Thursday, October 10, 2013

Marble Canyon to Phoenix, AZ

The evening and morning in Marble Canyon was very interesting.  After some discussion with the campers beside us, we found out that they had been waiting around all in hopes of still being able to launch their boats and start their 23 day trip on the Colorado River through the Grande Canyon.  Very frustrating as they had spent thousands of dollars on food, supplies, etc.  Taken time off of work, school, university and travel many miles to get to the launch point at Lee’s ferry, Marble Canyon, AZ.  We spent some time visiting with them and offered them some use of our facilities as they of course were limited.  Talked extensively with a couple of the gals.  A lot of they participants were tour group leaders for hiking, kayaking etc. and had brought some young people with them.


Beautiful morning light on Vermillion Cliffs


Jan, one of the boaters


All the boaters having breakfast


Breakfast finished and packed up, we are ready to hit the road!  The drive today should be easy and short.  Another beautiful, sunny day.  Not wind and good roads.  The road is still a 2 lane.  Leaving Marble Canyon we crossed the Colorado River.  Close to the point where the boaters launch.


Colorado River


Another view of the Vermillion Cliffs, the light has changed


Travelling on down the road


Roadside Merchants, just getting set up to sell their handmade jewellery, etc


Little Colorado River (completely dry)


More merchants setting up!



The painted Desert!



Just a few miles north of Flagstaff is the highest Pt. in Arizona, 12,633 ft.

Humphrey’s Peak on the right.


As we travelled south on Hwy 89 and the closer we got to Flagstaff, AZ, the landscape changed once again from desert to forest and higher elevations.  We did not drive right into Flagstaff (definitely looked like a mountain city) as the signs directed us to I-40 and then the off ramp to I-17.  Back to 4 lanes and movin’ along. There is a long stretch of this highway that is all down grade and they warn you as you drive along where the next down grade is, what percentage and how long.  Excellent highway!  More pretty sights to see and hard to get pictures of as we are driving.


The forest around Flagstaff!


View as we were coming down from the higher elevations

I didn’t take any pictures coming into Phoenix, another big city with huge overpasses, streets and vehicles.  What can I say!  Took the 101 Fwy around to Olive Ave, made a right, and another right on El Mirage Rd. and Voila, we arrived at Pueblo El Mirage.  Signed in, got our info and one of the nice security fellows directed Jim to where he should drive and park the RV.  By 3:30pm we were pretty well settled in and wasn’t long until we were enjoying the beautiful pool!



Of course, we had to have dinner etc., but all that took second place to the pool!  Have been waiting for this for months!   Love it!

After great travel and busy day we were ready to call it a night fairly early, lots to explore, see and do in the next few months!  Hope you enjoyed today’s entry!  Good night, amigos!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Idaho Falls to Marble Canyon!

Tuesday morning and we were up and on the road again by 6:00 am.  Of course, it was still dark but we have been through this area before and the road is smooth, straight and no hills.  It starts to get daylight about 7:00.  We are anxious to get down to Marble Canyon and from there it will only be about a 5 hour drive at our speeds.  Quicker if you drive faster. Jim likes to watch the scenery too so drives around 50 to 55 mph. or 85 klm.  We usually like to start with our coffee and drive for awhile and then stop for breakfast some where.  Today it was a rest area. The drive was long, the scenery for the first part of the day, wide open spaces, low traffic and not much of significance.  Driving through Salt Lake City was easy as it was around 11:00 am so no heavy traffic.
Rest stop at Malad Summit
Wide open country side, cattle country
High rises in Salt Lake City
Not far south of Salt Lake City we took Hwy 28 on the left to Hwy 89.  This road goes past Bryce Canyon and Zion Canyon to Page, Arizona or the North Rim of the Grande Canyon and Marble Canyon.  It is quite a bit more interesting than the freeway.  Our second time through here.  Good road but is a two lane most of the way.  There is a section that you take Hwy 70 which is 4 lane.  After that 2 lane until you get to Flagstaff, Arizona.  The road winds bit and some 40 mph corners but very easy going.  Interesting sights!
We debated stopping at Bryce Canyon but decided that it was too late in the day to take a side trip and wanted to be in Marble Canyon before night fall.
Loved the name and look of this café in small town we drove through
Some amazing colorful landscape
Big Rock Candy Mountain
Cliffs that are similar to those in Bryce Canyon
This part of the drive on Hwy 89 is very lovely and lots to see, quite a few campgrounds if one wanted to stay and tour the area for a few days.  Just at the south end of Kanab, we took Hwy 89A which takes you to the entrance to the North Rim of the Grande Canyon.  The road is a 2 lane with no shoulder but you see every kind of vehicle on the road, even as large as a car carrier.  Starts out desert and as you climb it goes through red sand dunes(you can take a side trip to actually see the dunes) into forest and at the top where the Jacob Creek Campground is situated the altitude is around 8000 feet.  The road winds around up the inclines and around the trees.  Quite pretty!
Scenic stop on the way up
Winding through the forest
As we drove past the entrance to the Grande Canyon Park we noticed that the gates were closed, due to the recent shut down in the America government.  Too Bad!  The tourists are the ones that will have to deal with this.  Bad move on the part of the government.

