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RE: Highway's 260/87 to Payson, a 4th of July nightmare...

So wait, your wife was part of the cause of this "nightmare"? I know better {after 52 years} than to blame anything on my bride and am not sure who had more fun... she or me. :B It was quite an event and if you could have seen the faces of all the kids {young and old alike} I'm sure it would have left you with a grin as large as ours. Can't wait to do it again next year but at least you've all been warned. :S
Desert Captain 07/04/22 09:59pm Roads and Routes
RE: Everybody must get stoned, rock on...

Actually the the city fathers of Payson had the foresight to deal with the issue of water years ago. They built a reservoir that's sole purpose is to ensure Payson will always have a reliable water source unlike many areas of the southwest. Water is diverted from the reservoir into the Verde River every year ensuring its continued flow year round. Additionally at 5,000' we get lots of rain {as shown in the photo I posted} and even decent snowfall most years. As for my yard it is a small lawn {see my previous post from 6/29 on page 1 of this thread} and 5 minutes a day a few days a week are all I need to run the irrigation system, during the Monsoon and less during the colder 5 months of the year. Other than my 20' X 20' garden {4 fruit trees, Blackberries, Raspberries and a few tomatoes} every tree {Ponderosa Pine, Juniper, Oak, Manzanita etc} and plant on our .57 acre lot are all native that do well in the drier years. I paved our driveways and have used stone and gravel extensively to help control runoff and keep the dust down. When we lived in Tucson the entire yard was rock with all of the plants on drip irrigation but then the High Sonoran Desert is a totally different environment. :C
Desert Captain 07/04/22 09:51pm General RVing Issues
Highway's 260/87 to Payson, a 4th of July nightmare...

The 4th of July being the busiest camping weekend of the year the Mogollon Rim and all of the other campsites anywhere near Payson were full up. Highway 87 {aka the Beeline} feeds traffic up to Payson from Phoenix. Most folks pick up highway 260 in the center of town and proceed east up the Rim and on to the White Mountains. Lots of folks decided to beat the return flow of traffic by leaving Monday morning but sadly that just did not work out. The City of Payson puts on a 4th of July parade every year and this year was bigger and better than ever. Aimed at UTV/ATV's, Jeeps and trucks with a few vintage cars thrown in there were hundreds of participants. It started at 10 and lasted about an hour but that was enough time to back up the 260 for miles {and miles and miles} with the 87 not fairing much better. The entire parade route was lined with happy spectators, lots of kids of all ages, more than a few seniors and every age in between. Happily 99 percent of the participants left their politics at home and just enjoyed celebrating our great nation. Hats off to the local LEO community who handled this event very professionally. Here is a shot of my bride in the staging area awaiting g the start: https://i.imgur.com/nFmnNHLl.jpg A few folks got a bit carried away but a good time was had by all: https://i.imgur.com/qHxqv1kl.jpg
Desert Captain 07/04/22 01:56pm Roads and Routes
RE: Everybody must get stoned, rock on...

You betcha! I confess to spending a fair amount of time taking care of my garden and the lawn...cheap entertainment. Happily the Monsoon has arrived. We have had a quarter inch of rain or more 4 of the last 5 days. We just finished a monster thunderstorm that dropped .75" in 45 minutes with lots of very intense lightning directly overhead. Funny story... When we were looking for a place here in Payson the Realtor said this one had a "Seasonal stream", turns out it is just a drainage ditch but fortunately it works quite well. It went from bone dry to this in about 15 m minutes: https://i.imgur.com/YiVl6xjl.jpg https://i.imgur.com/sbMkaKgl.jpg :B
Desert Captain 06/30/22 09:40pm General RVing Issues
RE: Los Algodones Mexico

Another tip that applies just about anywhere in Mexico... When dining in a restaurant that has "Misters" do NOT sit anywhere that the mist can reach your plates. If you think they fill those things up with bottled water you are sadly mistaken. They generally use buckets drawn from a spigot out back. :S Just sayin... :C
Desert Captain 06/30/22 12:04pm Snowbirds
RE: Everybody must get stoned, rock on...

I'm wondering why you didn't back in putting the entry on the driveway side. Because the rear overhang enables me to park further back from the garage enhancing that access. I can overhang the drainage ditch but could not get the front end end that far back . This pic shows it little better: https://i.imgur.com/j9NRKiYl.jpg :C
Desert Captain 06/29/22 09:03pm General RVing Issues
RE: Everybody must get stoned, rock on...

