From Yuma to Home

Well it has been a long time since I posted last. I can’t seem to find any good excuses for that. So I guess I’ll just bring you up to date with what we’ve been doing. So much time has gone by and much has happened in those 2 months. This post will be a catch-up and I’ll just cover the main things. My last post was way back near the beginning of March. We’re still in Yuma getting ready to head to Lake Havasu.

We spent about 5 days in an area just north of Lake Havasu called Lone Tree BLM. It’s another free camping area. Keith was boondocking here, and although it was a little crowded, we managed to find a spot. We did a little shopping while here and we took a day with the gang, Bill and Patsy, Bob and Jo-Anne, and Keith to visit London Bridge in Lake Havasu and then took the water taxi to the new Casino. We had lunch at the Casino while we were there. It was a beautiful sunny day and quite warm. On another day Bill and Patsy and Kim and I went to visit George and Rose who have a home in Lake Havasu.

Our next stop was Ridgeview RV Resort in Bullhead City. We stayed there for 7 days. Bill and Patsy were staying at another RV park about 5 miles away called Silver View RV Resort. Keith stayed there as well. Both Parks are membership parks but Bill and Patsy were able to get Keith into the park as their guests and couldn’t do that at the park we stayed at. For those of you unfamiliar with how membership parks and affiliations work it’s a little complicated. Each camping membership has its own set of rules and so it’s a learning curve to fully take advantage of what each one offers. When we arrived Dave and Cheryl were just a few sites away from us. They were heading out the next morning so we spent one last happy hour with them for this season.

While here in Bullhead City the weather was kind of mixed. We had some nice days and a few kinda crummy days. We managed to take in a few of the sites. There’s a nice River Walk by the Casinos in Laughlin on the west side of the Colorado River. The River is the dividing line between Arizona and Nevada in this area.

We took a day with Bill and Patsy and Keith to drive up to Oatman. We were there last year but this was Keith’s first time. We arrived in the morning just about the time the town was coming to life. It was a little on the cool side but warmed as the day went on. Actually on this trip there were 7 of us in two vehicles. Keith was with Kim and I, and Bill and Patsy had Jim and Sharon with them. We met Jim and Sharon earlier in Yuma. Oatman is a great little touristy town high in a mountain pass. After Oatman we drove on to Kingman Arizona and stopped in to a little retro diner called Mr D’z. It was a fairly full day and a lot of fun.

While we were in Bullhead City Keith and Kim and I went to check out a boondocking spot just north of Laughlin on the west side of the river. Jim had told us about this spot and said it was great. The access road was very long and a little rugged. What a great spot this was. You can camp right along the river. The area was very level and there were only a few other campers down there. We were in the car for this trip, but I think depending on the conditions of this access road I would be able to get the Motorhome down there. What a beautiful spot. As it turned out, the next couple days we had a lot of rain and I was thinking that the access road had probably become impassable. That would certainly be a concern if we ever decide to stay there some time.

We left Bullhead City on Saturday March 21. We were a convoy of 3 vehicles. Bill and Patsy, Keith and us. We headed east toward Kingman and then got on I-40 to begin our journey home. Once outside Bullhead City there is a long hill to climb. I was actually a little concerned about this one. It’s a 13 mile climb on a 6% grade. I had done many climbs that were this steep but not this long and not pulling a car. I was concerned about overheating. It was a little nerve-racking but I just kept downshifting to keep the revs up and everything was fine. By the time we got to the top we were probably only doing about 25 mph but we made it and that was the important thing. We were headed to Williams, Arizona and we were going to see the Grand Canyon. We planned to boondock on one of the fireroads just outside Grand Canyon National park. As it turned out there had been too much rain there in the previous days and the areas were just too mucky. We did drive down one of the fire roads and ended up backing up to the main road as there was no place to turn around.

We left 2 vehicles in a spot at the end of the fire road and the 5 of us travelled the rest of the way to the Grand Canyon in our Motorhome. The Grand Canyon is AWESOME. It was a little chilly and it rained a little while we were there, but it was still amazing. When you see pictures of the Grand Canyon it looks impressive but seeing it in person is fantastic. I took lots of pictures and I think I got a few good ones. We didn’t have a lot of time to spend there and we knew that before we went but it was worth it just for the short time we were here. We’ll definitely be back. The problem for us travelling in this area in March is that the top of the canyon is at a very high elevation so at that time of year it is usually quite cool. Last year the temperature was well below freezing. But it was great to be there in spite of the weather. We stayed in Williams for the night at a Loves’ truck stop. By the time we got stopped it was cold and blustery and it was cold overnight.

