Goodbye Arizona

Goodbye Arizona

This morning we’ll be heading out, leaving all our new-found friends at Rancho Verde RV Park at Camp Verde, AZ.

This park was our first workamping experience and we came here full of excitement but also a little anxiety not really knowing what to expect.

We’ve been blessed.  We were very quickly accepted as part of the “family” here at the park.  The owners and managers have been wonderful to work for and we’ve really enjoyed getting to know everyone here.

Some are full-time residents, while we’ve had a fair amount of those that come and go every few days.  We’ve tried to make a point of meeting as many as we can because in life, it’s the people that make the difference.

So now it’s on to Florida to visit friends and family, then back up to Ohio by the 1st of April where we’ll spend a few weeks with the kids and grandkids, and then up to Michigan in May where we’ll be workamping for the summer near Ludington.

I’ll try to post more as we travel east and north, but it’s often more difficult because of some limited wifi and less time to sit at the keyboard – more driving and sightseeing stops.

 

 

We’d really appreciate it if you would do us the favor of helping us continue to publish this RV / Travel / Workamping blog. Do you purchase any products from Amazon? If you do, it would be great if you’d use the link in the sidebar or one of the links below to get to Amazon … after that you can change your search. By making your Amazon purchases from our site, we will receive from Amazon a small percentage of your purchase and it doesn’t cost you any more. We’d really appreciate your help. Thank you, Herb & Kathy

Our Day Trip to Petrified Forest

We didn’t plan this trip – we just woke up and while watching the TODAY show, we talked about where we could go and what we could see all within a day’s drive out and back.

We decided to head north and visit the Petrified Forest National Park, the Painted Desert, the Meteor Crater, and whatever else we might be able to squeeze into the day. Here’s the map of the trip we took running counter-clockwise.

Just below is the video of the entire trip.  I usually try hard to keep my videos short because, if you’re like me you really won’t want to spend the entire 20+ minutes watching the video just to see what’s next.  I was able to condense our entire 8 hour travel day down to a 20 minute video, but nonetheless … if you don’t have that much time, then scroll on down the page and watch the slide show of the still photos I shot.

Here’s the slide show.  If you’re viewing this in an email, you may not see the slide show.  To see it, just click on the name of the post at the top of the page and you’ll be taken to our web site where you can then see the slide show.

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We’d really appreciate it if you would do us the favor of helping us continue to publish this RV / Travel / Workamping blog.  Do you purchase any products from Amazon?  If you do, it would be great if you’d use the link in the sidebar.  By making your Amazon purchases from our site, we will receive from Amazon a small percentage of your purchase and it doesn’t cost you any more.  We’d really appreciate your help.

Thank you,

Herb & Kathy

 

We’d really appreciate it if you would do us the favor of helping us continue to publish this RV / Travel / Workamping blog. Do you purchase any products from Amazon? If you do, it would be great if you’d use the link in the sidebar or one of the links below to get to Amazon … after that you can change your search. By making your Amazon purchases from our site, we will receive from Amazon a small percentage of your purchase and it doesn’t cost you any more. We’d really appreciate your help. Thank you, Herb & Kathy

The North Rim is AMAZING!

We had our first few days off this week and we wanted to get to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon before it closes to all traffic on October 15th.  We left early Tuesday morning and set out for the 6+ hour drive.  As you can see by the map below, you have to drive AROUND the canyon to get to the North Rim.

We drove on up to the gate at the South Rim and paid our ONE TIME $10 fee for our LIFETIME Senior Pass for nearly ALL Federal lands.  If you are 62 or over and are not aware of this senior benefit, check it out here.  It’s one heck of a great value.  While we paid $10 for a lifetime, others at the gate were paying $30 per car for a one day pass.

On our way up from Cameron to Lee’s Ferry, we crossed over the “new” Navajo Bridge, built in 1995 replacing the earlier bridge built in 1929.  When it was built in 1929 the next closest crossing of the Colorado River was over 600 miles away!

Can you imagine having to travel in the 20’s in this area of the country?  The story of the bridge(s) is really interesting and you can see and find out more by clicking on this link.

After visiting the Navajo Bridge Interpretive Center and walking across the “old” bridge to take a few pix, we got back in the car and continued up Route 89 to Jacob Lake where we had a nice lunch at the Jacob Lake Inn.  All the serving staff were young folks and I asked our waitress if they were all living on-site.  She told us there are about 75 staff “kids”, they are all attending college and they live in dorms back behind the inn.  She said it’s a great way to spend the summer and earn some cash and make a lot of new friends.  They all seemed to be having a good time while they worked.

The trip north brought RAIN all the way.  A light drizzle down to a gentle mist, but rain nonetheless.  When we finally arrived at the North Rim it was still drizzling and down in the 50’s.  Lots of folks around us were dressed in long pants and sweatshirts along with hiking boots.  We (of course) were in our shorts and tee shirts.  A little out of place but no matter, we were eager to get checked in and scope out the surroundings.

