Should’ve Stayed in Bed

flowering cactusThe sun was shining. There was a light breeze blowing off the lake. The desert plants seemed to have come alive after the drenching of rain the day before. Yep, it sure was a beautiful morning. Seemed like a great day to hit the road for our journey north.

Our stay in Phoenix was already longer than intended and we were definitely ready to move on. Normally I feel a sense of excitement on moving day. Not that day. Al and I both felt a sense of hesitation. Was it because we thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Lake Pleasant or was it saying good-bye to our son? Neither one of us could pinpoint our lack of enthusiasm for those RV wheels rolling once again. But roll they did.

desert floraWe left Lake Pleasant in Phoenix, Arizona, shortly after 8:00 a.m. on Thursday, April 3rd. The first 145 mile, two-hour trek from Phoenix to Flagstaff required a 5,800 foot climb in elevation. Our F-250 pulls our 31 foot 5th wheel over mountain passes with ease. Al and I are accustomed to mountain driving and don’t shy away from steep grades (slope). As long as we stay on major highways or interstates, we’re comfortable and good to go.

In less than an hour, we’d climbed from 1,100 feet to 3,000 feet in elevation. Al’s bike fell part way off the bike rack dragging the hand grip and hand brake on the road pavement. Ok, the kind of damage that can easily be dealt with. With the bike secured, we continued our drive.trailer tires

It wasn’t but thirty minutes later and a trailer tire blew. Oh joy, what fun!!! Al pulls over and he and I assess the damage. I’m ready to call AAA or Good Sam Roadside Assistance, after all we do pay for these services, but Al stops me and informs me he’s going to change the tire himself. Really? After an hour and quite a few expletives later, we were on the road again. What a stud!

While he messes with the tire, I grab my packaging tape and begin to work my magic on the busted up wheel well fender.  We’re looking classy now!

Allow me to back track for a moment…… We had retrieved my little red truck from storing it for a couple of months in our son’s garage and thus that day we were traveling with two vehicles. Al and I were driving separately. As both trucks were parked along the very business Interstate 17, Al had sat in the passenger side seat of my truck while we discussed the plan. We needed air in the now mounted spare tire and the tire behind the one that blew before driving too far or we’d run into more problems and potentially blow another tire.

Since we’ve driven this stretch of I-17 more times than we can count, we’re very familiar with most of the exits and rest areas. Just ten minutes up the road is a Chevron gas station at the Camp Verde exit that we’ve used in the past. Al pulls up to the air pump. We plunk in 4 quarters for air.  It doesn’t even begin to inflate the tire. Those pay compressors rarely do. At this point, I can sense the slow simmer of frustration working up within Al. I recommend we grab a bite to eat.

desert lizardThere’s a Wendy’s attached to the Chevron gas station. We grab a meal, drinks, find a table, and proceed to eat in silence. Half way through our meal, a group of State Troopers entered the Wendy’s. Al lights up, excuses himself, and heads over to talk to one of the officers. Al returns to our table in better spirits and responds, “I know where to get air. There’s a tire store just up the road”.

The guys at Tire Pro Automotive in Camp Verde, Arizona, were awesome. The tech checked and filled all the tires on the 5th wheel, the F-250, and my Toyota Tacoma including our spares. The tech was also a wealth of information. We’ll be getting all new tires on the 5th wheel in a few weeks once we’re back in Colorado.

Whew…..finally on the road again. Al has me drive in the lead. I’m usually pretty good with directions and once I’ve driven a route I tend to remember it. To head up into Utah we need to take Highway 89 in Flagstaff. Well, there’s the 89 that goes through town and the bypass around town via I-40. The signs are clearly marked.

It’s now one o’clock in the afternoon. What should have been a two hour drive had taken us five hours. I had a brain fart fog and veered left onto business 89 and Al veered right to go around town. I called him on the two way radio and let him know I’ll figure it out and meet him on the other side. Once again that fog sets in and I get myself turned around and go to call Al on his cell phone to let him know not to worry. His phone rings under the passenger seat in my truck  #!?@!   Remember when he got in my vehicle to talk while dealing with the blown tire? Well his cell phone fell out of his pocket, down between the seats, and landed under the passenger seat. The two way radios are only good for 2 miles, and we were separated well beyond those 2 miles, thus he and I had lost communication with each other.free ranging cows

Could anything else go wrong? At this point, I’m saying to myself, “We should have stayed in bed”.

