October 12, 2012:
A few rambling observations;
A few days ago at the Flagstaff "Museum Club", the people we met from New Jersey were telling us that we were living "The American Dream" !!!
It is so true !, but it's not all a bed of roses out here in the great wide open, there are all sorts of perils along the way!
Like losing your debit card, when you are for the most part, paying for everything with it. My day was going very well until I went to the gas station to refuel the truck, opened my wallet and my debit card was not there. Not a good feeling when you have a debit card from a New Jersey credit union in New Jersey and you are in Arizona and you know from past experience it could take a couple of weeks minimum to get a replacement card. I tore apart the truck looking for it, then the RV, went through all my clothes with no luck. I knew I had used it the previous night to pay for dinner, so we called the restaurant, they said they didn't have it, which really escalated my anxiety. We decided to drive back to the restaurant to actually look where we sat, when we got there they were happy to see us as they had just found it. A huge relief !
And then the perils of the highway are always present.
The drive from Flagstaff to Phoenix on Route 17 south is an exciting road to drive and has some breath taking views, if you can take your eyes off the road that is ! The road goes from 7,000 foot elevation in Flagstaff to about 2,000 foot elevation in Phoenix with lots of long steep, curvy 7 % grades up and down along the way. I am still a bit nervous about the braking going down those long steep 7% grades. GMC truck and various web blogs tell you to just engage the engine brake, put the transmission in tow/haul mode and sort of let it rip, don't worry, be happy !
Bottom line, I was able to get downhill with only a couple of short brake applications and the engine only rev'd to about 3,500 RPM and my fuel mileage was excellent, 11.4 MPG for the trip.
We are now in the outskirts of Phoenix, the city of Goodyear, where the Goodyear cotton fields used to be and they actually still have small fields of cotton, between large housing and shopping developments. We are staying at the "Destiny RV Resort" where are staying for a full month to rest from this stressful life style ! We are off today with family to the Arizona State Fair, it's sunny and high 80's, perfect!
Ah, yes, the American Dream is still alive !