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The lodge (building architecture) was amazing.  Built in the early 30’s, then burned down to the foundation four years later, this site sat untouched for six years.  Finally in 1938 it was rebuilt using the original stone foundation.  We didn’t have a reservation for dinner so we opted to go to the “deli” to eat and had terrible pizza.  But that’s ok, we were ready to hit the hay, it was getting dark and the fog at ground level was thick as pea soup.

BUT WEDNESDAY MORNING WAS ANOTHER THING ALTOGETHER

We had so hoped Tuesday night when we went to be that Wednesday morning would be better weather and our prayers were answered.  It was still a little foggy but clearing.  We went on to the lodge for breakfast (by the way, there is NO lodging at the Lodge) and enjoyed our meals while catching glimpses of what was to come as the clouds moved in and out of and around the rock formations.

So I took about a hundred or so pictures as we traveled the North Rim seeing Cape Royal and Point Imperial, so I’ve set some of them into this slide show so you can get a sampling of what we saw.  The morning sun broke some fog/clouds and the longer we stayed, the more we saw.  It was a beautiful morning to be alive.

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We stayed until about noon on Wednesday and then headed back home to Camp Verde.  On the way though, we wanted to stop and check out Lee’s Ferry which is the spot that the early pioneers used to cross the Colorado River (before the Navajo Bridge was built in 1929)

We got a real treat when we realized we could pull right on down to the river and step on in the cool, clear, fast-running water!  Lees Ferry is the only place within Glen Canyon where visitors can drive to the Colorado River in over 700 miles of canyon country, right up to the first rapid in the Grand Canyon. A natural corridor between Utah and Arizona, Lees Ferry figured prominently in the exploration and settlement of northern Arizona. Lees Ferry is now a meeting of the old and the new. Check out the pictures below.

That’s the recap of our trip to the Grand Canyon North Rim – what a sight to see.

We’d really appreciate it if you would do us the favor of helping us continue to publish this RV / Travel / Workamping blog. Do you purchase any products from Amazon? If you do, it would be great if you’d use the link in the sidebar or one of the links below to get to Amazon … after that you can change your search. By making your Amazon purchases from our site, we will receive from Amazon a small percentage of your purchase and it doesn’t cost you any more. We’d really appreciate your help. Thank you, Herb & Kathy

Keeping busy learning the ropes (video)

An update on our workamping experience at Rancho Verde RV Park in Camp Verde, AZ

Kathy’s been working in the office learning from Cindy taking phone calls reserving sites and answering callers questions, then she registers the guests when they arrive.  We then guide the newcomer to their site, help them back in, and offer to help hook up their utilities for them.

I’ve been out cutting grass today, helping George replace the thermocouple on the laundry hot water heater, and yesterday George showed us how to do the “flood irrigation” of the grounds.

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I’m going to load this video (below) of the flood irrigation in action.  It’s really cool to see it in action.  First we go down below to the creek-side and fire up the pump.  The large silver galvanized pipe (around 12″ diameter) then pumps a tremendous amount of water up to the stone cistern up topside in the campground.  George shows us in the video how the cistern fills very quickly and water pours out one side to flood the grounds all around the office.  When that side has been flooded for an hour or so, then he closes the gate and the water continues to come into the cistern and floods over the top and on down to the other side of the park.

There are valves around the park where we can connect hoses and/or turn on valves to operate sprinkling systems.  Different parts of the park are operated on different days.  This keeps the park nice and verde (green)

The reason that this water cistern is even here is because this park (before the mid 90’s) and much of the surrounding area was all farm land and this irrigation system was installed years ago to help keep the valley fertile.

And it’s still serving a useful purpose today.

 

We’d really appreciate it if you would do us the favor of helping us continue to publish this RV / Travel / Workamping blog. Do you purchase any products from Amazon? If you do, it would be great if you’d use the link in the sidebar or one of the links below to get to Amazon … after that you can change your search. By making your Amazon purchases from our site, we will receive from Amazon a small percentage of your purchase and it doesn’t cost you any more. We’d really appreciate your help. Thank you, Herb & Kathy

Happy to be in Camp Verde

We arrived on Tuesday afternoon, got settled into our space, and started our orientation process pretty quickly.

Kathy and I will be “workamping” for the next six months at Rancho Verde RV Park in Camp Verde, AZ and what a beautiful small park it is.  We’re excited to be here and we look forward to our new lifestyle experience.

The park is small (just 40 sites) and has green grass and large shade trees between each site, neither of which we expected to find in Arizona so it’s a real pleasant surprise.  Camp Verde is located just east of I-17 about halfway between Phoenix and Flagstaff.  Right now (mid-September) the daytime temps are in the 80’s and low 90’s while the nights fall to the low 50’s and high 40’s.

Here’s just a few pictures of the park entrance, the office, our site, and one of the rows of RV’s.  About half of the sites are long-term (months to as long as 12 years) with the others being daily or weekly.

George and Sigrid are the park owners and Steve and Cindy are the park managers.  All four folks are wonderful people and while Cindy has been working with Kathy in the office to get her up to speed on the reservations process and billing software, I’ve been learning from George and Steve about all the systems that need either scheduled or “as needed” maintenance, (fresh water / irrigation water / black water / electrical pedestels / laundry equipment, etc.).  They’ve got a very well-equipped (and organized) shop with all the tools and materials necessary to allow us to take care of most maintenance needs on our own.

