if your TPMS sends you on tire “wild goose chases” like mine does.

    Thanks to you and Greg, the Craftman Air Compressor is one of my best acquisitions.

  3. Not sure why the tire was low, but it was. I’ll keep an eye on it to see if it happens again.

  4. WOW! Tom Mix. Fred is correct. He was born in Driftwood, PA. My Mom and Dad bought a cabin there in the mid 60’s. Now belongs to my two siblings and me. This is the school house Tom Mix went to. His homestead is about 1/4 mile down the dirt lane from our place. His family burial plot about 1/2 mile in the other direction.

    Back in the 60′ and 70’s each year there was the Tom Mix Roundup at the homestead. There was a small museum and several other small buildings and picnic grove. It was quite the gathering. People came from all over. However, those who were Tom Mix fans are mostly long gone by now. The property is in disrepair and often overgrown with weeds. Sad to see.

    We head up that way every so often. My sister was up two weeks ago for trout season. It is a good 6-7 hour drive from “home” in south Jersey. The Mix Run of the Sinnemahoning River runs in front of both the Mix property and ours.

    When we go, we stay at a campground in the nearby town of Sinnemahoning as to get to our property from Driftwood it is over 4 miles up the mountain on a tight mountain road. No place for a 38′ fifth wheel pulled by a F350 dually!

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