Wednesday, May 17, 2006

A bit of relief from the heat

Yesterday was a very hot day.  In the relative cool of the morning, I repaired the rear leveler harness and checked the genny coolant -- it was about half a gallon low, and I need to find some time to add a recovery tank to the whole assembly.

We left Buckskin mountain around mid-day, with fully charged batteries and the coach still relatively cool inside from running the airs all morning.  With the sun mostly overhead, the heat load through the big driver windshield was tolerable heading east.  We backtracked to Parker and then headed to Phoenix via AZ-72, Salome Road, and, finally, I-10.  We wanted to drop by to check up on our restaurant investment in Tempe, so we parked at the Tempe Elks (map) just a few blocks (and short city-bus ride) away.  The Tempe lodge has full hookups with 50-amp power for $18, and we were easily able to run all our A/C's to keep cool.  We also took advantage of the hookups this morning to dump our tanks and put some more water in.

We had a nice dinner last night at "our" restaurant, which is still struggling to connect with the local market.  Surprising to us, considering the sister restaurants in California are going like gangbusters.  The on-site management has made several changes that should help, including new signage that drops the word "rotisserie" from the name -- it seems that the word was unfamiliar or confusing in the Tempe market.  In any case, if you are in the Tempe area, stop in and check it out:
Sonoma Rotisserie and More (but sign now reads "Sonoma Casual Dining")
1285 W. Elliot Road
We left Tempe early this afternoon, again with full batteries and a pre-cooled coach.  Outside temperature was in the high 90's as we left the metropolitan area.  In an effort to avoid I-10 as far as possible, we are again crossing the Superstition range via US-60 and US-70.  This put us in the position of climbing the long 7% grade in the heat, and, at one point, we had to slow to 20mph and keep the RPMs in the power band in second gear to pull the grade without overheating.  Still, the DDEC was reading a coolant temperature of 204 during the hard parts.

One good thing about this grade is that the outside temperature dropped steadily as we climbed, and the drop here is really quite pronounced.  Our outside thermometer registered 97 when we began our climb, and bottomed out at 65 when we crested the summit, bringing the engine temperature down to a less alarming number. (Click here to see a video of the drive.)  Very close to the summit is Oak Flat campground, a free forest service facility where we spent a lovely night heading the other direction back in December, and we briefly considered stopping there for the night.

Instead we continued past the mining towns of Miami and Globe to stop here, at the Apache Gold Casino (map)  on the San Carlos Apache Nation reservation.  The campground here is, essentially, a giant asphalt lot, but they provide full hookups with 50-amp power for only $12.  The outside temperature was in the high 80's when we arrived, the momentary low at the summit being very fleeting indeed, and we wanted the juice to run our A/C's again.  Also, there is a laundry room here which we needed.  They also have a pool, which was quite refreshing, and they gave us casino coupons which we immediately exchanged for $2 in cash, making our stay here a $10 affair.  (The casino itself is otherwise unremarkable, and even the restaurants, being open to the smoky and noisy gaming area, were unappealing to us.)

Not long after sunset, the temperatures dropped into the 70s and we were able to turn off our A/C's and bring in some fresh air, a welcome relief.  This is in marked contrast to the previous two nights, where we needed to run at least one A/C all night long.  Tomorrow we will descend further, but also move into the generally cooler high desert of New Mexico.  Our mail is en-route to Lordsburg, where US-70 connects with I-10, and we will wait there for it to catch up with us.

On a completely different subject, I am troubled by the fact that my email address has been misappropriated by malicious crackers, who are sending out thousands of messages containing a variant of the MyDoom.w32 virus/trojan.  I know this because, as is usual with such mass-mailings, hundreds of the messages are failing in-transit, and they are being returned to "sender," which appears to be me.  Happily, many of the return-to-sender messages are from anti-virus or firewall software, which have trapped the message due to the malicious attachment.  Of course, out of all the dozen or so valid email addresses that I use for various purposes, the one which is being spoofed is my primary, friends-only, "keep the same email address for life" email provided to me by the university where I attended graduate school.  How it got harvested is a mystery to me, but I know it's out there since my spam filters weed out hundreds of messages to that account daily. 

Normally, these sorts of address spoofs go on for a day or two, then the perpetrators move on to a different "sender" victim, usually in an effort to stay one step ahead of robots designed to spot email floods from specific individuals with suspicious attachments.  In this case, though, it has been going on for a full two weeks, with no end in sight.  Harumph.

1 comment:

  1. Oh man. I'm screwed then. Mine was harvested 2 days ago and it is simply awful. They actually aren't using a valid email account; just my domain name. I had absolutely no idea this happened! I'm going to keep that forest service campground in mind for us.


Share your comments on this post! We currently allow anyone to comment without registering. If you choose to use the "anonymous" option, please add your name or nickname to the bottom of your comment, within the main comment box. Getting feedback signed simply "anonymous" is kind of like having strangers shout things at us on the street: a bit disconcerting. Thanks!