Friday we drove to Flagstaff for the Graduation Banquet of Park Ranger Training Program XX, run by Northern Arizona University. Why? you ask. Because John Dodson, a fee collection ranger we worked with for the past two years at Casa Grande Ruins, was graduating from this park service law enforcement training program. John is a fine young man we enjoy working with and we are sure he will do well in his career with the park service. He works hard and takes his position seriously, but he also is a lot of fun.
They served us a very good lunch and we had a chance to meet John's parents and his sister and her boy friend. Diane Chung, superintendent of the Flagstaff National Monuments, gave the keynote address.
As we left the graduation, I took this picture of John, flanked by his parents, and his sister Kayla and her friend Paul.
It was a long day. Flagstaff is 175 miles northwest of Mesa. On the way back south we were grateful for the HOV lanes on the 101 Loop from I-17 to US 60 and on 60. We drove at 50 to 65 mph all the way-that is until the last 4 miles of the 101, as we had to move to the right to exit on 60. The traffic was at a crawl because of an accident and car fire just before the entrance ramp. We arrived back at the RV about 5:45. I can't imagine how late we would have been without the HOV lanes.