Thursday, September 23, 2010

Flagstaff / Williams AZ


Shamu gets weighed  ( and, no, I don't mean at weight wachers ! )
September 23 – Left William, AZ (near Flagstaff) on Hwy. 40 heading east. We got off fairly late. Rick needed to fix some things, like a cupboard that sprung the magnet when we had to hang a U-turn in a bumpy, unpaved lot. Everything bounced, but other than the one ruined cupboard thingy, we came through it with a nothing more than thick coating of dust on everything. Did you know that you can’t back up when pulling a tow car? I sure didn’t…until we had that small adventure searching for a place to turn around on a narrow two-lane highway way after we missed a turn-off. At an overall length of 58 feet, doing much of anything except driving in a straight line can be challenging.

We weigh about 28,000 lbs., which Rick says is lower than he expected. And no, all of you smartie pants. That doesn’t include the two Fliedners! I’m not telling how many more pounds would be added to the tonnage if we were both included in that number. And how do we know how much our rig weighs? Because Mr. Rick simply had to find a truck stop with one of those weighing stations for big rig truckers!

So picture our RV, which we have tentatively named Shamu because of its very plain light grey (supposedly, silver) and black markings, among huge trucks. Imagine the glare of the hardened truckers as Rick spun around not once, not twice, but three times through the one and only scale available. He had to weigh Shamu in various configurations to determine the weight distribution. Most amazing was that we were only given “the finger” once, though there were a few strange looks and shoulder shrugs when we pulled in front of trucks twice our size!


Shamu at the left, pretty coaches to the right.
 Speaking of Shamu’s battleship gray and black exterior, I took a photo of our RV parked next some of the fancy rigs that surround us in the RV campgrounds. If I could draw, I’d make a cartoon of the other “pretty” RVs (with all of their expensive, swirly paint jobs) pointing and laughing at poor Shamu when we roll into our parking spot. We bought an ugly duckling, but saved a good amount of money by doing so. On the other hand, the poor beast may deserve a new coat of many colors this winter when we return to So. Calif. On the other, other hand, if we keep having to have repairs made constantly, the money tree may be bare by then!

No fat jokes, please, but we Fliedners were really excited when saw our first sign for a Cracker Barrel Restaurant. There aren’t any in California, so when we travel out of state, we make frequent stops at this down-home cooking, countrified eatery. Rick says they serve the best chicken and dumplings he’s ever tasted. I opted for a low cal chicken dish, though the side orders included fried apples with cinnamon. And the gift shop is terrific. Old-fashioned candies, home d├ęcor, fun clothes, and seasonal items. I bought a really great Halloween shirt, covered with sequins and colored stones, pumpkins and witches, and even the silhouette of a haunted house! (This should drive my kids nuts!)

Tonight, we’re in Gallup, NM, near the entrance to the Petrified Forest National Park. We’ll be detouring into the park in the morning to take photos and check it out. Rick and I have both been there, but we were little kids and have few memories of the place. The literature, however, sings the park’s praises -- its colorful beauty and postcard-worthy vistas seem to be worth the extra hour or two it will take to get off of Hwy. 40

The photo is of the overflowing drain in the shower this morning, a “slight” miscalculation about how full the “gray” water tank ACTUALLY was!! Won’t make that mistake again! (Drain, baby, drain!)


Shower filling up with water.
Another view of shower. ..  dumb !!

Oh, and by the way, did I mention that we LOVE truck stops? They’re so great and have everything imaginable that one might need on the road, including inexpensive books on tape. Sometimes I feel like I’ve fallen down Alice’s rabbit hole, into a world filled with big rigs, mud flaps, and today’s version of a rough-and-tumble cowboy. Surprisingly, when you’re rubbing shoulders with them in the truck stops, they’ve very polite.

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