Now as you start the decline it goes from winding forest roads to winding desert declines. Some 30 mph curves and switchbacks. The views are stunning and am glad we did the drive but probably won't do it again.
View from scenic rest area on way down.
Called the Vermillion Cliffs
Cliff Dweller ruins.
Once we were down on the flat desert again we came upon the Cliff Dweller ruins.  By now the sun was beginning to set so the light reflecting from the canyon walls was fabulous.
Continued on out journey to Marble Canyon and when we arrived there, saw some TV station vans and State wardens.  Pulled into the parking lot by the motel, noticed a large group of people with canoes, kayaks, etc.  Parked, Jim went and talked to some of the group to find out what was going on.  They were all ready to go on a trip down the river in the Grande Canyon and had been stopped by the Wardens.  GRANDE CANYON IS CLOSED! 
We settled in for the night, Jim got our gas fire pit out and some of the young fellows joined us for a short evening visit.

A beer and conversation by the fire!
The end of a long day of travel, good roads, low traffic and mostly low stress!  It's been a great day!  Thanks for stopping by!!!!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Gilboy's continued........

So the problem with the RV was that the air system had a leak in the air dryer, so would not hold air for brakes etc.  They had put a new air dryer on and also another part, did not make any difference and so after much stress and time spent decided to put another new one on and magically it worked.  Two defective parts later and a full days work for the mechanic, we paid the bill and were out of there as fast as possible.  Wanted to make some miles before dark so left Butte, Montana at 5:20 in the afternoon.
A few interesting points to note about Butte, Montana.  It was a very large city back in the  day, over 140,000 residents.  Recently, they have been doing some new services in the historical area and have found old bars, etc. under the streets from the prohibition days.  It is also home to the beautiful sculpture of Our Lady of The Rockies.  She is high on the mountain to the east of the city.  Google to find out more if you are interested.
The sun was shining and we had a beautiful drive down the highway, kept going as the road was good and almost no traffic.  Arrived at the Walmart in Idaho Falls and 9:00 pm.  After a beer for Jim and a quick snack, we hit the sack, read our books for awhile and had a beautiful sleep.  The Walmart in Idaho Falls is right next to the I-15 so easy access and lots of room to park for the night.  So ends our time spent getting the RV repaired
Thanks for tuning in!

Monday, September 30, 2013

Day three! Waiting in the office at Gilboy's Towing!

Well, Jim's repair was not enough so decided we had better drive to the truck repair shop and wait until morning so a mechanic can check things out. Would be worse for us to get further down the road and have more problems.
Parked by the Gilboy's Towing and Truck Repair and settled in for the night.  Went shopping at Walmart and rented a movie to keep us entertained for the evening.  "The Killing Season" starring John Travollta and Robert De Niro. Quite good but rather gruesome.  Not for young children. Very quiet where we parked and had a good rest once again. 

Up At 6:30 am and breakfast over at 7:45 waiting for the business to open so we can find out what they can do for us to repair the RV.
Had to drive into their big shop, very wet, raining hard. This is going to take awhile.
He has been working on the motor home for about 5 hours.  Hope it won't be long now. Got to make sure all is well before we leave. 

The weather has gotten better and the sun is shining!  
This office is very nice!  Lucky people to work here, they are also a AAA operator. 

With the weather turning colder and the rain etc. the guys here are getting a bit tense. I understand the pressure they are under.
To be continued................

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Day Two On the Road to Butte, Montana


Arrived Helena last evening at 6:00 pm. Ate a tasting meal of chicken stew that had been cooking in the slow cooker all day, and then we found the Walmart to settle into for a quiet, comfortable sleep. There were several Albertans parked there along with us.
Sunday morning, up before the birds at 5:30 and on the road by 6:00 am.  We were almost to Boulder when the low air light and signal came on so pulled into the Exxon and Jim checked for leaks, etc and of course found one. Managed to do a temporary fix on it so we were able to travel to Butte where we will have more options for repairs, help etc.
On the road just past Boulder!  Sun is shining on the red stone.

In Butte, driving around to find a Auto Zone so Jim could buy tool that he needed, we found ourselves in Old Historic Butte. Very interesting old city.  By the appearance of the old buildings it must have been very prosperous in the Day. 
Lots of interesting places. Too bad the weather is rainy and windy, would have been fun to walk around and check some of the businesses etc. 
Old mining equipment all around the old city.

