Well we are off again!
Wednesday Sept. 3
Thursday Sept. 4
Our "new" motorhome is working great! (You all do know about our new vehicle, don't you?) It is a 1993 Gulf Stream Sun Voyager diesel, 32 feet long, and very comfortable for us. The floor is totally flat from stem to stern, and the living area extends to the dashboard, instead of the back of the driver and passenger seats. There is a couch behind the driver with the sink and refrigerator behind it. Behind that is a wide wardrobe. On the passenger side, there is a small wall mounted folding table behind the front seat, with a swivel bucket chair behind that. If you rotate the passenger chair it faces the bucket chair across the table. Behind the bucket chair is a unique dinette set. There are two loose chairs, the dinette table, and a built-in typical dinette seat. It works out great for us. The bathroom is behind the dinette. Behind the wardrobe and the bath is the bedroom with an "RV Queen" size bed. (60 x 75 inches).
Pulling the grade from Mesa to Payson, I only had to downshift from 4th to 3rd a couple of times. Most of the way I was able to maintain 50 to 55 on cruise. It really pulls the grades well. It would be nice to have closer ratios on the transmission so I could downshift earlier, but it does very well. The exhause brake was giving a problem. It would really give a noticeable slowing effect, then quit. It seemed to be actuating while the "pull-in" solenoid was actuvated, but not remain on as the holding coil was active. The brake is brand new, and still under warranty.
We arrived at the Scholls' and announced our arrival with a couple of blasts of the air horns. We had not told them of the new motorhome. Unfortunately, they had spotted us before we started up their driveway, so the air horn blasts were not as effective as I had hoped.
We reviewed the switchbox Keith has for his generator and the installation problems to expect. This is the main project planned for this visit. The switchbox is very clever and really quite simple. It has 6 two position switches with center off and 6 circuit breakers. There are two ammeters (calibrated in watts) and a twistlock connector for plugging in the generator. It wires to the main breaker box by removing the wire from the 6 circuits you want to power from the generator. The wires and the breakers they were removed from are wired to the new switchbox. The end result is if the power fails, you can plug the generator (it is on wheels) to the switchbox and switch any or all of the 6 circuits to it. There is absolutely no feed through to the main line, so it is very safe. When the power comes back on, the circuits which were not switched will indicate this, and the other ones can be switched back to the line.
Friday, Sept 5
Saturday, Sept 6
Sunday, Sept 7
Monday, Sept 8
Tuesday, Sept 9
We then went to Waterfall Trail. As it turned out, this was about 20 feet of flat trail, and then 105 steps down. (Actually I counted them on the way up, but I didn't see any come or go in the meantime.) I managed to get to the bottom. The very bottom of the trail flattens out again and proceeds right through the waterfall! The trail ends a few feet later. I decided to get all my pictures of the waterfall from the dry side.
We continued on to Prescott When we got there, we checked into Point of Rocks Campground, unhooked, and drove the motorhome over to the Wilkisons' to show it off. We then returned, established camp, and drove back to the Wilkisons' for an enjoyable dinner and evening of catching up.
Wednesday, Sept 10
About noon, the Scholls arrived as scheduled, and we all went out to lunch together. After a couple of hours of Scholls and Wilkisons catching up, Keith and Virg had to head back to Forest Lakes. They try not to drive the highways at night if at all possible, because of the fascination the many elk seem to have with car headlights. Elk are large, and a collision is a serious matter for both the elk and the person hitting it!
We finished the day in a relaxing manner and decided to fly again tomorrow. Oh boy!
Thursday, Sept 11
The rest of today was spent talking and eating and relaxing.
Friday, Sept 12
Gene started by doing engine tests, partly to confirm the adjustment of the throttle servo, which had just been remounted. After these tests, he put the wings on and tried some taxi tests on the runway. The power was not in excess, so Gene made some more engine adjustments and nursed a little more out of it. After some more taxi tests, he took off and she flew beaurifully! He circled the runway, making a low pass and went around the pattern again. There was a fair breeze, straight down the runway, and when he turned downwind, he just did not have the power to accelerate and maintain altitude. As a result, he landed it "in the rough" at the base of a tree. The landing gear broke, and there was minor damage on one wingtip, but all in all, survived the adversity very well. Gene is going to research several different propellors to see if he cannot get more performance from the engine. It was a disapointment to not be able to make more flights today, but the day was really quite successful.
We had told Gene and Betty that we would have lunch on our own today, and would take them out to dinner. Betty and I did some exploring of the Prescott area, stopping by two Forestry campgrounds and driving to the base of Thumb Butte. As we were heading to the Wilkisons', I realized how badly I felt. Kind of like death warmed over, but not too much warmth. My head ached, my body ached, and I just felt poorly. We called Gene and Betty and said we were heading back to the motorhome to rest and I would call him in a couple of hours with a status update. After sleeping for about 2 hours I felt much better and we spent the rest of the evening as planned.
This is the first day in a long time with no rain!
Saturday, Sept 13
We arrived in Flagstaff at our RV park shortly after noon, got all settled
and went out
We had several showers shortly after arriving at the park, but nothing to write home about. (Actually, I guess I am writing home about it, aren't I?)
Sunday, Sept 14
We first went to Sunset Crater, then to Wupatki ruins. At each place we toured the visitor center and strolled around the trails a little to see what we could. We then came back to the motorhome and relaxed for a while. We then went to Walnut Canyon. This was the first Visitor Center we can remember that was not wheelchair accessable! Upon entering the front door, there are about 4 steps to the main level. Then about a dozen to get to the observation platform. We did take the Rim Trail for a little. You could see several cliff dwelling ruins in the distance.
We spent the rest of the day planning and relaxing. (Yeah, I know, we've done a lot of that lately). We decided to head home from here and do the North Rim on another trip. We have broken the trip into two short days instead of one long one, just in case I am not really over it all yet.
Monday, Sept 15
We packed everything up and left Flagstaff about 10:30. With only about 120 miles to Kingman, there was no hurry. We arrived in Kingman about 2:00 and after fuelling at Petro we decided to go on to Needles for the night. Of course, several miles later we passed a Pilot selling diesel for 10 cents a gallon less! Oh well, even the gougers are selling it for less than it is in Escondido!
We decided on the KOA in Needles as it is the only one not on the river, which might contribute to their prices not being that much higher than the others and they are Good Sam (= -10%) and we figured there would be less of a bug problem.
I have opened the awnings to see if I can get them dry before stowing them again. The sky is certainly not too promising as there is solid overcast with many gray cells within. We will see.
Tuesday, Sept 16
It was a fun trip, and a real experience driving our new rig. One thing that I found very interesting is that ownership apparently helps adjust one's way of thinking. The marvelous mechanisms that efficiently propel many vehicles with that fine tuned precision hum, used to be called those *@#!%& stinky, noisy diesels! Now I are one!