After Oct 1st, there will be a 3rd workamper couple here so we’ll each (couple) will work 2 days on and 5 days off with each of the three couples working every 3rd Sunday as well.  With a full complement of workampers, the owners will be able to take some well-deserved time off and not have to be here all the time.

Kathy and I have only gone into town (Camp Verde) once so far to pick up some groceries.  It’s a cute little town and we look forward to going back and taking more time to see all that it has to offer.  We’ll also be spending time doing a lot more sightseeing near towns like Jerome, Cottonwood and more.  We already have plans to go up to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon next week because that are closes for the season on October 15th.

All in all, we are thrilled to be here and continue to look forward to this new lifestyle experience.

More later,

We’d really appreciate it if you would do us the favor of helping us continue to publish this RV / Travel / Workamping blog. Do you purchase any products from Amazon? If you do, it would be great if you’d use the link in the sidebar or one of the links below to get to Amazon … after that you can change your search. By making your Amazon purchases from our site, we will receive from Amazon a small percentage of your purchase and it doesn’t cost you any more. We’d really appreciate your help. Thank you, Herb & Kathy

Time for new windshield (& more)

As we traveled home from Vermont a couple weeks ago, we stopped and spent a couple nights at Owl Creek Family Campground.

It rained while we were there and during that time, we noted some (more than just droplets) leaking in at the top of the driver’s side windshield.  Although we were able to sop it up with some towels, fortunately it didn’t rain for long.

Once it stopped raining and I could dry off the outside, I was able to put some duct tape at the top of the windshield where it mates with the gasket.  After taking a closer look at the glass, I saw that there is a crack in the top outside (curved area) of the glass and that the bottom of the windshield and gasket has slipped out of the front fiberglass cap.  Time for a new windshield.

Meanwhile, we also noticed that the large slide (that holds the couch and the kitchen) on the side of the coach was not moving in and out smoothly.  I looked at the underside of the slide and saw that one of the roller bearings (kind of like a rolling pin Mom used to make pie crust) was damaged and needed to be replaced.

So now the coach is at Luxury Coach in Marion getting the windshield replaced, 4 new rear tires, and the slide repaired.  The slide turns out to be quite a job.  Take a look at the photo slide show below that shows “before” and “current” pictures.  The guys had to removed the couch, all the cabinets on the driver side, disconnect all the kitchen plumbing and electric and LOTS of screws and fasteners.  (This shot is the BEFORE view)

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These guys are pro’s.  Jay has been in the business since 1979, started with Custom Coach of Columbus and knows these motor homes inside and out.  He’s got a crew of nine that keep busy buying, rehabbing, and selling motor homes and I trust that they can get our baby back together with a minimum of left over parts!

We’d really appreciate it if you would do us the favor of helping us continue to publish this RV / Travel / Workamping blog. Do you purchase any products from Amazon? If you do, it would be great if you’d use the link in the sidebar or one of the links below to get to Amazon … after that you can change your search. By making your Amazon purchases from our site, we will receive from Amazon a small percentage of your purchase and it doesn’t cost you any more. We’d really appreciate your help. Thank you, Herb & Kathy

Some pictures from the Escapade

The “show” is really a great learning experience disguised in fun.  Take a look at the photos below and read the captions and you’ll be able to get a better idea of what’s going on here in Vermont this week at the Champlain Valley Exposition Center

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We had the honor of meeting and listening to 89 year old Kay Peterson who, with her husband Joe back in 1979 co-founded the Escapees RV club with just 24 members.  She was delightful to listen to and she’s sharp as a tack.  By the way, Kathy and I joined last fall and we are member number 126874 (It’s grown a bit, eh?)

We’ve met a lot of folks here and learned not only in classes, but from our fellow RV’ers as well.  There is entertainment and hospitality events every night and LOTS of BIG BEAUTIFUL (and very expensive) motorhomes to walk through and dream about.

Mac The Fire Guy” taught us about fire safety, how to safely exit an RV in the event of fire, which smoke and carbon monoxide alarms to have in our coach along with the correct type of fire extinguisher to keep on board.  He emphasized the main goal is to exit safely, not to save the RV, (that’s why you have insurance)

Jim and George taught us all about tires, the importance of having your rig weighed on ALL FOUR CORNERS (so you know the weight on EACH tire) and how to determine the correct tire inflation pressure based on the load being carried.

This is only Monday night, right now Kathy is in the General Assembly Room listening (along with about 2000 others) to The Marlins musical group while I’m over in another part of the building using the free WiFi so I could upload these pictures.

We still have Tuesday and Wednesday to learn and have fun and then we’ll head out Thursday morning.

More later – So long for now,

We’d really appreciate it if you would do us the favor of helping us continue to publish this RV / Travel / Workamping blog. Do you purchase any products from Amazon? If you do, it would be great if you’d use the link in the sidebar or one of the links below to get to Amazon … after that you can change your search. By making your Amazon purchases from our site, we will receive from Amazon a small percentage of your purchase and it doesn’t cost you any more. We’d really appreciate your help. Thank you, Herb & Kathy
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