The New Year dawned a bright and sunny 5C in Prescott.
Since last time I have spent time in AZ, there have been a lot of new
photo radar cameras showing up. Here is a stationary one.
Most are well-marked with signs, much like I found in Austraia.
I checked Gasbuddy.com to find the cheapest fuel at Fry's –
where I filled up with diesel at $2.76.
I was not sure if the stores would be open on the holiday,
but I found that WalMart appeared to be open – judging by a full parking lot,
Best Buy was open, but Sam's Club appeared to be closed.
I wandered through Best Buy, and finally bought a little iPod boombox/FM radio
that will allow me to listen to either when in the camper.
Then it was out of town via Prescott Valley and down, down to I-17, and more down into the north end of Phoenix. My Tomtom led me right to the
Fry's Electronics superstore. I did a fast, cursory check of the store,
but managed to escape unencumbered by purchases.
The weather down here in the lower elevations is certainly much warmer
than I have seen in a while! Definitely shirt sleeve temps here.
I was not keen about being in Phoenix around dusk, but the traffic was a
non-event due to the holiday. I did not really have much of an idea of
where I wanted to go, but thought I would check out the area around Apache Junction.
It was a good decision, which led me out to Lost Dutchman State Park.
Campsites were $15, and there was showers.
In the morning I headed out with waste tanks empty and water tanks full!
I went back into AJ in the morning looking for information,
but the only information center I found was the Chamber of Commerce one –
and it was closed :-(
So I made do with topping off the grocery and fuel supply an then found the
Home Depot to get a file for my new chainsaw.
On the way back out this time, I stopped at the obviously touristy
Goldfield Ghost town and walked around for a bit.
Very Disney-like, but also very well done, from a movie set perspective.
I headed up the winding road to Canyon Lake recreation area.
This is a very scenic drive on a winding mountain road with lots of
photo opportunities, but less places to pull off and take any.
As well, I'm sure that every motorcycle from Phoenix and Mesa was out on the
road for a ride – most without helmets. There were Harleys snorting their way,
crotch rockets screaming up the hills, and lots of (rented?)
mopeds whining along, sounding like over revving electric razors!
I checked out and made mental notes of potential camp spots as I went,
though many of the places were signed 'no camping', so selection was slim.
Finally, past Canyon lake the road climbs high over a pass, and Road 80 beckoned me.
I needed 4x4 low range to climb my way to the top of a mesa for the best scenery –
unfortunately shared by power transmission towers and lines.
But the views all around were spectacular at sunset, and the camera got a workout.
I thought it was time to finally put fuel and oil in the new chainsaw and
see if it would start. It took off on the second pull!
But the chain would not move. Yes, the chain brake was 'off'!
When I pulled the chain off for a look, it appeared that the chain
had damage to some of the teeth, so that it would not slide in the bar!
I don't know how this could have happened with a brand new chain on a brand new saw.
And it could not have been caused by the unhelpful staff member at
Home Depot Lake Havasu who dragged the teeth across the metal shelving unit.
But I may have to go back there and have another chat with them –
or their chamber of commerce.
Another beautiful day dawned at just before 8 AM, but the wind overnight
continues, so I may have to go in search of calmer areas to explore.
That's the beauty of the RV lifestyle. If you don't like the
scenery/weather/neighbors, you just pack up and leave!
Stats from my Iphone App Gas Cubby
Note: stats are from December 3 – January 3, thus missing the
first two long days of driving.
Average L/100km 16.48
Total cost(Fuel) $470.41
Total km 3780
total liters 623.10
Monday, January 04, 2010
at 1:50 PM