Al and I reconnected north of Flagstaff. Al was waiting for me at a pull-out and once I got closer the radios began to work again. We continued our trek to the town of Kayenta, Arizona, where we stopped for a quick dinner of sandwiches and a discussion on our destination.  We had originally planned on staying in Monument Valley and taking in the sights, but at this point we didn’t care about any red rock monoliths, spires, or buttes. They’ve been there a million years, they’ll still be there next year.  I just wanted to park my rear for a few days to decompress and I knew just the spot to do exactly that.

We first discovered Goosenecks State Park in southern Utah two years ago and decided that would be the perfect place to unwind. We pulled into Goosenecks after a very long eleven hour day. We left the rig and truck connected, put out the slides, grabbed a couple of margaritas, our chairs, and sat in silence as we watched the sunset over the expansive mesa.Goosenecks State Park

Oh, did I mention the two very close calls we experienced that day? First let me say, I hate the drive between Phoenix and Flagstaff via Interstate 17, but it’s the quickest and easiest route northbound; not a lot of other options. Since it’s the only north south interstate in northern Arizona it’s frequented by a lot of truck traffic, RV traffic, and traffic in general. Not all vehicles can handle the grades and thus travel 30 miles per hour (65 mph speed limit) as they slowly climb or descend the change in elevation…..I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.  This creates bottle necks.  And then there’s the impatient driver with an engine that has no problem with the grades who likes to weave in and out of traffic testing their vehicles performance……zoom, zoom.  Slow trucks, fast cars, add in a mix of RV’s, lots of changing of the lanes, and you’ve got yourself one interesting drive.

That said, while uncomfortably parked along the interstate changing that tire, one of those impatient drivers cut off a semi truck. As the situation unfolded before me, I thought, “This is it. We’re going to be plowed into and killed instantly”. Thankfully, the disaster was narrowly averted due to a skilled truck driver.Gooseneck State Park

Later that day on highway 160 between Tuba City and Keyanta, Arizona, I managed to avoid a head on collision. I saw the oncoming pick-up truck in my lane a little too close for comfort and hit my brakes slowing way down. If I had not slowed that drastically……..? Due to a guardrail, I was unable to move to the side of the road, thus slowing was my only option.  I had no where to go.  Needless to say, Al was following me far enough behind that my braking had little impact on him, but the close call he witnessed had his heart skip a beat.

And now for the topper…….the blown tire damaged our water line.  We get to enjoy two weeks of dry camping with a leaking water line.  All part of the adventure……living the dream.  Dream? Nightmare?  All the same, eh!  Such is life.

Yep, cocktails, sunset, and hitting the hay asap….. Tomorrows another day!Valley of the GodsFYI….  we’re currently in Moab, Utah, and heading up into Canyonlands National Park for a week.  I will be without internet connection while in Canyonlands.  Catch y’all when I get back to Colorado and I’m reconnected 🙂  The adventure continues……

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85 thoughts on “Should’ve Stayed in Bed

  1. Pingback: I’m married to MacGyver | Live Laugh RV

    • Yep, that was one heck of a day. I guess I need to be careful when I say “I’m in search of an adventure” because that was not the adventure I was seeking LOL 🙂

    • I guess it’s all part of the RV adventure…..gotta take the good with the bad. Let’ hope the good far out weighs the bad 🙂

  2. Oh my what a day that was, so glad you were able to overcome it all safely. Margaritas and beer were definitely in order afterwards. Maybe you’re all done with the bad stuff, life is an adventure for sure.

  3. Pingback: Living on the Edge | Live Laugh RV

  4. That’s a day you’ll likely remember but should try to forget as soon as you can. How lucky that there were nothing worse than close calls and that the tire could be fixed relatively easily. I hope the same will hold for the water line so that you can enjoy your stay at the park. Good luck!