Finally got the pics posted... here is the last one of the dually support stone darn, that was heavy!} :E https://i.imgur.com/pvcM2Q6l.jpg
Desert Captain 06/29/22 01:27pm General RVing Issues
Everybody must get stoned, rock on...

A year and half ago I widened the parking pad for our 24' Class C. If parked on the concrete driveway it blocked most of my access to the garage {our coach is 101" wide}. I dug down and created a 3' X 27' hole, framed in 6 X 6" timbers. Ffilled and compacted this with crushed granite and topped it all off with concrete gravel. I added a few large rocks along there oujtside edge and called it good.... :R I gained 3' of additional space which freed up my garage access and it looked like this: https://i.imgur.com/dOeViVCl.jpg The problem was the outside bank dropped down 3' on a steep and slippery slope and getting in or out of the coach when parked on the pad extension was a broken ankle waiting to happed. The solution was obviously going to involve a lot of rocks. I made 3 trips to the gravel pit and lined the outside edge with rocks to help stabilize the bank and to provide a little better footing. The final solution came today... after 3 trips out into the woods on my Rzr loading large "Moss Rocks" as the locals call them I finally had enough to put in steps and a short walking path of stepping stones. The 15 large rocks were 3 to 6" thick and weighed between 15 and 60 # a piece coming in around 500+#. https://i.imgur.com/std2NpDl.jpg Now you can easily walk across the driveway, down 3 steps and proceed a few steps more before climbing the stair steps of moss rocks to the door of the coach. I hauled one huge moss rock, 30" X 16" X 5" to use under the passenger side dallies to bring the coach dead level and keep my frig happy, don't even want to think about how much that one weighed. :) https://i.imgur.com/f4WC4UVl.jpg For good measure I drove two, 2'X 3/8" rebar in front of the two largest stair steps and everything else has been set and compacted with no discernible motion from any of the stones. Don't remember how many hours I have in this entire project but today was 3 hours of hump, hump and hump some more! Being closer to 71 than 70 my afternoon is going to consist of a long hot shower followed by multiple trips to the Jacuzzi, IBprofenand perhaps an adult beverage or two. :B
Desert Captain 06/29/22 01:12pm General RVing Issues
RE: Unique situation: What tow vehicle checks all the boxes?

Very few vehicles can safely, much less actually tow their so called rated tow capacity. They simply run out of payload long before reaching that mythical tow capacity. A 9,000# trailer will need to have a tongue weight of 1,170# {13 percent of total weight} plus another 100# for the weight distribution hitch. That 1,270 # comes right off of your payload before you load anything or anyone beyond the driver. IMHO: Get a truck with at least 2,000# of payload if you want to safely tow a 9,000# trailer. :C
Desert Captain 06/26/22 09:26am Tow Vehicles
RE: Best mileage ever on a great albeit short trip...

Great post Phil. The one time I had to use the idle option was not for battery charging but to run the dash AC. We were trapped in a tiny RV park notched out of the cornfields of southern Illinois in mid June.. Tornado warnings were up, the temp was 100 with matching humidity. The roof air struggled to get the temp down to the high 80's and the humidity was miserable. I let the V -10 idle and fired up the dash air with our windshield cover in place. It was still warm and humid but far more comfortable. I let the dash AC run for about 90 minutes after which the roof air seemed better able to deal with the heat. Just another option/difference between a coach with a large gasser vs the MB diesels... just sayin. \When we checked into the park to just get off the road and hide out until the storms passed they explained their shelter situation... Down the road in either direction were a couple of farms that had large basement shelters. They urged us to immediately flee to one or other if the sirens went off. It was a long night but by morning the skies had cleared and we continued on to Missouri and Arkansas before returning to Tucson. This was our third, but not our last close call with tornados on that 2 month cross country trip. Here is another shot from our site at Hawley Lake where my bride captured a nice sunset: https://i.imgur.com/1xttB7Pl.jpg
Desert Captain 06/24/22 10:11am Class C Motorhomes
AZ 260 between Payson and Heber... expect delays

With the 4th of July weekend fast approaching be advised of delays on AZ 260 between Payson and Heber {just east of the Canyon Point CG at the top of the Mogollon Rim}. They appear to be adding an additional west bound lane which necessitates shutting 260 down to one lane and ushering traffic through using a Pilot Truck. The project does not look like it will be done anytime soon... perhaps a couple of months. :h Traffic was heavy today at 11 AM with a lot folks getting an early jump on the weekend but this stretch sees heavy commercial traffic everyday. Depending on traffic, and the holiday weekend should be a nightmare to begin with, you can expect to be sitting for 10 to 30 minutes and it could get much worse fast. :S Good luck. :C
Desert Captain 06/23/22 03:47pm Roads and Routes
Best mileage ever on a great albeit short trip...

