Day 64, Thursday, October 8, 2009: Heading for the South Rim:
It’s only a one-hour drive from Williams to the South Rim, so Bill and I did not leave until 11:00 AM. The girls had previously left in the Wheelers’ car, so they could get in a last practice hike at the canyon. Bill and I settled in at Trailer Village about noon. More than two months ago, Becky had “blocked” specific side-by-side spaces. Her blocking was honored, though she was told it had caused the staff a minor hardship a few days earlier. I picked up the girls at the trailhead at 2:00 PM, took them to where they had parked the car, and we spent the rest of the day relaxing.
Day 63, Wednesday, October 7, 2009: In Williams, Arizona:
After getting the tires replaced, I took the trailer back to Williams, and returned to Flagstaff to get a haircut and run some errands. Becky and Pat had gone for a hike in Williams and Bill and Larry had set out to play a round of golf. Daisy and I were left to fend for ourselves. Somehow, we were the only ones who got rained on. Tonight we had burgers, etc., with the Wheelers and Van Dusens.
Day 62, Tuesday, October 6, 2009: Heading for Williams, Arizona:
It happened again! Another blowout. This one we discovered at the rest stop between Flagstaff and Williams. It seemed the tire had blown some time before, but we didn’t know it since the weight of the trailer was ably supported by the second tire on that side. This time it took only one hour to get the tire changed. I was very glad I had bothered to get a new spare in Gallup four days earlier before we left for Albuquerque. I called Camping World in Flagstaff and got an appointment for Wednesday morning to get all the trailer tires replaced. We had been warned weeks ago that, even though the tires had plenty of tread left, their age suggested a safety issue. We had chosen to ignore the warning. After the two blowouts, we decided to take the advice.
Day 61, Monday, October 5, 2009: Heading for Gallup, New Mexico:
We stayed at the same park in Gallup, on our way back to Williams. Getting there, the wind was ferocious. If it didn’t calm down by the next morning, we decided to stay in Gallup until it was safe to leave. After we “assisted” the Wheelers in buying a new cell phone (to replace the one Pat had inadvertently washed with the dishes the night before), we spent a quiet evening in Gallup.
Day 60, Sunday, October 4, 2009: In Albuquerque, New Mexico:
Today was the day for the annual Balloon Fiesta. We had tickets to the Gondola Club at the fiesta grounds, so we arrived at 5:30 AM for breakfast and the pre-dawn balloon rise. The breakfast was good, but the balloons did not start rising until well after sunup---without an explanation for the delay. Hmmmmm! In all, there were about 300 of them that ultimately took to the air. There were supposed to be 650, but the wind was a challenge and quite a few balloonists decided to pass. It was still quite a show.
We then toured the fiesta grounds, which resembled a very large county fair. This afternoon, we visited the mother of a Michigan friend of the Wheelers. We called her because she was reported to know where the best Mexican food in Albuquerque was located. It turned out it was at her house. She had invited a few family members to join all of us, to get acquainted and have some of her remarkable food. It was a lovely afternoon.
Day 59, Saturday, October 3, 2009: In Albuquerque, New Mexico:
We went to Santa Fe (60+ miles away) to meet Gloria and David Gordon for lunch at the Inn Of The Anasazi. The lunch was terrific and we enjoyed catching up with the Gordons. We hadn’t seen them for a couple of years. (They visited us at both Zion and the South Rim.) Santa Fe had grown a lot since we were last there in 2000. Downtown is even more crowded than it was then, and it is very hard to get around and to park. I’m not a big fan of Santa Fe, anyway; I think it’s far too artsy and self-important. In the afternoon, we returned to greet the Wheelers, who had arrived while we were gone. It had been three months since we had seen them. They were waiting for us outside out trailer, with Daisy in tow. They had taken her for a walk as soon as they arrived. She was very glad to see her Aunt Pat and Uncle Bill. So were we. After a celebratory round of margaritas, we went to Olive Garden for a disgustingly good dinner.
Day 58, Friday, October 2, 2009: Heading for Albuquerque, New Mexico:
Before heading out, I got a new tire at Pep Boys to replace the blown-out one. Then we headed for Albuquerque---and arrived without incident, thank you. We went to bed early after a having barbecued chicken and cous cous for dinner.
Day 57, Thursday, October 1, 2009: Heading for Gallup, New Mexico:
On the way to Gallup, we stopped in Winslow, Arizona, to visit the famous La Posada Hotel, one of Mary Jane Colter's masterpieces. It was truly magnificent.
The idea of stopping in Gallup on the way to Albuquerque was simply to break up the trip into short segments. It turned out to have been a great idea because ten miles before we got to Gallup we had a blowout on one of our trailer tires. It took 2 ½ hours to get it fixed, and we got into the sold-out RV park near dark. We had reservations so it was no big deal.
Day 56, Wednesday, September 30, 2009: In Williams:
Today we made final arrangements to leave for Albuquerque, etc. We had a going-away dinner with Larry and Claudette Van Dusen at the Holiday Inn. I had the biggest piece of sirloin steak I had ever seen.
Day 55, Tuesday, September 29, 2009: In Williams:
This was a day for Becky to get her hair done and run errands in Flagstaff, and to bring me dinner from the Thai restaurant. The Cashew Chicken was yummy, as always. I, in turn, fixed our flag so it wouldn’t keep wrapping itself around the pole, and I reset some trim in our kitchen. Living in our home on wheels is almost like having a regular house.
Day 54, Monday, September 28, 2009: In Williams:
Becky arrived on time this morning (@ 4:30, that is) from Los Angeles, by Amtrak again, ending her whirlwind trip for her Organization of Women Executives dinner and Delta Gamma reunion. We spent the day catching up and vegging out.