FRIDAY: Our flight was relatively easy going and we didn’t spend nearly as much time as our last flight sitting around the airport. We both got frisked and my bag got searched “randomly” but overall nothing exciting. The flight was 10 hours and after another hour in Phoenix airport we were finally on the way to the truck, to find.. the batteries dead. We waited about another hour before it was up and running thanks to a guy sent by our insurance company to give us a jump – but it was not over, we still had to drive the truck around for another hour to charge the batteries up enough to not be stuck at the hotel in the morning. We finally got to the hotel around dark and really just wanted to sleep but had to stay awake long enough to order and eat some pizza – then, off to sleep dreaming of the long weekend ahead.
SATURDAY: We woke up at about 5:30am because of our new UK schedule, got ready and headed to Flagstaff to pick up the cats and trailer. The cats were so much more excited than I expected . both were purring and rubbing on us like crazy and more than happy to get into the truck and go wherever we would take them.
Driving to Utah from Phoenix was amazing, visually, which is great because we otherwise had a pretty bad day.
First, while heading the way of Utah (basically the only way) out of Flagstaff we see a detour sign and hope for the best, after a short while we realize the difference in the detour is an additional 50 miles. Whatever they are doing to the highway 89 that goes the way we wanted to, it’s major enough to actually divert traffic deep into Navajo Nation through Tuba City and around to Page from the southeast. Maybe a bridge out perhaps? Something large enough that traffic couldn’t just go around slowly, nope, 50 miles instead. At least the scenery was awesome and by going through Tuba City we actually got to eat lunch since it wasn’t really possible otherwise until we got to Page. We got a couple veggie burgers to go from Denny’s (which I was unaware did takeaway til before) and ate them in the truck in the air conditioning on and the cats napping peacefully.
After we left Tube City we turned back towards Page onto a highway with very few cars on it. It was obvious by the scenery that we were close to Monument Valley, shooting down the highway looking at epic rock formations and desert flowers galore, pointing out one strange rock that looked like the London Pineapple – Then, the awning came unrolled from the side of the trailer. Ross hit the brakes and put on the flashers but it was too late. The awning was shredded. We sat on the side of the highway, struggling to roll the thing back in then somehow strap it closed with gorilla tape (like super duck tape). I took pics, picked an orange desert flower and we left trying to not let it get to us.
SUNDAY: Sunday was a much better day, aside from our air conditioner acting up. We woke up early and drove out of town towards Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park. The scenery was so vivid and amazing it made every other problem or woe disappear, if only for a while. We stopped off wherever we saw a place and wandered around the desert a bit, examining plants and insects, had a picnic at a campsite and drank a huge amount of water as the heat grew hotter and hotter. At one point we wandered into the dunes, the sun bright, the earth in technicolor, and the sand so hot our feet were being boiled. In fact, Ross’s shoes were ruined.
There will be a separate, more upbeat post about Sunday.
MONDAY: Solved 2 potentially expensive problems today to thwart the bad luck we’ve had lately. Our air conditioning had been causing our breaker to flip more and more the hotter it got and in 97 degree heat, that just wasn’t working out so well. We spent half of yesterday researching and trying to keep the cats cool and today found a couple new breakers to replace the main one, the rule out the chance that the problem is the expensive to replace ac unit. So far so good. Second, our stereo which is integrated into the trailer has been acting up since last year and finally stopped working a few months back. It’s just a simple bad connection in a ribbon but not something easily fixable at all. We took it apart as much as we could and shoved some cardboard in to hold the connection tighter. So far its working well and we’re back to satellite radio and much better sound with the integrated speakers, bass and subwoofer. If both the ac and stereo keep working we’ll have saved ourselves up to $1200 not having to replace them!
SO. Maybe our luck will go up from here!