Repositioning Cruise

We’ve had a lovely couple of months down in the desert southwest, but just like a cruise ship, our season is over and it’s time to move on.  Tourists don’t want to be on the Alaskan seas in January, and we don’t want to be in the hot lowlands once they start to warm up. So, we said farewell to southern Arizona, and aimed north, but not without some drama along the way.

We laid over for a few days in Tucson, because a couple other repair issues had come up that we wanted to fix before we start our summer job.  Thanks to a city law that allows 24 hour parking in residential areas, we were able to overnight in front of the house of our friend, Jen.  It’s always good to see her, and we really enjoyed having a tour of her neighborhood with her sweet little dog, Paloma.

We were having some troubles with our jacks, the hydraulic system of levelers that allows us to be stable while parked.  The manufacturer suggested that we might just have air in the system, and that we would just need to run the pads all out to full extension to purge it.  Or, in other words, the RV just needed to have a big toot! I called up the very best shop in the whole world, Sooter’s of Tucson, and they agreed to help.  While we didn’t need any help with running the jacks out and in, we did need help in order to get the RV high enough up in the air so that the jacks could extend to full length. With the help of industrial grade jacks, they were able to get the RV completely off the ground…it rather looked like she was flying.  And their first guess was just right, and we were able to purge the jacks with them stopping about 1/2 inch away from the ground. When we were back down on our wheels, we went inside to pay, but were told, “don’t worry about it…that was free”!

The next day, we went to Arizona Spring to deal with a cracked gas line to our generator.  When we last had it in for repairs, the techs noticed that the line looked pretty bad, and guessed that the worst part was hiding around the gas tank.  It seemed like the most likely culprit for the problems we had been having.  Originally, we put off the repair as a next year problem, but when we continued to hear funny noises after expensive work on the generator, we knew we needed to fix that line, so that it wouldn’t ruin the new fuel pump we had just put in.  This was a big job, an all day project, so we took off for adventure to keep our minds off it all.

We toured up Mt. Lemmon, the highest peak outside Tucson, and the equivalent of traveling from Mexico to Alaska. We had great views over the city and the lower foothills below us. When we got to the top, it was 33 and snowing, so we headed right back down. We packed a picnic lunch, and enjoyed it a lower elevation and relative warmth of 45 degrees. Back in the sunshine of Tucson, our RV was finished just before the shop closed for the day, at at half the cost I’d expected! This repair run turned out to be the easiest and best one of our winter!

JJ’s cold weather picnic chic!

And check out a book I saw in a store in Tucson: that’s Rock Creek Canyon, home of our summer job!

Finally, we had a day of real traveling, and moved way north, to Prescott, AZ. Northern Arizona is another world from the southern part of the state, at much higher elevations, and largely covered in pines.  The daytime temperatures are quite pleasant, and the sun is very warm, but the nights are cat-under-the-covers cold.  It’s a gorgeous area, filled with trails for hiking, and I’m excited to get out a bit and try out my ankle.

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