    • Fortunately that water line is holding up with the help of some interesting tape. At least long enough until we can get to a bigger town. That nightmarish day is in the past and we’ve been enjoying some stunning scenery in Moab, Utah. Bluer skies are on the horizon 🙂

  5. And here I thought based on the title you’d had a flu relapse. I’m not going to mention any of this to my husband or I’ll never get him anywhere near an RV. I admit to a good laugh about the cell phone under your seat. We stayed at the Comfort Inn at Camp Verde while we hiked around Sedona; very nice people there.

    • Thank goodness no flu relapse but I have come down with a mild cold…..that I can live with compared to that nightmarish day. I agree; the folks around Camp Verde and Cottonwood are super nice. We’ve always enjoyed our stays in that area. AND no, do NOT mention the downside of RVing or you’ll never get him in one.

    • Rattled is putting it mildly. It was definitely a challenging day. Thank goodness it’s in the past and we’re enjoying beautiful scenery in Moab, Utah.

  6. Yeah, there are things that can and do go wrong and I’m real glad you two are OK. I once got caught in a monster storm in Wyoming and got so uptight my nose started to bleed. Guess I was lucky I didn’t have a stroke. Ommmm.

    • Wow, that had to be scary. We both know how brutal that wind can be and in WY there’s nothing slowing it down. All’s well that ends well. Guess it’s good we both got lucky 🙂

  7. Ingrid, I sure hope we don’t ever experience a day on the road like you have had. I hope your enjoy your stay in Utah, relaxing and just chill-in-out! Safe and uneventful travels going forward.

    • Relaxing and chilling is exactly what we’re doing. Once we get back to Grand Junction we’ll get all repaired and hope for calmer seas. Life’s an adventure!

  8. All’s well that ends well! And glad you have overcome another challenge in your travel, remember it keeps you on your toes and have a good laugh reminiscing it. Beer or Margarita was for sure the order at the end of day. Looking forward to your hiking and landscape photography.

    • Sometimes, I could do without some of life’s challenges. Photography challenges are a lot more fun 🙂 Not much hiking for me just yet…..still recovering from my near death flu episode. Lungs have been compromised and the dust around Moab isn’t helping. So I’ll be sticking to driving to scenic overlooks 🙂

  9. Stayed in bed to put it mildly!!!! WOW….it was like nothing was going to give! Road travel…all you can do is get out there and pray its not your day or at least that’s how I try to get through it. Our first day not too bad except for the regular gas we put in instead of diesel….ecks. Only six gallons….STILL dealing with that today. Parked in the woods and don’t want to even leave! Decompress….I like your thinking!!! Be safe now!!! Someone is watching over you…let’s share!

    • Before we purchased the F-250 (diesel) we had owned a couple of F-150 (gas). That first year TWICE, Al filled the F-250 with gas and twice had to have it drained asap. He then put strips of colored (red, yellow, blue) electrical tape on the gas cap to remind him.
      Yep, life can’t always be sunsets and rainbows and it could’ve been a lot worse. So we’ll return to Grand Junction for a couple of months and get me and the rig repaired 🙂
      I know you guys are still in the healing phase of loss which takes time. Wishing you guys a safe and fun summer!

      • So far so good…automatic transmission fluid saved us. What an ordeal you’ve had…safe thankfully but still stinks. Glad you’ll be in you old stomping grounds to get things settled and back up and running! I really like not moving so much. Happy Easter season…

  10. Oh dear! I’m so sorry you had the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day! Just glad that all turned out relatively well for both of you and hope the water line gets fixed quickly. Canyonlands looks like a wonderful place to chill out for awhile, too. 😉

    • This part of Utah is incredible…..well any part of Utah is amazing. The land is so unique and diverse. I can’t help but smile as the stunning scenery unfolds before me, and that nasty day is but a memory 🙂

  11. Yep, you should have stayed in bed. Those kind of days make me want to hang a for sale sign (as is) on the rig, get into the car and drive home. It’s a little harder for full timers since you are home. That good margarita at the end was hopefully a big help.

