A Windy Trip

 Posted by at 3:45 am  Nick's Blog
Oct 042013

Yesterday was a windy day and we would have been very happy to sit still at the Boulder City Elks lodge but the RV sites were all booked, and today the wind was supposed to be even worse so we decided to hit the road and make a run for it.

We were aiming for the Verde Valley Thousand Trails preserve near Cottonwood but I always have a couple of alternatives available if things get rough and we need to stop along the way.

A lot of people have been asking me about the new bypass bridge at Hoover Dam, but it’s a piece of cake. The bridge is nice and wide, high walls block the scary view, and RVs are directed to drive on the inside lanes.

Hoover Dam bridge 2

Hoover Dam bridge

This is all you see looking out to the sides from a motorhome.

Hoover Dam bridge view

We crossed the bridge into Arizona on U.S. Highway 93. The road has lots of curves and great views of the rugged mountain range and far down to the Colorado River.

Arizona wlecome sign

US 93 curves

Rugged mountains

Rugged mountains 3

Colorado River

It was breezy all the way to Kingman, where we stopped for fuel at the T/A Travel Plaza. We could have saved a couple of cents a gallon by going to the Flying J two exits down, but that place has the worst layout of any of their locations nationwide. Whoever laid out the RV fuel islands there must think we all drive VW camper vans. But at least the rock formations were photogenic.

Rock formations 2

Rock formations 3

Rock formations

By the time we had filled our tank the wind was starting to blow hard and all the way to Flagstaff on Interstate 40, gusts bounced us around. It wasn’t a fun trip but we took our time and managed fine.

In Flagstaff we turned onto Interstate 17 and immediately got slammed by the wind. White knuckle time for sure!

The highway drops from over 7,000 feet at Flagstaff to 3,100 feet, and signs warn drivers that they have eighteen miles of steep grades ahead of them. I let our Winnebago’s exhaust brake do most of the work, only occasionally stepping on the brake pedal when needed to keep things comfortable. I’ve become a real old fart and drive within my comfort level, staying in the right hand lane and letting the folks who are in a hurry pass me if they want to.

I 17 downhill 2

Downhill sign

Signs along the way tell you how far you still have to go.

Downhill sign 3

The views of the red rocks near Sedona were great, but my eyes were glued to the road and I had to rely on Terry’s pictures to see them.


Red Rocks

I’ve never had to use one of these runaway truck ramps and I hope I never do!

Runaway ramp

Eventually we made our way down the hill to the Thousand Trails campground, where we found a nice pull through full hookup RV site and got parked and settled in. An extra bonus is that we’re parked close to Tommy and Carol Davis, a wonderful couple we’ve crossed paths with before at our rallies and in our travels and enjoyed visiting with. Once we were settled in we walked over to their site and visited for a while, and then our pals Bob Parker and Donna Huffer showed up. As it turns out, they’re also parked near us! We never feel lonely wherever we go. Smile

Eventually our stomachs reminded us that it was past dinnertime, so we went to the Sizzler in Cottonwood with Tommy and Carol and talked some more while we ate. It’s nice to be off the road for a while. I need to get the new issue finished and sent off to the printer, and then we’ll do some relaxing. This is one of our favorite parts of Arizona and a good place to do it.

A few readers have asked how long we’re going to be running our e-book special offer, because they don’t get paid until the weekend. No problem, I’ll extend it until Sunday evening. If you haven’t taken advantage of it yet, this is a heck of a deal. Normally our 7-in-1 e-book guides to free campgrounds, RV good guys, RV dump stations, fairgrounds camping, casino camping, favorite restaurants, WiFi campgrounds sells for $24.95, but for a limited time, we’re offering it with an added bonus, our new Hitching Post RV park reviews for just $20! This is our way of saying thank you to our readers for your support over the years, so get it while you can.

It’s easy to order yours, just log onto www.paypal.com and make a $20 payment to editor@gypsyjournal.net and the updated 8-in-1 e-book guide will be delivered right to your e-mail inbox.

And here’s a teaser for you – I’m also working on a new project to show our appreciation to our readers, and if it works out I’ll be announcing it soon. I can’t tell you any of the details yet, but I guarantee you’re going to like it!

Thought For The Day – There is no recession. It’s just the smallest boom we’ve ever had.

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Nick Russell

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  11 Responses to “A Windy Trip”

  1. Nick, I have been reading your blog for 4 years now thanks to Bobbie Chapman. Hopefully Dave and I will get to meet you and Miss Terry out on the road. We are shooting for December 2014. Can I download the 8-in-1 e-book to my Kindle or just my computer? How many pages is it? Silly questions, I know but for my elderly brain I need to know. So new at all of this.

  2. Nick, do you know why high profile vehicles, like semi’s and RV’s have to drive in the left hand lane? It is so you can’t be blown off the bridge in high winds! So, even though you cannot see what is below you, it is still a danged scary bridge! I’m with you on high scary bridges but long tunnels will send me to the floor boards too, especially if there is a curve and I can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. Of course the worst are the tunnels that go under the water! Just too many phobias going on with that one!
    Take care,

  3. What are your thoughts on using the truck lanes at a truck stop? Turns out we use those a lot. Your discount card works and it may be faster.


  4. Nick, I was going to ask the same question as Jerry concerning the use of the truck lanes at the Pilot/FlyingJ stations. I now use the truck lanes almost 100% of the time versus the RV lanes. In the truck lanes you know that you’ll be able to maneuver without problems, you can still use the discount card at the truck island, and you don’t have to worry about getting stuck behind someone who might need to dump or take on propane.
    The only negative (?) I’ve found is that you’ll have to go inside if you want a receipt. At the Pilot stations I’ve recently found out that they have kiosks where you can get your receipt printed and not have to go up to the cashier’s desk.
    Just curious.

  5. Hi Nick and Terry. We just left Verde Valley last Sunday after 2 weeks there. Always love it there and we always run into people ‘stopping over’ that we’ve met along the way. Lots of good restaurants in Cottonwood too. Enjoy! We’re in the valley now for a couple of weeks and going to be windy here today but still getting pretty warm during the day although they say a ‘cold front’ (yeah right) will come through this weekend.

  6. I tryed to send 20.00 but paypal said address wrong for editor@gypsyjournal.net advise

  7. Susie, Yes you can. They come as 8 different PDF files

  8. Wayne, that’s strange, that’s the correct address. I got in 12 orders in today with that address.

  9. Karen, I think they keep you on the left lane to lessen the wind effect.

  10. Jerry and Steve, we use the truck aisles a lot, but if the RV island is accessible we use it to avoid making some working trucker wait for us.

  11. Great Blog and wonderfull pictures I feel like I’m driving my 36 Pac Arrow with you, thanks again.

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