Gill and Vics diary.
Life in an R.V. Its very comfortable, showers wider than most of ours back home, and for me to have a travelling loo is a definite bonus. We have experienced two types of Camping, Full hook up and dry. Full hook up means we have everything we need, electric, plenty of water and sewage disposal. Dry just means you are using your own Generator for electric, you are carefull with your use of water and you use the camp loo whenever possible. No problem at all. I have enjoyed doing some camp cooking, I always enjoy visiting ‘foreign’ supermarkets so its been good to be able to buy then go home and cook our food. We have several ways of cooking, both elecric and gas depending on our type of camp. E.g. gas in a dry camp only. Also there is a very clever fridge that changes from electric to gas without you having to tell it. Malcolm drives it very well and you don’t always realise you are travelling in this huge bus. (although some are even bigger) Whilst we are in the “camp” we have our own car which follows us wherever we go, clever, so we can visit some of the wonderful places in this area. I will leave M & B to tell you more about that, they do it so well. I will say that Malcs been great and happily driven us for miles. I think he enjoyed it as well. America really has some wonderful scenery, and we have been fortunate to visit some of it on our brief stay here, I’m thinking of booking into this hotel on wheels again when they are in another part of this interesting country. We always joke in the U.K. that the Americans say everything here is bigger and better, (apologies to our American friends), but in the case of the scenery and National Parks they are right. It’s a land of weather contrasts as well, we have experienced, highs of 90deg. and lows of –5deg. all within 200 miles of each other so within the space of 3 to 4 days I have been sunburnt, and frozen. We didn’t expect to wake up to snow! We also experienced some strong winds and no it wasn’t Vic! that really rocked us about but fortunately they only lasted for a few hours.
and marvelled over the wondrous sights before us, we thought of those who come to Vegas and never leave the slots and the strips. How much they miss! We drove to the Valley of Fire and were not disappointed. As with so many State parks, entrance fees are paid on an honour system, so a few dollar bills duly placed in an envelope and posted through a letterbox meant we could proceed on our way. It was relatively busy, but this didn’t prevent us from drinking in the sites. The rock formations, the fascinating shapes, the wonderful colours meant that progress was slow as we meandered along the road, which snakes through the park. Good signage and lots of parking meant we had plenty of photo opportunities, blogging time is becoming longer and longer because we have to do so much editing. Our new camera is fantastic, recording images at an impossible rate per second, so the days total is quite high. Gill and I were on the look out for any spring flowers, we did manage to get a few, but I think it’s just a bit too soon. The “boys” climbed the peaks in search of even greater vistas; well they climbed up a bit – it’s a boy thing!
Next (March 26th) we got to drive across the Hoover Dam in Bree, as we made our way east to Williams, (the last town on Route 66 to be by passed by the freeway) we were searched again just before we crossed the border from Nevada into Arizona – a consequence of 911 to ensure safety over the dam. Bree did well to climb into the mountains and Gill did well travelling in the back as a “sofa passenger”. We had put our guests to good use – they had to experience the whole thing, like it or not! And they soon became adept at the “moving on routine” However none of us, even we “full timers” were prepared for what we met in Williams. This was to be the location from which we travelled 50 or so miles north to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. (The north rim is closed til May because of snow) We were all excited at the prospect, G&V had flown over the canyon on an earlier visit, but for us it was one of the must do things on our list and we were looking forward to it. After sampling the delights of a very nice Mexican meal we retired early ready for the day ahead…it began with our resident “tea lady” – (not a derogative term, we came to enjoy being spoilt by Gill) not being able to get any water from the tap and with her being frozen despite several layers of clothing! The boys gingerly went outside to investigate, there was 2 inches of snow on Toad and the pipes were frozen!! Perhaps not the best day to gaze at one of the worlds natural wonders; so instead we took a ride to Flagstaff and enjoyed a day wandering its interesting galleries and shops. Gill and I found many items we would love to bring back to the UK, even some imported wash hand basins that we all thought would make unusual water features in our gardens. We visited Riorden House, a fascinating mansion built by a lumber family who were the main benefactors for the town of Flagstaff.
http://www.desertusa.com/mag00/mar/stories/riordan.htm It was cold and blustery; we stood out like wimpy tourists in our coats and hats, against many locals who were only in shorts and t-shirts. They breed them tough out here! but it was a good day.