Thursday, June 14, 2018

Travel Can Be Challenging, but also Interesting

Before I discuss our travels, I will tell you about going to Ric and Mary's wedding reception.  It was held in a popular restaurant in TorC.  Mary is a Red Hat Society Queen and likes to wear purple and red together (as per the poem that launched the Red Hat Society.)  Here are a couple pictures from that day.
 This was during the ring ceremony, which Ric announced would be brief, and it was.  Prior to that, Mary and her escort arrived, following three flower girls.  One walked with her mom, and as her mom dropped flower petals, the little girl was picking up the petals!  SO cute.
Here is a picture of their wedding cake!  Notice the figures on the top!  Here is the couple cutting the wedding cake.  It was a lovely buffet and the singer who performed was very nice.  We got to sit with Pastor Dudley and his very delightful and lovely wife Karen.  We got talking about books we like to read, and she suggested that I might enjoy the Father Tim books by Jan Karon.  I looked them up online, and my brother Tony ordered three of them for me, so Karen, if you read this, I am looking forward to reading them once I get back to Menifee and Tony brings me the books.  I only regret that I didn't take a picture of Karen and Dudley to include here.

June 3rd we went to church there, for the last time this year.  Pastor Dudley told everyone we were leaving, so it was a kind of emotional good bye until next year.  The people there are all so warm and friendly and we will miss them.

We spent the next few days getting rid of things we really didn't need and packing up to leave at the end of the week.  On Friday we got up early and finished packing and were ready to hook up the car for towing and get on the road................but for one thing.  The moveable step that is supposed to retract for travel would not retract.  We tried everything we could imagine, but it would not budge!  Billy came  over to help, but still no luck.  He said that after sitting for almost four months, maybe the battery didn't have enough "juice" to move the step, so they put the battery on a charger..............and still no luck.  Somebody suggested that maybe the battery needed more water, so distilled water was added.  Then the battery did not have enough power to start the motor at all.  Finally we called the RV guys who fixed our air conditioner last month, and they came out.  They also could not get the steps to move.  In desperation, we had them disable to motor for the steps and they wired the steps in so we could travel.  Instead of leaving around 9 am it was almost noon before we left.

We spent one night at the KOA in Lordsburg, and instead of dinner at Kranberry's Chatterbox, we decided to go for dinner at the Elks lodge.  The people were delightful, the dinner not so much.  Since we were only there for one night, we left the steps wired in and struggled to get in and out several times.  Not a good idea.  As always, New Mexico sunsets are awesome.
This was one we saw in Lordsburg.  So beautiful.

The next day we still had to use the battery booster to get the RV started, but by the time we got to Benson, AZ it seemed to be holding a good charge!  YAY!  We put out the step and had a very nice and restful three day stay.  

On Tuesday we drove to Tempe, AZ for one night at the Elks lodge there.  As usual, the people were very nice, and I found an Owl Lady there......
She told me she bought this as a key chain at JC Penney's and a friend put a loop on it for her so she could wear it as a pendant.  It's so pretty.  They were serving hot dogs for dinner that night with all kinds of toppings, so we decided to partake of same since we like to patronize all of the lodges we visit...............but we were not prepared for what we saw.  The hot dogs were cooked and served by this lady.
This isn't a great picture, but her hat sports a hot dog in a bun!  We were told that on hamburger night she has a hamburger hat that she wears!  People are funny!  Art Linkletter said it, and it's still true.  On a different note, it was terribly hot in Tempe.  I really don't know how people survive in such oppressive heat.  

We decided to get an early start to leave there and head west into California.  We packed up, and hooked up and were on the road just before 8 am.  We were happily cruising along on Interstate 10 when we started to hear a terrible banging noise.  Jim pulled off to the shoulder of the road, but we couldn't get too far to the right because it sloped down into a gully.  We were just about 50 miles east of Quartzsite when this happened.  We got out to check and discovered we had blown an inside rear tire.  For those who don't know, there are two tires on each side in the back.  We got back in the RV and I called Auto Club.  After much discussion they dispatched a tow truck that could carry our 35 foot RV.  I called ahead to the place we bought this set of six new tires in February.  Many businesses in Quartzsite (otherwise called Q) close up during the hot months.  Fortunately for us, American Custom Tires is open year round....and they had our size tire in stock.  While we waited, we had to run the generator to keep the RV cool enough for the dogs, since it was 109 outside!!!  Jim and I went outside and unhooked the car because the tow truck would not be taking the car too.  We also had to move stuff we usually carry inside the car into the RV so there would be enough space for us, and the dogs when we drove to Q.  It was a long and unnerving 1 1/2 hour wait for the tow truck driver to arrive from Avondale, and another 30 minutes to load the RV onto his tow truck.  He followed us to the tire shop in Q and I took the dogs inside while they did the work.  The distance from Tempe to the RV park in Blythe was only 164 miles, and should have only taken about two hours or so.  We originally expected to arrive well before noon............but instead we didn't get here until after 4:30 pm!  It was 112 outside and we were tired, hot and stressed out.  We checked in an got a nice tree shaded site.  We decided we would stay an extra night to rest and recouperate from that day, so we are still here.  We will leave in the morning to go on to Wilderness Lakes, where we hear it is supposed to cool down for a few the 70s with nights in the 50s, nice for sleeping.  This morning there was a power outage that affected the park, but thankfully it only lasted about 90 minutes.  We got our car and RV washed and waxed today, so that was nice too.  This is a very pretty park right on the Colorado River.

Here are a couple pictures I took looking out at the river, and I finally get it.  Since we first came to California I have heard people talk about "going to the river" and I thought, so what?  Now I get it.  It is beautiful and peaceful and some of God's very special work.  If it were not so hot, I would have really wanted to stay longer. I can imagine how great it must be to come here in cooler weather.  

Here are two pictures of the cute retro trailer that is next to us.  The orange one below is used as a photo studio/office for the guy in 

the bigger trailer behind it.
So cute!!  The motorhome below on the right is right next to the boat launch into the river.  Many of these people live here year round, and except for the heat...I get it.  This fifth wheel toy hauler on the left has an amusing message on the back.  This last picture below, is of the storage area, but it also shows how green it is here.  There are lovely, mature shade trees, and lots of green grass.  
It is an idyllic park.....except for the heat!  If we do come back here, it will definitely be in a cooler month. 
This trip has not been easy for us.  We have had problems from the day we left Arrey.  One might ask if we should question if someone is trying to tell us not to leave................but we really did want to go see our loved ones in California.  Some of our experiences on this trip have been traumatic and frightening, but we have gotten through them.  That is because we always KNOW that our heavenly Father is watching over us and making sure we are safe.  I won't deny that I will breathe a sigh of relief when we get to Wilderness Lakes and get set up in a site, hopefully one with 50 amp service,and we can relax.  I know the dogs will be glad to stay in one place for a while.  Travel can be a lot of work, but it's always worth it to see the beautiful places God has created  for us, and to meet all the interesting people we see in the places we go.  Life is an adventure, enjoy it.  Live each day and savor the joy.  Maybe the occasional hardships are to remind us that not everyone is as fortunate as we are.   Maybe we need to remember to share our joy and the love of Jesus with those we meet each day.  I don't know the meaning of it all, but I do know that Jesus loves us and that helps me deal with the bumps in the road.

Happy travels to all on this road of life.  Take care and smile at the people you meet.  It will bring joy to one and all.

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