    • Trust me, after the past couple of months, I’ve broken down a time or two and just wanted “to go home” only to realize I have no home to return to. Things are not always as they appear. Here’s to clearer skies!

  12. I had been thinking about you the past couple of days, wondering how you were doing as we hadn’t heard anything from you. Now I understand why! So glad to hear that you are both safe. Not sure what would be worse, to be in the truck when you had a blowout or seeing it from behind. Terry is always checking the tires and the air pressure as he lives in fear of having a blowout and I must admit, I do too when I am driving. Hope you are able to spend some time hiking in such a beautiful area before you have to head back to Colorado. Your photos as always are so lovely. Take care.

    • Al, the former pilot, always checks the tire pressure and does a walk around at any stop. As the co-pilot, I usually do a walk around as well. The bikes were checked and double checked, but a strap broke and the tires looked good……!
      It’s been a rough couple of months. I still can’t walk more than an hour. Two months in Grand Junction will hopefully repair all 😉

    • Yes, a boring day would’ve been preferable. Thank goodness I can recover from that day by savoring a bunch of boring days amongst stunning scenery 🙂

  13. WOW. I have had those days in the ‘old life’. Seemed to come with the territory, about every six months everything went to hell. Then the ‘clouds’ lifted and it was smooth sailing again for a good long bit. I for sure will be avoiding I-17 north of PHX, you just confirmed my feelings from the impression I got watching the local news while we were in Palatki. That bit of road is crazy for a LOT of reasons. Good luck with those repairs.
    Remember it IS behind you for a long while, dues paid!!!

    • Ah, I’ll still choose I-17 any day over I-25 from Co. Springs to Fort Collins….both of which, I have a great deal of experience driving. However, if driven early on a Saturday or Sunday morning I-25 is a piece of cake and you won’t even have to take the expensive toll road around Denver.
      I certainly hope you’re right and we’ve “paid our dues”. Once we’re in Grand Junction, we’ll get it all fixed up 🙂

  14. Oh no, so many challenging experiences, and all in one day! So glad to know that you’re now in beautiful Canyonlands. That’s one of our favorite places — so remote, and so peaceful. Wishing you safe travels.

    • Thank you Laurel. I’m loving my remoteness. After 8 days of free boondocking, we’re camped with electric at Dead Horse Point SP and even have 2 bars of connection….yahoo! No running around exploring this time……just relaxing and savoring my environment 🙂

  15. Road trips usually end up with a surprise or two, but I think you were rewarded with a year’s worth in just one day! I think realizing that my husband’s cell phone was still in the same car that I was driving would have sent me over the edge, but you handled it all beautifully! (Your photographs are wonderful.)

    • Thanks….Yes, the ringing of hubby’s cell phone was the final straw that brought on some tears. I just couldn’t believe how many things were going wrong that day….a day I hope never to repeat 🙂

  16. Holy Cow! What a day! No more of those…especially the close calls.

    Your ads seem to like hovering over your photos…real annoying. I don’t know if you planned it that way…just an FYI in case you didn’t know.

    • Yikes….what’s with those ads popping up over my photos? Sorry. Certainly not my doing and I will look into why that’s happening.
      Yep, I’m ready for some boring down time. I’ve had enough excitement for a while 🙂

  17. Oh, Ingrid! I am so glad you survived this terrible day. How could so many things go wrong in one day! I was worried when you said you ended up at Goosenecks State Park. I know how high above the camping is…might not have been a good idea with your luck but you made it to Moab:)

    Check out our awesome hike that we did in Canyonlands Needles section. It was so much fun but we had to haul it out the last half because we almost got stuck hiking in the dark without flashlights. Get started before noon. But you have to see the “Joint.” A very cool slot type section.

    http://ohtheplacestheygo.wordpress.com/2013/04/06/hiking-in-the-needles-canyonlands-np/

    Can’t wait to read about Moab and Canyonlands:) Have an great time!!!

    • Due to my health, there won’t be much hiking this trip unfortunately. Goosenecks is such a hidden gem, but not for the faint of heart. Not only were we perched 1,000 above the San Juan River, but we were literally dry camped in the middle of no where…..perfect for my needs for a few days. A few more days of boondocking outside of Moab and I think I recovered from that nightmare of a day. Now we are comfortably parked in an electric site at Dead Horse Point SP. With the help of a little grease we managed to squeeze into a site lol.

