When I left the Casa Grande RV Resort on Tuesday morning, I expected to have an uneventful 200 mile drive to my next assignment at Imperial NWR. It didn’t quite turn out that way, but it wasn’t too traumatic either.
I had a couple of firsts for me along the way. First of all, after gassing up in Dateland, AZ, at the easiest in and out I’ve ever had with the rig, I hopped back on I-8. A short time later, an alarm started going off. I’m familiar with the dinging if the levelers don’t come all the way up, but this was a new sound. I couldn’t figure out where it was coming from. There was nothing flashing on the dashboard, so I was stumped.
As soon as I could, I exited the interstate and stopped. By then, I had figured out that the warning sound was coming from my US Gear braking system. Sure enough, after I put on the emergency blinkers I got out of the rig to check things out on the car and the break away line had become detached. I reconnected it, but it took quite some time for the alarm to stop. In the meantime, my mind was racing thinking about all the possible consequences.
This particular exit didn’t have an easy back on to the interstate, so I had to drive down a skinny road another 15 miles before I could get back on I-8. By this time, the temps had risen quite a bit, and as I mentioned before my cockpit AC is not working. So for the first time ever, I revved up the generator so the ‘house’ AC would turn on to try to keep the temps below 90 in the rig as I drove down the road. I know lots of other people use this method, but I was nervous about doing this. As it turned out, it worked like a charm.
The rest of the journey went smoothly until I reached the unpaved three mile entrance road to the refuge. Holy Buckets! I’ve never driven the rig on such an awful washboard road. Top speed was 5 mph, and I thought I’d lose all my teeth in the process and I don’t wear dentures! I was more than thankful to finally arrive and have my friend Linda lead me to the RV sites. I’m really liking my site with the mountains out my kitchen table window, but it sure has been hot. Triple digit temps yesterday, and close to that today.
With those high temps, it’s taken me a few days to set everything up for my extended stay here. I don’t function well in triple or single digits. Yeah, it’s a dry heat, but give me a break. It’s still awfully hot.
The best time to work of course is in the early morning, so it was almost noon before I could do any exploring today. I decided to take Red Cloud Mine Road to see the four view points of the Colorado River.
This road would have been a piece of cake for a jeep or truck, but it was slow going with my little Focus.
The desert scenery is pretty stark here until you take one of the side roads to the view points. What a difference the water makes.
I ended up driving to three of the view points. The last one had a big warning sign that said the road was not maintained, so I skipped that one for now.
Not too many avian migrants have arrived yet for the winter, so all I saw were some distant ducks on the water and five white-faced ibis moving about the marshlands.
Not sure if this is considered an arch or a bridge, but it will give you an idea of the terrain on the refuge away from the river.
My favorite view of the day was as I approached the Painted Desert Trail on the refuge. If it hadn’t been high noon, I’m sure the different colors would have been even more evident. There is a hiking trail through this area that is a little less than 1.5 miles long. By the time Emma and I got there, the temps were already in the mid 90’s, so we’ll do this trail when it’s a little cooler.
I’ve just about got everything set up for my stay here, and I’ve got another week or so to relax and get acquainted with the area before the orientation training begins. The rest of the winter volunteers will be arriving next week. Temps are forecasted to drop by about ten degrees next week, so I’ll be looking forward to that.
Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later, Judy