On The Road To Yuma

 Posted by at 2:15 am  Nick's Blog
Feb 242012
 

We pulled out of Patio Gardens at 11 A.M. yesterday and had an easy run southwest on the 202 Loop to Interstate 10 just south of the Phoenix metropolitan area. With the southeast section of the Loop now finished it makes it a piece of cake to get to the East Valley. Where once it would take us an hour or more to get to Miss Terry’s parents in East Mesa by following Interstate 10 to the Superstition Freeway (U.S. Highway 60), now we are there in 25 to 30 minutes, and with a lot less traffic to deal with.

Interstate highways are good for getting someplace in a hurry, but whenever we can we prefer to get off on the state routes and U.S. highways. This trip, only a mile or two after we got onto Interstate 10, we left the superslab and took state Route 347 south through Maricopa, past the AK Chin Cultural Center on the Gila River Indian Reservation.

Ak Chin Cultural Center 3

State Route 347 is a good divided four-lane road, with just a little bit of traffic as we drove through Maricopa. We passed Harrah’s Casino, where several RVs were dry camping in the parking lot, and then continued heading south through mile after mile of desert scenery

State Route 347

Harrahs Casino 

We got onto Interstate 8 and followed it west, the terrain changing as we climbed. We started seeing saguaro cactus climbing the steep hillsides, and the farther west we went the higher the mountains became.

Desert scenery

Saguaros 2

Saguaro hillside

As we crossed the small mountain range just east of Yuma, I commented to Terry about how nice it is traveling in our Winnebago diesel pusher. I remember taking this route in our old MCI bus conversion, and sweating all the way as we ran the radiator misters and watched the needle on the temperature gauge climb higher and higher. We would usually top out at about 15 mph in low gear, and breathe a sigh of relief when we started the downhill run. With the Winnebago, our big Cummins turbo-diesel climbs up the hills with ease, and I have to slow down on some of the curves.

Crossing mounains I8

Crossing mounains I8 2

Interstate 8 downhill

These are really rugged mountains, and if you go wandering around out here don’t know what you’re doing, you can get yourself into a lot of trouble very quickly.

Rugged mountains

Rugged mountains 2

We noted that diesel fuel was considerably more expensive in Yuma, $4.05 a gallon, while it’d been about $3.87 in the Phoenix area. If you’re coming to our Gypsy Journal rally, fill up before you get here!

We arrived at the Yuma County Fairgrounds about 2:30 P.M., checked in at the office, and picked up some packages that were waiting for us there, including the Sea Eagle kayak that our friends Tim and Crystal Ryerson from Inflatable Boats 4 Less donated as a door prize, and a box of printed copies of my mystery novel Big Lake for anybody who wants one at the rally.

We parked over by the horse barns, where we will be until the rally starts, and once we had the RV hooked up and the slide rooms out we just needed to stop and catch our breath for a while. It was about 85°, but with the windows open and the fans of our three roof vents on, it cooled down very nicely.

We are plugged into a 20 amp circuit, which is more than enough to get by comfortably. Before every rally I always hear from people who are freaked out because they just can’t believe that they can actually survive without 50 or 30 amp electric. Yes you can! We’re setting here watching TV, we have three computers on, I run my laser printer, the refrigerator is on electric, and guess what? It all works! Terry just looked and we are pulling 13 amps. No, we can’t run our air conditioner, and when Terry makes coffee in the morning she will make sure we don’t have a bunch of other things on at the same time. It’s all about energy management folks, and if you don’t know how to do it before the rally, I promise you that there are plenty of people here who will help you, and you will know how to by the time the rally is over!

We’ve got an awful lot to get done in the next few days, from mailing out the new issue of the Gypsy Journal to getting all the rally chores finished, sending out the digital edition of the paper to our subscribers, and a few hundred things I’ve probably forgotten about right now. But as Larry the Cable Guy says, we’ll “git ’er done!”

Thought For The Day – Happiness is not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort.

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Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  6 Responses to “On The Road To Yuma”

  1. The news here just said $5 a gal gas this summer!! Wonder what diesel will do?

  2. Glad we have our Thousand Trails membership we picked up at the Tampa RV show. Where we’ll save on campground costs, that helps with fuel costs. Sit a little while longer maybe, but we’re still going to be on the road! Hey, by the way, bought a Sea Eagle 385 Fasttrack! waiting for it to arrive…anxiously! 🙂

  3. We were at Yuma Fairgrounds last weekend & couldn’t use the 20 amp feed because the voltage was too low (< 100v). Turns out the folks in the travel trailer next to us were using their dehumidifier (in the desert?!?) We are sure happy our power monitor wouldn't connect as we heard stories of burned out microwaves etc.

    See ya on the fourth…

  4. We didnt see you go by yesterday, but we no doubt heard you as we are at John Wayne RV Ranch(http://www.johnwaynervranch.com/) which is at the intersection of John Wayne Parkway(347) and Highway 84. It is a little close to the highway, but we like it here as they are a Passport America Park, and dont have a time limit. If all goes well, I am planning on coming to the rally on a day pass as the rally site being so close to the MCAS is too noisy for my wife to do conference calls for her work.

    BTW, by time of next years rally it looks like there will be new aircraft at MCAS. http://www.yumasun.com/articles/yuma-70716-jsf-mcas.html

    Paul

  5. Sandi – nobody should use a microwave or coffeemaker in a rally setting. We have power to keep batteries charged, and free coffee and donuts every morning. Just come on in.

  6. Great pictures once again. The one titled Saguaros 2 is amazing.

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