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'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.
|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.|
|A giant bear stands watch from across the street.|
|Always good to have options!|
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.
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 :-)
Even short trips are so exciting. Sure looks like a wonderful time through a beautiful state. So very glad you made it home without a major problem. Hope the check engine light isn't anything too serious.ReplyDelete
It was really good for us to make that get away! Looks like we fixed the coolant issue.Delete
We love the Salt River Canyon drive but it is a long pull in a motorhome, and that had to be a stressful drive with all the issues!ReplyDelete
It is so pretty isn't it? I was sure glad to have it behind me this time though.Delete
Boy you had me on the edge of my seat with all your issues. It felt the stress just like I felt when I left Virginia and had one thing after another go wrong including the engine light. I hope yours is nothing. Mine went away but who knows when it will show back up. At least I'm in Florida where there isn't 2 feet of undeveloped property. No desert here. The biggest problem isn't no one nearby but no empty space to pull over or park. Good to hear from you again. Baby pictures?? Did I miss them?ReplyDelete
I usually don't stress too much, but that combination of issues was a bit much!! We still need to get the one light resolved, but I'm still confident it's just a computer update which Cummings has covered each time over the years. No place to pull over is the worst! Lots of baby pics coming up!!Delete
OMG...I am laughing at the “Can’t make this stuff up” line! We just had that with our refrigerator. :). Miss you guys!ReplyDelete
So many times an issue has just gone away "down the road" - I guess it's the bumping and bouncing :-)) We miss you guys too - I swear if it weren't for COVID we'd hop on I-10 and come see you!Delete
Glad you made it home without further troubles....we knew you would! This life style isn't for the faint of heart, but the rewards are worth it. We've always gone right past the Window Rock area and each time we say we need to go back and visit. Thanks for the pictures, now we we know why we want to get there!ReplyDelete
I agree the rewards are worth it - and looking back it's never as bad as it seems at the time. You two will love Window Rock, and I want to go back and see the museum and other sites too.Delete
I'm glad you made it home! Troubles while on the road are quite stressful... Hopefully you can figure it out with the rig. My first thought (I'm no expert!!) is maybe the engine coolant thermostat is stuck and needs replacing.ReplyDelete
Close! Looks like it was the cap that wasn't holding pressure :-) It's still strange that we "come home" again, but it was especially nice this time.Delete
Enjoyed your blog again. Somehow found you as you were traveling thru my state of OregonReplyDelete
last year. I am very old and beyond going anywhere so enjoy your words and photos.
Love having you along!! We're looking forward to returning to your beautiful state this summer.Delete
Ugh, all of those issues on your way home must have been so stressful! It must have felt GREAT to get back home! I'm glad that most of your trip was enjoyable. The Navajo Tribal and Memorial Park looks interesting. I'm fascinated by the stories of the Code Talkers. We need to check out the Burger King in Kayenta, too! Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving! OXReplyDelete
This driveway looked very inviting when we returned this time!! Definitely the only fast food place on our list :-)))Delete
You and Eric enjoy your Thanksgiving as well. Hugs to you both.
We have been at that park in Globe. Head your base it back. Window Rock is another spot we haven’t seen.ReplyDelete
You'll like the Window Rock area - and you can take pics from the top of the window :-))Delete