Tuesday, June 14, 2005

It is unbelievably hot in the southern part of Arizona right now. Knowing this, we stopped last night just short of the Mongollon Rim, the sharp elevation change that marks the edge of the Colorado Plateau and separates Arizona's northern highlands from the Sonoran desert to the south.

Louise has already posted a photo of the nice forest service campground we found, just a few miles off our route, called Rock Crossing, near the Blue Ridge reservoir (map). By chance, it had only opened a few days earlier after a two-season closure for renovations, and those renovations were definitely in evidence throughout the campground.

Before we drove up to this spot, we first stopped in to another forest service campground just off our route, called Clint's Well. Driving in, we noticed a sign warning us that there was no turn-around for rigs longer than 22'. No problem, we thought, the whole campground is only a dozen or so sites, so how bad could it be to just back out if we needed to?

We passed the camp host on our way in, who took no notice of us whatsoever. However, about two sites down the road, some old codger came running at us with an angry look on his face, gesturing wildly. Now, mind you, this is just some random camper. So we popped the door to talk, and he commenced screaming at us about "can't you read" and "how long is this thing," and generally carrying on like he was the resident ranger or something. We finally told him that we were perfectly content to back up the whole way if we needed to, and then shut the door on him and drove on. As it turns out, there is a turn-around loop at the end of the road, and Odyssey made the loop with no trouble at all (though it was, I admit, a tight fit). So no backing was needed, and I smiled and waved at the old coot as we passed him again (pointed, of course, the other way), while he stood there with his jaw open.

What he might have told us that would have been more helpful, instead of ranting about our size, what that the campground was actually full. So we ended up leaving anyway. In hindsight, we regretted not driving around the loop several times, just for effect, and then stopping to mention to him that they put those signs there for lesser drivers and/or lesser rigs, such as him and his.

Today we blasted south to Tucson through the heat. Odyssey struggled mightily in the 100+ temps, and driving the very hilly terrain south of the rim was quite a challenge, keeping her engine from overheating on the upgrades, and her tranny from overheating on the downgrades. On top of that, we ran two air conditioners most of the way, and the heat's effect on the charging system meant that they ran off batteries more than the alternator. The genny won't stay running in this kind of heat, at least when we are moving down the road, which is another issue we will address in July at the Infinity shop.

We are now at the Beaudry RV Resort (map), which is a high-zoot campground that is attached to a giant RV dealership, Beaudry RV, which also encompasses a Camping World location. As I have mentioned many times, this sort of "camping" is not really our cup of tea. However, it's well over 100 degrees here, and we need to run all of our A/C units (even when we are away from the coach, on behalf of the pets). This place has full 50 amp hookups. It also has a pool, which felt mighty nice in the heat, and a restaurant and bar, where we will head shortly for dinner.

Within half an hour of parking, we must have had at least ten people come by to look us over, all, it seems, employees of the dealership. I'm thinking of going in there tomorrow and asking them what they have that we can trade up to.

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