With gas holding at just under $5 a gallon we have been taking shorter trips this spring/summer. We just returned from another this time to Hawley Lake in the White Mountains of eastern Arizona. Just 125 miles from our home in Payson, Hawley is the most beautiful alpine lake we have ever visited.Tthe weather was awesome with temps in the low 70's during the day with lows in the lower 50's. The Monsoon has commenced and heavy thunderstorm activity is a very real possibility on a daily basis {which we love}. Most of Arizona is under a Stage Two fire restriction so no campfires were permitted which is a shame as there is all the firewood you could ever want just lying all over the CG. Our site overlooking the lake sat at 8,300': https://i.imgur.com/X6IvuVsl.jpg Here is a shot down along the lake: https://i.imgur.com/rDPVLRxl.jpg While only 125 miles it is a 2.5 hour drive as the entire route, not surprisingly is all mountains mostly between 6 and 8,000'. We average about 55 -60 mph with a ton of climbing getting there and of course a nice mostly downhill run on the return. The lake and CG lie within the Apache reservation and UTV/ATV's are not permitted so we left ours {and the cargo trailer} at home and just drove our 24'Nexus Class C with the 6.8 V-10 lightly loaded with just my bride and I. Going up we got a solid 10+ mpg and the return trip netted us 13+ for an average of 11.5 running 87 octane. Over the last 9+ years {and 66K+ miles} I have averaged right at 9.5 when not towing or loading heavy. I attribute the mellow pace combined with the elevation where we always seem to do better for the mileage. Also not long ago I had the fuel system cleaned along with changing the oil, trans and differential fluids {always with pure synthetic} and a new air filter. Since the service the coach has been running noticeably better but this mileage improvement really got my attention. :B Be advised that AZ 260 from Payson to and through Show Low, Lakeside and Pine Top is subject to some serious road repairs just east of the Canyon point CG on the top of the Mogollon Rim. Expect to spend 10 to 30 minutes just sitting where they have narrowed 260 down to a single lane and no, it won't be done for a while. The 4th of July weekend will prove quite a challenge so if you are headed this way be prepared for the delays. :C
Desert Captain 06/23/22 03:11pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Unhooked for the night.

Another consideration is where you find yourself camping or even just spending the night. Out west {here in Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado etc.} half of the state is on fire or at risk for one breaking out on very short notice. When we camped with our 22'TT I would stay hooked up and I do the same now that we are using our 24' class C, usually towing our 6 X 10' cargo trailer. I never stay hooked up to water or sewer but just use them as needed for a quick fill or dump. Being able to flee in mere minutes should the winds shift or a new fire breaks out is a no brainer. Picture the chaos in a crowded campground when a wind shift puts everyone at risk from a fast approaching fire. :S We have had to literally turn around on a two lane highway due to a fast moving fire suddenly closing down our intended route more than once. This pic was taken about 30 miles east of Zion in June of 2020. We were headed up to Jacob Lake when this fire over ran the highway not far in front of us: https://i.imgur.com/YQ0mPERl.jpg Be safe out there folks... :C
Desert Captain 06/16/22 07:23pm Travel Trailers
RE: Don't let your guard down, Covid is still out there...

OP here... First I would like to thank those who wished my friend a speedy recovery. I spoke with him a little while ago and he is on the mend and optimistic that in another day or two he will be as fine as his bride who is recovering nicely. I posted with the best of intentions and sadly so many felt the need to drag it down to a level rarely seen on this Forum. Covid 19 is and always has been real and tragic. Vaccines work, some better than others but science leaves zero doubt as to the wisdom of being vaccinated. Obviously many of those who posted have not lost a loved one to this horrible disease... sadly I have. Believe what you will folks through much of what has been posted here is just sad... sigh, but it's OK, Ron White explained it to me. :S
Desert Captain 06/14/22 09:52pm General RVing Issues
Don't let your guard down, Covid is still out there...