Looking down into the city in the valley.

           Another view as we drive down into the Main Street. 
It is now pouring rain and we are parked beside a 4B's Restaurant and Lucky Lil's Casino.
Jim has finally managed to get the air leak stopped and I believe we will carry on down the road even though it is raining and we were hoping to be through here buy now. Going to post this now.
Later..........when I have Wifi again.  

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Day1 Sept. 28, 2013

Officially this is day one of our travels for 2013/2014 season south of the border. Left Red Deer early, 6:30 am and are at this time, just a half hour north of the Coutts/Sweet Grass crossing into Montana from Alberta. After this, I will be 
shutting my Canadian phone off.
Southern Alberta is miles and miles of huge fields of crops or pasture and big beautiful blue skies. So stunning!  Oh, oh, loose chips on the road. Got another one on the front window. Rats!
Good thing this is not a long stretch!
Now we have to follow a pilot car. 
We are planning to go as far as Great Falls today and cross the pass at Butte tomorrow. 
Following the Pilot truck. 
Sure wish I could use my iPhone in the US. First time I have done any blogging from my phone. 
We will soon be turning onto Highway 4 that becomes I-15 in Montana. 
39 klm to the border. Going to post this now. Hope to keep this up. Thanks for taking the time to read my blog!!
Big skies of Alberta!  Bye 4 now🚍

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Lo de Marcos Home and Garden Tour

Friday, Jan 25, was decision day for us.  Jim had been looking around at different RV Parks and Sites for the month of February.  La Parota RV Park has mucho grass that tracks onto the patio and into the motorhome constantly.  Makes for cleaning, cleaning and more cleaning.  Do not like it.  Also a few other things that we are not that happy with so as luck would have it he found a nice site in the next park over, Cruz Maria.  I went with him and we talked to a couple of people and the manager.  I guess we are moving on Monday.  In the mean time we will be taking in the Home and Garden Tour.  A tour of houses owned by Americans and Canadians that live here either 6 months or fulltime.  This should be fun.P1260001P1260003 Chandelier and view of the water from the first house.  Beautiful!!! They have 2 bedrooms that they rent out. P1260007P1260008IMG_2042IMG_2044 Kitchen, patio, barbeque and outdoor bathroom sink at second house!  Loved the kitchen in this place.  It was an up and down duplex.  Mom and Dad have the main floor and son has the upper which he rents out most of the winter.

P1260009P1260011P1260013 House # 3 was only about 400 sq ft. in size, had a beautiful terraced garden and the rooftop is for guest sleeping.  Mainly their son.

P1260017P1260019 House #4 built by an artist and her architect husband.  Wonderful house and two Casitas for family when they visit.  The owner’s will rent them short term when family is not around.

To get to #’s 5, 6, & 7 we had to catch a ride in a 4 wheel drive vehicle.  Ours was in the back of a truck!  Actually turned out to be the best ride as we had fresh air.  Very hot going through the river and up the hills on dry, dusty roads.P1260023 We were pleasantly surprised when we got to #5.  Sweet little 800 sq. ft. Casa with outdoor bathroom and dipping pool at the end of the Palapa covered patio.IMG_2047IMG_2048IMG_2049IMG_2050P1260027P1260028P1260029P1260032P1260035 They have solar power and the rooftop also has a outdoor bathroom and tent set up for guests.  So cute and comfy!

IMG_2052IMG_2053IMG_2054IMG_2056IMG_2057IMG_2060IMG_2061 This couple farm the land and live here most of the year.  Only leave in the rainy season as it is impossible to commute to town down the dirt roads that time. This was my size of Casa!

#6 was another wonderful surprise.  Amazing construction, built with curved walls.  The Casa is for sale and rented out at the moment.  The kitchen, living room and master bedroom all have fantastic views of the ocean through amazing windows.  A lot of the furniture was constructed especially for the house and was beautifully made out of ironwood.

P1260037P1260040P1260044P1260046P1260047P1260050P1260051 IMG_2063IMG_2064IMG_2065IMG_2067IMG_2066

House # 7!

Wow!  What a view!  This one is owned by a couple from Alaska and is about 5 years old.  Way up on the hill overlooking Lo de Marcos.IMG_2070IMG_2072IMG_2075P1260052P1260055P1260057P1260060 This couple also live here most of the time, leaving to visit family, etc. when it is too hot and rainy.  Well, by the time we got back down the hill, we were ready for a cool one and a bit of down time.

We invited our neighbours to come with us to the Beach restaurant for dinner.

P1260071P1260072P1260073P1260077P1260078 The meal was great.  Two large mahi, mahi fish and the usual rice, salad and tortillas.  The view and company completed the scenario!  Thanks for taking the time to view this entry.