Thursday, October 27, 2011

Great Service

This afternoon, John replaced the regulator on the curb-side propane tank of our RV. For months, we have smelled propane whenever the tank was turned on. We tried spraying the tank and its connections with a soap solution, but never saw any bubbles. We switched the tanks, but no matter which tank we put there, we still smelled gas. Since we weren't anywhere we could get the problem diagnosed, we just turned that tank off and only used the street-side tank--meaning we made more frequent trips to the propane dealer.

This week, we stopped at RV Traders, a Montana dealer in Mesa that has a great parts and supply department. Daniel, the store manager, has helped us before and is very knowledgeable. He showed us a replacement regulator that is for higher pressure control, but suggested first we get the local propane service to test the system. Since that company was making deliveries in our park yesterday, we arranged for them to fill our tank and told the driver we were going to have their service department come and check out our problem. He used a soap solution and showed us where the problem was--the regulator that Daniel had suggested we get replaced.

So today, we returned to RV Traders and picked up the regulator. Every time we have needed help with parts or supplies here in Arizona, we have gone there and really appreciate the great service--and great prices--in the parts store. We highly recommend them and appreciate Daniel's expertise.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


We are from Colorado, but it seems we need to come to Arizona to reconnect with Colorado connections. During John's 50th high school reunion in August, we talked to Dennis and Linda about the time we spend in Mesa in the winter. They were interested and knew they had a meeting to attend in Scottsdale this month, so we gave them our phone number. Last Friday they came to see Valle del Oro, where we are staying, and talk about the snowbird lifestyle. These are people we hadn't seen for 30 years before the reunion, but Friday we talked non-stop for over three hours. It was a great visit and we urged them to plan on spending part of their winter in the Valley of the Sun.

Then, this week, we rode the Phoenix light rail to Tempe to have lunch with Bob Kley, the priest John assisted at St. Michael's Episcopal Church in Coolidge last winter. He was ordained to the priesthood in Colorado, as was John. First we had to buy our tickets for the train. The machine worked much the same as those at Denver's light rail stations.

The Phoenix system is fairly new and the trains are sleek and shiny.

Each station has art by local artists. This is the sculpture at the station where we boarded the train.

Maybe this sign will help you understand what the work is all about. Click to enlarge so you can read it.

We passed this art work as we rode along. I didn't get off to read about it. I am reminded of a ball of yarn.

We met Bob at the 3rd and Mill station in Tempe, near the Arizona State University campus. We had lunch at the Zuma Grill in the nearby shopping area that was full of small shops and numerous restaurants.

After lunch, we walked to the nearby Tempe Town Lake. They have damned up a section of the Salt River to provide recreation for local residents. We had read about it, but never seen it. It is really quite impressive.

We plan to drive back to the lake some day soon and ride our bikes on the 5 mile path around the lake.

I can't tell you how glad we are to be in Mesa. When I turned on my computer to do this blog, the weather gadget on my desktop said it is 28 degrees and snowing in Denver. The 78 degrees here is soooo much better!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

What a Road!

Yesterday, I said he should have turned around when we saw this sign. Why? It's not because it is not paved, not because it has steep hills up and down, not because there are lots of curves. Though, all of those things are true.

If you look at this picture, you can see the pot holes, the washboard surface.

Lots of passenger cars passed us at a much higher speed than we drove. It took us an hour and a half to drive those 22 miles because our 4 x 4 heavy duty truck has tight suspension and fully inflated tires. The first few miles of the dirt road were good. Then, we passed a road grading crew, pulled off to the side to eat lunch. From there on, the road became rough. John had to hold on to the key chain attached to the ignition key to keep it quiet.

Hoping we had about reached the end of the road, we were dismayed when we saw this sign.

We did enjoy the scenery, however. There were lots of saguaros.

The surrounding mountains and rock formations are great.

We enjoyed driving along Apache Lake.

Why on earth would someone pitch their tent right next to the road?

Were we ever glad when we reached Roosevelt Dam. We knew that Roosevelt Lake, on the other side, was at the end of Hwy 88.

This bridge is on the other side of Roosevelt Lake (or crosses it).

From Roosevelt Lake, we drove toward the town of Globe and US Hwy 60, then on 60 to our RV park. We had great views there, as well.

I guess I need to do a little more research when we plan a trip on a scenic highway. We had no idea what we were getting into. After last spring, you would think we would have learned our lesson.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


It is hot here in Mesa. Really hot. Like upper 90s every day for the past week. Not conducive to outdoor activities. So yesterday we decided to drive up the Apache Trail, Arizona Hwy 88, to check out Goldfield and Tortilla Flats.

Goldfield is a ghost town today. It was established in 1893 by miners exploring for gold in the nearby hills.

There are a number of neat old buildings still open to the public.

Worship services are still conducted in this church on Sundays.

I'm glad they don't have to depend on this water tank to supply the town.

I didn't know they had cell phones in the 1890s.

What kind of butts?

We liked this wrought iron sign

And this old wagon wheel.

We saw several rusty old vehicles.

Then we drove on northwest toward Tortilla Flats. That was an old rest stop on the old Apache Trail. We had read about the community and the restaurant there in several blogs, so we thought we would check it out.

The scenery along the way was great.

Canyon Lake was formed when its dam was completed in 1925. The lake provides water storage and hydro-electric power.

When we saw the months the Tortilla Campground was closed, it confirmed we were in Arizona, not Colorado.

The wallpaper in the Tortilla Flats restaurant is unique--money.

Outside, we found two wooden Indians. Do you suppose they are Apache?

Shortly after leaving Tortilla Flats, we came on this sign. We should have turned around. Tune in tomorrow to find out why.