We {my bride and I} and our best friends have been very proactive in dealing with the Covid pandemic. We all got our shots and boosters in a timely manner, have by in large self isolated and always wore masks when we did venture out into public. They came for a brief visit to retrieve his Rzr SXS and trailer from our house as I had evacuated it a couple of weeks ago to get it out of the path of the Calf Canyon Fire that threatened their home IN Angel Fire NM. They arrived on Thursday afternoon and returned home on Saturday morning. They spent Sunday prepping for a planned camping trip with their new Lance TT and left Angel Fire Monday morning for a 4 day trip. By Tuesday Sherry had serious Covid symptoms and three days later Paul had them as well and they both tested positive for Covid 19. They are in their mid 60's and in excellent physical condition. Our best guess is that Sherry was infected somewhere between our house {in Payson AZ} and Angel Fire as it was 4 days later her symptoms kicked in. They of course notified us immediately and as my bride was going into day 2 of serious headache we tested her and happily it was a solid negative result. My bride is at extremely high risk due a number of health issues so we are and always have been very cautious. After all of this time dealing with Covid it is easy for folks to become complacent but you do so at potentially great risk. Sherry is recovering nicely but Paul is having a rough go of it. He got the anti Covid pills and an oxygen meter and hopefully will be feeling much better soon. Be careful out there folks...
Desert Captain 06/14/22 02:15pm General RVing Issues
RE: 89A through Oak Creek Canyon to Sedona

I would like to add the Rim Road (FS300) in the Coconino and Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests as an awesome drive. Lots of fantastic views. We're currently boondocking about 60 feet from the edge of the rim. But beware, sections of the road are narrow and rough - not much fun when towing a 42' 5th wheel. X2 Camping right on the Rim is spectacular... and free. You just have to find one of the gorgeous sites that his empty. Here is a shot from "The Rim" looking southwest towards Payson: https://i.imgur.com/Hs0Gm7el.jpg :B
Desert Captain 05/31/22 02:37pm Roads and Routes
RE: 89A through Oak Creek Canyon to Sedona

DC...You must have come during spring break. Here spring break lasts SEVERAL weeks, like from mid-March to mid-April. The traffic IS insane. I can only go to the grocery store at 8am or 8pm, else I'd have an hour or more trip just to go 5 miles. The traffic is nowhere near as bad now...except on the weekends! And holidays! Can't wait for this coming Memorial Day weekend. Better get my groceries before Friday :) Definitely agree about the restaurant prices. It's not just HP, but nearly all the restaurants. We rarely go out to eat here. Actually we were there at 0900 hoping for breakfast at HP but after seeing the new prices we walked. Even that early on a weekday the traffic was ridiculous. If you can find a parking apace then you have to mess with their automated parking meter payment system. Sedona used to be fun but no so much anymore... :R
Desert Captain 05/25/22 12:44pm Roads and Routes
RE: 89A through Oak Creek Canyon to Sedona

Just came from the area and it's beautiful and for us especially the fantastic red rock areas. I'd bet a dounut that the construction area traffic is faster than the Sedona area on a weekend. :B We were there in April and the traffic in Sedona was insane. We used to enjoy a visit and a nice breakfast at the HP Cafe but their prices have gone to the moon… a simple omelet is $21. :S
Desert Captain 05/24/22 08:36am Roads and Routes
89A through Oak Creek Canyon to Sedona

Perhaps one of the most scenic roads in Arizona 89A has always been restricted, no vehicles over 50’ and with good reason. Rode it this morning on our Can Am Spyder, be advised that restriction is now 30’ due to construction that necessitates a lane closure in two locations. They are rebuilding a bridge and near the north end of the canyon they are constructing large retaining walls. I’m guessing both projects will take months (as in many more) so the new restriction will be in effect for some time. Lots of LEO’s working both section so assume they will be enforcing the new limits. :C
Desert Captain 05/23/22 01:50pm Roads and Routes
RE: Calf Canyon/Hermits Peak fire in northeastern New Mexico...

Barney, thanks. I successfully used this URL for years and then one day it completely failed. It's great to have it back! :B
Desert Captain 05/21/22 08:36am General RVing Issues
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