Sunday, May 13, 2012

Off Through Arizona

2012 May 12

I-40 Into Arizona

It seemed a bit sad, leaving New Mexico, but the lure of the Grand Canyon pulled at our nomadic spirit. Our first stops were Petrified Forest National Park and The Painted Desert. It was beautiful. It is very difficult to describe the vast expanse and variety of color present in the Painted Desert. We took many photos, but it is hard to comprehend the beauty of the land, even in photos. We met a very nice couple from Houma, Louisiana, who offered to take a picture of Raymond, Greyla, and me. That was nice, especially since we have so few pictures of our little family. The Petrified Forest was equaling amazing, but for much different reasons. The idea of trees so old that they have turned to stone is mind boggling. They, too are beautiful, though.

Painted Desert
Petrified Wood

From the national park we headed along AZ 180 toward Homolovi State Park. This state park is located on Hopi land and contains ancient ruins of the Hopi  along the Little Colorado River. Arizona State Parks are expensive when compared to Mississippi, Arkansas and New Mexico parks. The rate for water and electric hook ups is $25 per night. Still, even at that rate, they were less expensive than private campgrounds.

It was at Homolovi that we experienced our electrical glitch. We still aren't sure what exactly happened. When we plugged into the power source, we didn't have any juice. Normally, the electrical panel has an switch for each of the 20/30/50 amp outlets. These switches as we had experienced them to this point, were in the off position when pointed toward the ground. So, I thought that I had the power in the off position when I connected. Apparently, I was wrong. After trying to reestablish power to the RV, I gave up and called he office. A very nice man named, Matt, came out and checked the circuits and after some switching and plugging and unplugging, we had power. YEAH! It wasn't until much later that night that I realized there was no power to the microwave or to the hot water heater. The next day we tried turning the breaker for those two appliances off and on, but still no power. Since neither of us knows a lot about electricity, we have assumed that perhaps the breaker is in need of replacement. That will require a trip to an authorized Thor dealer, for service and the closest one is in Mesa, so we've tabled having a microwave and electrically heated hot water for awhile.

One of the other visitors at Homolovi

Homolovi did have the most spacious and user friendly showers of any place we have been so far. The floors and walls are ceramic tile. Each shower is individual  with a dressing area and shower with a locking door. They are large enough to accommodate a wheel chair. And the water pressure was superb. Who would've expected such a luxury in a state park?

The adjacent ruins were fascinating to me. The remains of a Hopi settlement alongside the Little Colorado River, where these ancient people lived, centuries ago. As we walked along the archaeological sites, we saw evidence of the visitation of today's Hopi, to a site where they pay homage to their ancestors. The evidence was small bits of stone or rock, left along a rock wall, or remainder of a house. It reminded me of the custom of leaving bits of stone upon the headstones of loved ones in Jewish cemeteries. How interesting that two civilizations separated by time and distance share this way to acknowledge their  respect for those who came before.

I missed being able to travel the "real" Route 66, like I did in 1971

Jackson Browne statue

From Homolovi, we headed to Winslow Arizona. I attempted to discover the location of the "Standing On The Corner" Park, to surprise Raymond. While reading about Winslow, I noted the location of the park and read about it. Since both Raymond and I are Jackson Browne fans, I thought R would get a kick out of seeing the park. And he did! For anyone who doesn't know, Jackson Browne wrote a song called "Take It Easy" back in the 70s. The Eagles recorded it on one of their early albums, as did Jackson. Part of the lyric in the song is, "Standin on the corner in Winslow Arizona, such a fine sight to see - It's a girl, my lord, in a flat bed Ford, slowing down to take a look at me." In the small park, is a lamppost, a statue of Jackson Browne, holding a guitar, along with a mural contained a blonde young woman driving a Ford truck. How odd is it that THIS is the highpoint of the trip, so far, for Raymond.

Raymond sitting on the corner in Winslow

This brings us up to May 6 in our travels. So much more to tell about the last six days, but that's it for now.

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