Gold Canyon, Az

Gold Canyon, Az
New Years Day 2015, Gold Canyon, AZ

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Snowbird 3, but first .......

Can’t believe where the time has gone.  We got back home on April 4th and I meant to sit down and do a report on the trip home and an overall synopsis of Snowbird 2 for 2016/17.  But here it is, November, and we are in Kinsley, KS in the midst of our trip down to Arizona for Snowbird 3.  So before I get started on our current adventure let me take you wayyyy back to March/17. 

We were camped out in Willowwind RV Park in Hurricane, UT.  We had been enjoying the beauty of Zion National Park and were planning our trip home.  The planned route would take us north and then east to Grand Junction, Co for a nights rest before the trip through the Rockies to Denver.  Small Glitch.  Big snowstorm going through the mountains and the highway cameras, great invention by the way, showed wind, blowing snow and slush covered roads.  Not the conditions I want to be pulling a trailer through the mountains, or anywhere else for that matter.  

Rather than risk the bad weather we decided to take a circuitous route home via Flagstaff to Albuquerque and stay the night at our regular Albuquerque RV park, Enchanted Trails.  A rather long route but roads were dry, skies sunny and well above freezing.  The side benefit was that we were treated to some amazing views along the way.  
The climb up to Jacob Lake provided some great views.  Tip - When climbing a long steep grade pulling a trailer don't stop the truck and TURN IT OFF.  Temp gauge almost blows up.  

After desending from Jacob Lake the views become real red. 

We left Hurricane and travelled down 89A on a good but desolate highway up through the high mesas’ into the mountains to Jacob Lake.  From there you can take Hwy 67 to the north rim of the Grand Canyon but it was still closed due to snow.  We continued down the other side of the mountain range and joined up with Hwy 89.  We had traveled Hwy 89 2 years earlier on our way to Page, Az to see the famous Slot Canyons.  We continued on to Flagstaff and then headed east on I40 to Albuquerque.  

Closing in on Flagstaff the snow capped peaks provide their own beauty. 

If you look real close the winds off the mountain are creating their own little snowstorm.  

After a night in Albuquerque we headed to Colorado Springs.  It was another beautiful drive but instead of desert and red rocks we were treated to the green of coniferous forests.  As we neared Colorado Springs guess what we ran into.  The storm that went through the Vail pass met us in Colorado Springs however due to the lower elevation it was mostly rain and wet snow.  Other than making a mess of the exterior of the truck and trailer there was no problems with the roads.  

From there it was on to North Platte, NE and then a stop in Jellystone RV Park in Sioux Falls.  Jellystone had just opened and there were only 3 other returning snowbirds in the large RV Park.  The next morning I spent winterizing the trailer.  Seems kind of counter intuitive to be winterizing when the winter is behind us but April in Manitoba can still see lots of snow and freezing temps.  We stayed in a hotel in Grand Forks and got an early start for the border the next morning, April 4.

The Customs agent waived us through even though we were over our Tax Free allotment of $800 each.  We arrived at our friends place in Oakbank around noon and unloaded a few necessities and then brought the trailer to our RV Dealer for a few M&R items.  I dropped it off and told them we didn’t need it back till the beginning of August.  Big mistake but more on that in my next post. 

We headed back to Oakbank where we were staying with friends for a few days while we coordinated the possession date of our new house.  I’ll cover off some of our house adventures in my next post. 

But first a bit of a recap of Snowbird 2.  Our trip down took us through the usual states and then on to Arizona for some time at Camp Verde, Gold Canyon and Yuma.  It seemed that both the truck and the trailer couldn’t stay out of the shop and mechanical repairs totalled $1500-2,000.  Cost of doing business I suppose.  

From Yuma we headed west to San Diego and Anaheim where we were treated to the entertainment of our 3 grandsons as well as our son and daughter-in-law.  We had a great time trailing after them at Disney and Universal Studio.  Grandma and Grandpa were very tired after 7 days. 

From there it was on to Boulder City, NV and then Hurricane, UT before our trek home.  Overall it was 11,000 miles of travel which surprisingly was only 1,000 miles longer than our first trip 2 years earlier.  The total cost in US $ was $26,000 vs $25,000 on the previous trip.  Again I thought this trip would have cost us significantly more.  If you consider the Canadian $ cost it was more costly but that was due to the depressed Loonie.  One advantage this past year was we weren't maintaining a house back home so our fixed costs were pretty much zero.  We have averaged 11 mpg this time out vs. 10 mpg last trip, so pretty consistent.  We'll see what the new truck does.  

That’s the recap for Snowbird 2.  Next up our Summer of Trailer and House issues and the start of Snowbird 3. Not tonight though.  Its 9:25 and I'm bushed.  3 days of driving and fighting 50 mph winds have me tuckered out.  2 glassed of Merlot may have contributed. Time for bed.