Tuesday, April 12, 2011

More Snow in Arizona and other Surprises

What??  Yes -- we ran into some snow yesterday.  But that wasn't the only surprise.

After a wonderful time in Tucson the past couple of months, it was time to get ready and move on.  On Sunday, after I packed up the Roadrunner and repositioned everything in the basement so it would all fit, I did some mending.

My bike bag has served me well but it was in need of some TLC and I took out the needle and thread for some repairs.
It took me about 30 minutes to get it done and six or seven months to get motivated to do it...

Next we settled in and watched the Masters.  It is one of my favorites golf tournaments.  A newcomer won after an exciting back nine and my man Phil never was a factor.  Tiger put on a late charge but has never come from behind in a 'major' and came up short again.

We were up and raring to go on Monday. We went through the checklist, buttoned everything up, hooked up the car and pulled out.

Ugh oh...
the air bags did not inflate.  This has happened before.  Last time it happened we were up near Mackinac Island in Michigan.  The lesson there was to put down the jacks again, raise them and go through the whole sequence slowly.

We pulled out of the campsite area slowly and went to the overflow area that had a lot of empty space.  I was thinking if the Roadrunner had to be towed, it would be good to have a lot of space.  Instead of the coach being 16 inches off the ground, it was about half that height.  And the ride was bumpy.
Once in the overflow, we raised and lowered the jacks three times.  No dice.
Then we called the local La Mesa RV dealer since they sell Tiffins.  "Yes - we have a problem with the air bags."  "No ~ we couldn't get in for a couple of weeks" since they were busy.
Then we called the Freightliner shop about 6 miles from where we were.  "Yes - come on over and we will take a look."

We unhooked the car and prepared for the slow bumpy drive to Freightliner.  I turned around, slowly drove out and headed for the front gate on base.  About 300 yards from the gate, I pulled over to a large concrete area.  Pam and I talked some more, got out and looked things over.
Sure enough - the bags inflated and everything looked fine!
Hmmm.  Now were were just as surprised to see them filled as we were to find they had not inflated.

This happened another time about 15 months ago in Cedar Rapids, South Dakota.  We took the coach in to the Freightliner shop there after a similar episode. After $300, they said, "Looks good, we checked and couldn't fine anything....".
So we cautiously decided We to save $300 and go on our way.

Our destination was Holbrook, Arizona near the Petrified Forest and Painted Desert in northern Arizona.

We stopped about 50 miles south of Flagstaff for a rest stop and everything checked out fine.  Air bags were good.
This day was full of surprises and a lot of changing scenery.  We just couldn't believe the changes.
Tucson is about 2600 ft in elevation while Flagstaff is similar to Santa Fe and at 7,000 ft.  So we went through a lot of beautiful and changing scenery.
From the desert, to the high mesa.
Grassy meadows and rocky mountains with pine trees.
And then ~ snow!  What a surprise!  It was 61 degrees outside and the snow had not all melted.
 What?? While we were going through the rain and wind on Saturday, northern Arizona was getting hit with freezing temperatures and a snowstorm.
We missed a couple of other shots showing fields that still had snow.  It didn't look like it was very deep but it must have been something.  We could tell the highway had been plowed and there was plenty of salt and sand on the highway around Flagstaff.
As we continued east out of Flagstaff, we saw more spectacular beauty in the red rocks and canyons.

90 miles down the road in Holbrook, we found our campground.  It is a good place to stop and adequate for our needs.  The pull throughs are 60' long.  And there is a sewer connection every 10 feet so it can accommodate almost any kind of rig.  The staff is friendly and helpful.  Perfect for a couple of nights.
It was fairly empty when we arrived but then around 5:00, they were lining up 3 and 4 deep to check in and get a site.  The migration north is in full swing for the snowbirds.

That was our day on the trails of the Roadrunner Chronicles.  Thanks for joining us!  Until next time...


  1. Happy to hear your air bags inflated for you properly and you hit the road without too much trouble. We are looking at making a stop at that same campground in a couple of weeks to tour the Petrified Forest and Painted Desert as well. Thanks for the photos and information of the campground, know we have a better idea of what the sites look like. Enjoy the area and sorry we missed you again.

  2. I think you made a smart move to just carry on after your air bags decided to work o.k. Sounds like it was some kind of minor glitch - who knows??

    Interesting weather! Great shots going down the highway.

  3. The Hiker's only air bag is ME....and I have no problem inflating my mouth...LOL .Glad yours straightened itself out...I hate when RV stuff goes wrong.

  4. Hi Randy,

    We've had similar (but not identical) mysteries, in the short month in our new life as full-timers. Although I'm sorry you went through this yesterday, it's reassuring to know we are not alone in discovering some of the oddities and mishaps that can occur out there.

    I'm glad ya'll were able to roll on down the road.

    The big marriage lesson we are learning is to stay calm, not be bossy with each other in these situations and be prepared to be flexible...

    Love your blog!

    Robin and Ross

  5. Glad your airbags settled down and behaved themselves!

    We just spent 2 nights in Flagstaff a week or so ago. Slept with the windows open and it was so nice. What a surprise to get snow?

    Karen and Steve
    (Our Blog) RVing: Small House... BIG Backyard

  6. Don't you just love it when something rights itself!! Hope it's not an ongoing problem for you.

    Enjoyed your road photos..and the pic of the snow! Can't believe how long winter is hanging on in some places this year.

  7. Glad to hear that everything worked out well in the end with the airbags. Hope you don't have another issue with them.

    I remember feeling the same way when we drove through part of Arizona in 2005, how much the scenery changed in such a short distance. Truly amazing.

    Kevin and Ruth