2014 Travels travel blog

Carpe Diem at Prescott Valley Elks
We're overlooking a scenic (and windy) valley

Driving thru Phoenix on Sunday morning
As with most large cities, Phoenix is...

From I 10 to I 17 to head north

The I 10 / I 17 / US 60 "stack"

Saguaro "forest" on I 17 north of Phoenix
We just love these lovely...

Climbing out of the Phoenix Valley

We enter Prescott Valley on AZ 69

Saw this '58 Chevy in Prescott Valley

The Prescott Valley Elks Lodge

Gunsite Academy near Prescott

Gunsite Academy near Prescott

Full moon rises over Carpe's at Prescott Valley Elks

Full moon pre eclipse (taken at 1939 MST)

Eclipse shadow darkens lower left corner of moon
Taken at 2250 MST)

Eclipse @ 2316 MST

Eclipse @ 2332 MST

Eclipse @ 2354 MST

Eclipse @ 2358 MST

Near totality @ 0001 MST 15 April


Sun, 14 Apr: Back on the road again...

It has been well longer than two months since we last connected the car to the coach and hit the road. We thoroughly enjoyed our sojurn at RoVer's Roost, but the thermometer was in the mid nineties earlier in the week and the "hitch itch" was getting pretty bad. Time to bid farewell to our friends and head up (in altitude and latitude) and down (in temperature).

We spent the better part of the previous two days getting things moved between the coach and the shed (and vice versa). We had a "farewell" dinner with friends Davilas and Rosas (they're heading out tomorrow, but in a different direction).

We took our time getting Carpes ready to roll. We have extensive checklists and we spend extra time going thru them when we're a bit "rusty". Bob moved the coach to the propane station to top off the propane tank and we connected the car. After double checks, hugs, and even some tears, we rolled wheels at 0849.

Our route was straightforward. Thru Casa Grande to Interstate 10 west thru Phoenix and then Interstate 17 north. We deliberately picked a Sunday morning since the traffic in Phoenix should be at its lightest. We guessed correctly and Bob made good time thru Phoenix and, finally, thru the northern "burbs".

Once clear of the city we started our climb out of the Phoenix Valley. From 1,100 feet we steadily climbed to 5,100'. As we climbed the air temperature continued to drop, which was most welcome. Alongside Interstate 17 are several stands of Saguaro (Carnegiea gigantea) cactus, one of our very favorite trees. Several were in bloom, which is a sight to behold.

We exited the Interstate to Arizona route 69 toward Prescott Valley. We moved along well despite many traffic lites and moderate traffic. At exactly 1145 we pulled into the parking lot of the Prescott Valley Elks Lodge. While Bob checked in with the camp host Sandi disconnected the car.

In short order Bob had us backed into our full service site and we were getting set up for a week's stay. The wind was blowing pretty strong, but the temperatures were in the low seventies so we were "happy campers". Today's run was a bit shy of 150 miles with an overall fuel rating of 7.3 mpg (acceptable considering our 4,000 foot climb).

We spent the afternoon getting our taxes ready to mail (ugh). We connected with long time friends Ron and Chris Mayer who now call Prescott home. Ron was a neighbor from our Santa Ana (California) days (early eighties), and we last saw he and his bride at a Wal*Mart parking lot in Montana. They've since sold their Foretravel coach and moved into a "stick" house.

Anyway, they picked us up for dinner and we had a delish meal at a local steak place (Leff-T's) in nearby Dewey. We talked, ate, talked, and then talked some more. Back to the coach after nine. It was delightfully cool in the coach and we snuggled under our blankets for a very restful nite.

Mon, 14 Apr: We do some sightseeing...

We awoke later than normal for us, which was in and of itself a treat. Following breakfast we took the car north to visit Gunsite Academy outside Paulden. We'd heard about Gunsite for several years and wanted to check it out for ourselves. We were very impressed and are considering taking one of their courses when we return next winter.

After our tour we returned to Prescott to get the lay of the land. We treated ourselves to lunch at a Buffalo Wild Wings near the Elks Lodge and then back to the coach for some computer time (hence, this posting). We're scheduled to meet Ron & Chris for dinner at a Red Lobster later today.

Tue, 15 Apr: A day that shall live in infamy. Bob trekked to the Post Office and posted our 2013 tax return and 2014 estimated payment. This is probably our least favorite day of the year, but we'll survive, even if it requires a double dose of teen-aged bourbon.

Last evening, as planned, we met the Mayers for dinner at Red Lobster. The company was excellent but the food was a bit disappointing. We haven't eaten at a Red Lobster for many years, and it may be many years before we revisit.

We returned to the coach at dusk to witness an absolutely spectacular moonrise over Prescott Valley. We got our cameras out and set up to record tonite's eclipse. We stayed up wayyyy past our bedtime and braved the cold (it was in the forties) to shoot images every ten minutes or so. Our results are posted on the pix section for your perusal.

We're planning to stick around here till the end of the week. So, stay tuned we may do something of note between now and then...



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