We say finally because we were planning on starting the journey on March 15th but did not leave until March 17th. During the day before departure ritual Bob makes sure that the air pressure in all the tires is OK. Since we were in Goodyear for 5 weeks we had put the tire covers on so we did not see the tires. One of the trailer tires was low so air was added and the rest of the tasks were completed.
The first thing Bob did the next morning was to check the pressure again and sure enough it was down 10psi. We have an Emergency Road Service from Good Sam's RV Club and one of the benefits is to put the spare on which we had them do. Not willing to travel without a spare we took the leaking tire to S&S Tire in Goodyear, now doesn't that sound strange. Inspection of the tire showed a long nail had caused irreparable damage. Finding the same tire proved to be a challenge so this turned out to be an all day affair. Since we had lost our mojo for traveling we decided to stay one more day and because it would be the first 80 degree day we would have full-timing. You just knew we had to work in how great the weather has been didn't ya : )
A lesson learned from this is that we will be investing in a tire pressure monitoring system, probably PressurePro. Bob checked the pressure when we left Benson AZ on our way to Goodyear so the nail had to happen somewhere between. PressurePro would have notified us immediately when the pressure dropped. We were so lucky to not have a blowout. Another lesson learned is that we need a better compressor which we also be investing in.
We left Goodyear about 10:00 a.m. on the 17th as we like traveling between 10a-2p. It does not seem to matter when we get up we always seem to leave about the same time. The cats weren't quite in travel mode as JJ hid under the recliner again. But once we dislodged him he walked into the bedroom on his own. Tiger had to be picked up off of the bed so we could put the slide in. Sandra was the champ again as she waited patiently by the bedroom door so she could go in.
We took the northerly route from Phoenix so we went through Flagstaff. Now Flagstaff has had over 140 inches of snow this winter and the weather can change at any instant so we kept track of the weather and road conditions before we left. We did see our first snow while full-timing on the side of the road and on the mountains near Flagstaff.
In addition to the first 80 degree day and our first snow we also encountered our first really steep grades, both going up and down. Although we have been on steep grades before the length of the grade was the most challenging, a downhill grade of 6 degrees lasting 6 miles for example. We are so glad we bought the F-350 because it handled quite well. There was one time going up the hill that we got caught behind a heavy load and knew we just did not have the power to get around and not impede the cars that we were whizzing by at 75mph. We also got caught on the down grade in the slow lane. This was the first time Bob had to downshift the transmission, usually the tow/haul mode handled the speed reductions but like mentioned before the down grade was not 6 miles long as it was here.
There were some rough roads around Flagstaff but we guess that is to be expected since it is probably still winter there and the road crews have not had time to fix them. JJ took a long time coming down from the bedroom after we got there and setup. We leave the bedroom slide in until he comes out because he wedges himself under the bed while we travel and we are afraid that he may get caught in the moving slide. He eventually did come down so we could put the slide out and setup the bedroom for our stay in Holbrook AZ where we will see the Petrified Forest, Painted Desert, and maybe a few other things while we are here. We will only be staying here 3-4 nights and then heading off to Albuquerque.
Till next time,
Bob & Jo
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