Saturday, June 24, 2017

Beating the Heat

Mesa to Blue Ridge

It was 119 degrees in the Valley of the Sun this week, so I was sure glad the day had come when I could head north for cooler country.  I had things pretty well packed, and added the final items on Thursday morning, and got on the road just before 10:00. 

I hardly felt my Fit behind me as I drove through the city on my way toward Payson and beyond. But when I hit the hills, I began to notice the extra weight. Minnie's speed fell as low as 35mph and as it down shifted through the gears, it really complained (revving up to 4000rpm at times). Hanna did not like the louder noise coming from the engine, and I couldn't say I blamed her. I could almost see the gas gauge fall. 

I stopped in Payson for gas because I was down a third tank and knew it would be my last chance before Flagstaff. I learned last summer to keep my gas tank over half full any time I camped so I could run the generator. It has an automatic shutoff when you hit a quarter tank. Getting in and out of a busy gas station with the car behind me was an experience, but we made it without hitting anything or anyone. 

If I could have found a handy dump, I would have topped off my fresh water as it was down a third tank, but the free dump at the Giant station didn't have potable water, so I moved on up the road. 

Again, Minnie chugged up the steep hill from Payson to Clint's Well, but since we were stuck behind another truck and trailer that fell to 30mph, I took comfort in knowing I wasn't the one responsible for slowing the traffic behind us. 

I pulled into Blue Ridge Campground about 2:30 and got set up in my favorite space, next to the campground host, Jennifer. Jen is a teacher at my alma mater, Flowing Wells High School in Tucson, so we have a nice connection. Besides, I just really like her! 

Unhitching my car was a piece of cake. It went as smoothly as red velvet. But it sure was dusty from traveling just five feet behind my Minnie. 

I excitedly fired up my Verizon hotspot eager to let family know I had arrived safe and sound, but I couldn't get it to connect. There is a whole saga involved with my Straight Talk device and I will write all about it on a day when I don't have other activities to share, but it's too long a story to add to this overly long post, so it'll wait for another day. 

Richard & Dianna stopped by on their way back to their camp from appointments in Mesa and invited me for pizza supper. I happily accepted and joined them at their trailer for the evening. 

I will mention it's a lot cooler up here, but still plenty warm. I had to run the AC for a while when I first arrived as it was almost 90, but that's still more than 20 degrees cooler than the Valley. 

I opened all the windows that night and it was perfect. I even closed the one over my bed at about 3:00 in the morning. Hanna is settling in this time pretty well. I think she has learned the drill and doesn't need as much adjustment time. She crawled under the chair - her favorite place to sleep - and didn't come out until 7:30 the next morning. 

That's it for day one. Let the adventures begin!


  1. Sure wish Richard was with you as you as you learn the new steps in towing a vehicle. But you will figure things out as you go and don't worry about the little things. Remember you have your house with you and can stop anyplace.

  2. Sounds like a great adventure! Enjoy the journey!