October 8-12, 2020
Gallup, New Mexico; Holbrook-Globe, Arizona
Our week in Santa Fe flew by, and too soon we're heading back down the road. Again, it's weird to be "returning home" rather than continuing on to somewhere new. Still, with the pandemic amping up again, we're grateful for that little home to return to.
With the exception of a short slow-down for road construction east of Grants (and a pretty area to enjoy the reduced pace), it's an easy 200 mile drive on I-40.
|Deep red on both sides.|
|There's no sign of what pushed all this rock over the edge in just one spot. |
We've stayed at the USA RV Park before, easy and level and good for a couple nights. Like all the parks we've seen since San Antonio, NM, it's nearly full.
|We're always happy to be traveling in our house during these delays.|
I've read several novels set on the great Navajo Nation, including the wonderful series by Tony Hillerman. And yet another Southwest gem we've missed is Window Rock, Arizona - the capitol city of the Navajo. Friday morning we take the 40 minute drive through the reservation on CW-1.
There's a lot of activity in the little town with sellers along the highway and drive-through eateries doing a brisk business. Back in Arizona, there are less masks, but still the majority of people are wearing them.
|Melting Mickey Mouse|The Window Rock Tribal and Veteran Navajo Memorial Park is still closed. What this means is the main parking lot is closed, the flags are not flying, and the restrooms are unavailable. But access is open for walking through the information and getting you up close to the incredible formation that names this place. Only one other person is at the memorial, and another up on top of the "window" (there's a short, steep trail we pass on).
Situated behind government buildings, this place holds a feeling of sacred quiet all its own. The huge Code Talker memorial is impressive and I'm reminded that the Burger King in Kayenta near Monument Valley has an exhibit everyone says is a must-see :-))
|Between the posts are the names of Navajo veterans who gave their lives for our country.|
Saturday's drive is a quick 95 miles to Holbrook, Arizona. Although we take our time getting ready and driving on I-40, we still arrive at OK RV Park sooner than they're ready for us. We're only here one night and the park is 1/2 full, but we are 30 minutes earlier than the official check in. We've been here before and the long pull-throughs are level and everything works well. We always laugh at the half a dozen sewer hookups along many of the sites.
|A giant bear stands watch from across the street.|
We venture into Romo's for our last restaurant meal. Distancing is attempted, and most everyone is masked, so not feeling as safe as New Mexico, but not bad. Their Navajo Tacos are some of the best we've had.
|Always good to have options!|
Like our first night in Deming, New Mexico, I book us a night in Globe, Arizona, just so we can watch football on Sunday before making our way back to Tombstone. Football and the scenic drive turn out to be the only good parts of our Sunday.
We head south on Hwy 77 to Show Low where I was unable to find a vacancy, and continue through the pines on Hwy 60. On one of the short grades the second check engine light comes on again (the one that came on for a few minutes when we first started this trip), as well as the Check Coolant notification. Bill has already checked it but I find a place to pull out and he confirms it's full. Also the engine temp isn't going up. So we continue on.
The Salt River Gorge is a stunning drive. Long views and beautiful canyon walls, it's on every list for scenic drives in Arizona. But it's steep. On both sides. For long stretches. There is no civilization for miles. And miles.
Not what you want when you are having "coolant" issues.
Nothing to do but continue on with all fingers and toes crossed and prayers for divine intervention. The big pull out of the bottom is grueling at 30 mph in 3rd gear. The light and notification stay on, but still no over-heating and no "new" bells or lights. The stress is exhausting.
Of course we make it to Globe just fine. Until we have to reroute to avoid a 12' bridge and then make a very tight right turn over a narrow bridge to access the tiny RV park that has seen better days (like most of Globe). Although I've made reservations, the man has no record of us arriving but fortunately he doesn't hesitate to give us the last FHU site. It's snug and unattractive, but our satellite connects and I'm very glad to get backed in, shut it down and take a break!
Football and sandwiches and early to bed. We'll get up early and make the last leg to Tombstone on Monday morning.
The battery on the Jeep is dead.
We're able to push it out enough to pull the rig forward to jump start it.
The cables fry. AAA will be an hour.
Bill calls a local tow company who sends out the nicest guy in town to get it jumped. Success after a couple tries. While paying the $50 I notice the brake lights are on in the Jeep. Our hero notes that the "same thing" happened in his car. Long story short, we fiddle with the pedal and it turns off the lights (undoubtedly what killed the battery overnight), Bill follows me through the tight turn and over the narrow bridge then hooks us up and we're finally on our way.
Instead of taking us on the easy, flat route through Safford, the GPS routes us through more mountains and Tucson. About the same distance, but the last thing I want is more damn mountains! Nowhere to turn around so we again make the best of a beautiful drive and will the rig to just get back to Tombstone.
The pathetic begging works and it's an uneventful drive with no second check engine light or notifications.
The first engine light that's been on since we left turns off as we turn onto our street. Can't make this stuff up!
I'm so glad we took the short getaway to New Mexico, it was wonderful to be back on the road and exploring. After the last two days I'm just as glad to be back at the house. It's also good to see Jeff!
Tuesday Jeff takes me to Sierra Vista for a new battery and I make an appointment to have the coolant light issue resolved.
Seems like months since we got back from New Mexico :-)