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!