Saturday, October 8, 2011

Sunset Crater, few miles, long day

(Written Friday night, but posted on Saturday, no internet here.)

We were short on miles today, but we didn't get into the park too early.  For starters, we emptied the tanks and refilled the water tank and the way everyone lays out the dump and fresh water connections, it can be a long time waiting.  First we wouldn't dump because another user was in there.  Then when he finished, he pulled forward to fill his water tank and held us up some more.  Finally, we emptied and filled and were on our way -- almost.

Of course, our direction was east, up the hill and through the tunnel again.  At the tunnel, we had to wait until traffic cleared from the east until we could proceed going east.  Of course, we drove in the middle, straddling the center lines.  And we made it with no dents or scratches on the top side.

Our next hold up was 20 miles down the road when we fueled up.  Of course, we passed the most economical station first, so we did a loop and went back a quarter of a mile to fill.  We filled using a slow pump for about 50 gallons.  Finally, we were ready to hit the road!

All went well the rest of the morning.  At noon, we spotted a Visitor's Center, so of course we had to pull in and see what we could learn. It was a visitor's center for an obscure National Monument.  We visited with the off duty volunteer a bit before wandering inside where the lone volunteer at the desk was tied up with three others.  We listened a little bit and decided that they were going to take much longer than we were willing to wait, so we left...

Down the 15 miles was a another  Visitor's Center for the BLM (Bureau of Land Management) area to the east of the road.  As we were walking into the building, a fellow arrived with a government coat on.  I may have insulted him by asking if he was a volunteer.  No, he was the chief naturalist.  What a salesman he was.  He gave us a description of all of the dinosaurs on display.  He claimed that they have found hundreds of dinosaur fossils in the last 10 years and currently have 21 recovery teams working on  the ground.

Back in our rig, we proceeded on down the road to the Glen Canyon Dam Visitors Center.  (More time killed.) We read some of the displays and finally decided that we needed to move on down the road.  We first crossed the bridge and skirted Page, AZ and then headed south.  It seemed like we got an early start after lunch, but when we finally arrived at our current site, it was 5 PM.  To help us out, we went from Utah (on MDT) to Arizona which is on MST, so our day is an hour longer (and we needed it.)

As we drive the road into the monument, we saw two rangers in cars just parked like they were looking for someone.  Shortly thereafter, a fellow in a red sports car decided he could write his own rules and passed us on the yellow line.  And shortly thereafter, the ranger appeared behind me with his lights flashing.  We pulled over, but he was really wanting the red sports car and disappeared on down the road.

A quick check at the visitor's center gave us the weather forecast  (+26 tonight) and clear. but there is no alternative campground close by at a much lower elevation.  So we found a site in the NF campground across the road and have made ourselves comfortable.  A big downer is that after we were set up, we realized that there is no Verizon signal, so no telephone and no internet for us tonight.  I guess we'll have to talk to each other tonight directly.

We may stay here another night or we may just hump it on south to our lot in Casa Grande (Sunscape RV Resort park). I think we're both ready to park the rig for a while.


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