  18. When people ask us how our journey has been and I smile and say it was “uneventful” they can’t understand why I’m so happy about that….but I bet you can!

    • I hope you’re right Gunta because I’m not sure I could handle another day like that anytime soon. Canyonlands should be relaxing and low key, exactly what I need 🙂

    • Thank you Cindy. I’d say we’ve had enough excitement for a while. A week in Canyonlands should have us feeling relaxed 🙂

  19. Oh My Goodness – I was not even there and I am exhausted – glad you both are okay! I have been there and when I finally arrived at my destination I usually pop a squat and open a beer or two or three. Here’s to a Better Day – Happy Traveling:)

  20. I think that we’ve all had days like that, hopefully, few and far between. But, every one is safe, and it’s time to relax for a while. I hope that your journeys go better from now on!

    • Fortunately we’ve been able to relax amongst some spectacular scenery since that ‘delightful’ day. We’ll be able to get everything fixed once we’re back in Grand Junction…..until then we’re making it work.

  21. Been there and done that with the blown tire on the 5th wheel. What a more joyous occasion I cannot image.

    Oh my gosh…could anything else go wrong…I think not. So very happy to read that you two are safe in Utah. We loved our visit this past Sept/Oct. There are so many places to see and hikes to do. Be sure to off the beaten path. So much beauty in that area. Enjoy the good life.

    • Yes Marsha, I’ve followed your journey with the tires and you certainly understand that ‘joyous’ moment. You do such a nice job describing repairs, etc. Hope those truck tires are working well for you.
      We need to be in Grand Junction mid month so we’ve had to temper our explorations, but we’ll be back!

  22. Well, at least your Blog title describes your life! Whew, I really think two margaritas each would have been in order.

    • Two it is! That day was so exhausting, the next day all we could do was sit and veg. All my plans to sight see in the area got tempered. Guess we’ll have to return in the fall….oh darn!

  23. Wow I am emotionally exhausted just reading about your day! Travel safely. That head on collision prospect did not sound good. Take care! Lovely photos too.

    • Exhausted sums it up quite well. I’m thankful we’re all safe and whole, with the exception of the boo boo on the trailer and Al’s bicycle which are both easily fixed. Ah, the trials and tribulations of travel…..always an adventure 🙂

        • Yep, I usually say ‘good blogging material’ but this day was soooo bad, I almost didn’t share. I’m not sure I wanted to repeat it by writing about it. After 4 days of hanging in remote Goosenecks State Park, I was finally able to talk about it.

  24. Ingrid…We had 3 blow outs with our first fiver, a Keystone Cougar..The name of the tires we had on were Mission Tires…Den found out that the axle was slightly bent causing extreme tire wear . (He took it to Mendota, IL to a semi-truck place to find that out). We had to order a new axle and Den put it on…Needless to say, our Hiker does NOT have Mission Tires!! Good for Al for changing the tire, but it’s pretty scary on the side of the road with trucks whizzing by! Also, make sure you have a good spare that is filled with air..After 3 scary blow-outs, we traded the Cougar in…Glad you are both safe and have an extra Margarita, enjoy the sunsets and “chive on”!!

    • We’ve heard the Cougars have had axle problems. That’s something we’ll look into once in Grand Junction to see if all Keystone models are similarly affected. (and Keystone won’t admit there’s a problem) I believe our tires are Towmax Power King a Canadian company. We dealt with them regarding the first blown tire. Sure takes the joy out of the adventure. We’ll be chilling in Canyonlands enjoying the view and hope we get to Grand Junction without further complications 🙂

  25. Wow, that’s certainly a day to put behind you! Glad you are both OK. Hope those margaritas repaired some of the damage 🙂 I love the pictures of the little bird and the medicine wheel circle. Where is that?

    • The rock art is at Goosenecks State Park. I’ll post about that place next. A couple of margaritas and a good nights sleep helped a great deal…..what a day!

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