Sunday we got on the road fairly early but only made it as far as the freeway entrance and Bill and Patsy were pulling over. It turned out that a clamp had broken on the Turbocharger on their truck. Between Bill and Keith they managed to make a quick fix, although temporary, and we were back on the road. We were on our way to Winslow, Arizona. Does that ring any bells?. This place is on my bucket list. I read about it a few years ago when we started dreaming of travelling around in our retirement. There is a street in Winslow that is quite the tourist attraction. Actually it’s a corner, and you can stand there…. Figured it out yet? And there’s this flat-bed Ford truck there….. ?? And there’s a girl in the truck…. Anyway it was a great day nice and warm and a really nice stop. We were there for an hour and a bit and while there people were coming and going. Most only staying for a few minutes… time to take a few pictures and maybe check out the souvenir shops. Figure it out yet?

“I was standin’ on a corner in Winslow Arizona. Such a fine sight to see. It’s a girl my Lord in a flat-bed Ford, slowin’ down to take a look at me.”

After having a quick lunch in Winslow we were back on the road headed for Gallup, New Mexico. We stayed the night in the Walmart. It was quite busy. Quite a few transports and RVs. This day was our first experience of the emptying of the stores as the panic buying of the early days of the Coronavirus began. I didn’t go in the Walmart but Keith was in to get some milk and came out and said the shelves were empty. Kim and Patsy went in to have a look and they were shocked.

The next morning we headed out and Keith headed off on his own. Keith had decided he was just going to start heading straight home. Our plan was to take our time and spend a few days here and there on our way. Keith was just going to continue on and his plan was to be home by Saturday at that point. Our destination for the day was Albuquerque, New Mexico area. It was a good days driving and we arrived at Hidden Valley RV Resort near Tijeras, New Mexico in the afternoon. Bill was having to take it easy on the hills since his Turbo wasn’t repaired yet. That afternoon though, Bill was able to take the truck in to a Ford dealer in Albuquerque and it was was fixed that afternoon. That sure was a relief for the 2 of them. Our plan was to spend a couple days in the area and explore old Albuquerque, but the next morning Bill told us that they were headed for home. They had gotten quite concerned over the Coronavirus situation and just wanted to get home to Ontario. Well Kim and I decided that we would do the same and so we got ready to go and we were on the road within a short time.

So the plans we had for our trip home were set aside and we made a dash for Ontario. We left Albuquerque on Tuesday morning and were at home in Ingersoll in the early evening on Friday. We covered 2700 kms in 4 days. Tuesday we drove to Elk City, Oklahoma. We did make a stop in the morning on Tuesday at the Cadillac Ranch near Amarillo, Texas. Back in the 1970’s, 10 Cadillac cars were buried nose first into the ground as an art piece. Since that time it has become folk art. When you visit it you are encouraged to add your own artistic flair with spray paint.

Wednesday we made it to Joplin, Missouri. Thursday to Terra Haute, Indiana. Long driving days stopping only for fuel and lunch. We did get together with Bill and Patsy at the end of each day to relax a little and chat. As we got closer to home the weather got a little cooler but we were fortunate that there happened to be a warming trend as we approached Ontario. We had one day of driving in the rain. We encountered some really bad roads and some good ones. We saw lots of Rver’s heading north and many that were headed for Ontario. When we crossed the border at Port Huron back in to Canada there were a lot of transport trucks crossing, but we were the only vehicle at customs on the passenger vehicle side. It was a little eerie. A few questions at the border and we were on our way with instructions to quarantine ourselves for 14 days. They closed the border later that evening to non-essential travel between Canada and the USA.

So the last 7 plus weeks we have been home. the first 2 weeks we went nowhere. Our son Josh picked up some groceries for us soon after we got home. We did have a few other friends drop things off for us as we needed. Things are certainly different these days. They are just beginning to allow things to reopen here in Ontario. In the last couple weeks we have been out to see some friends and we’ve done a little shopping as we’ve needed but mostly we’re stuck at home.

I have had something on the go that kept me occupied for the last couple weeks. I am building an RC airplane kit. This is a first for me and once it’s finished I’ll learn how to fly this thing. Bill and Keith are both into RC airplanes and so I’ve been getting lots of help from them both. We are very anxious to get back to doing things and going places so we’ll see how everything progresses over the next little while. I hope you all have been well and coping with what’s been happening as of late. We’re looking forward to better times and warmer weather.

Thanks for your patience with regard to my tardy blogging. Enjoy your summer!!!