Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Hotel Arizona

If you are ever in the Flagstaff area there are things to do and places to see. There is, first of all, that really REALLY big thing, the Grand Canyon:

As I said, it’s a really big thing. And if you should slip while you are looking over the edge, it would be best to have a parachute – just in case:

If you are tired of looking at rocks that form a big hole in the ground, you can drive a short distance south and see some nice rocks that rise up from the ground. These would be the red rocks of Sedona:

Another thing you could do is ride out to Second Mesa. This is a long drive. Straight drive:

With only lovely horses for company:

And some beautiful tiny flowers along the roadside:

But whatever you choose to do, you will have plenty of time to do it because…….

You are now in the Hotel Arizona. And…

You can check out any time you want,

But you can never leave!

We know this because we tried to leave today and encountered:

Horrific wind and dust storm. The wind was so bad the highway patrol closed the highway after we had driven – VERY SLOWLY (and very carefully) – about 28 miles or so. Ambulances and police came flying past us. We could not immediately see the reason. Finally, everything came to a stand-still. Well, except for one poor guy who, apparently, had to go potty so badly he ran from his car to a fence some yards from the road, and, to preserve modesty (but not cleanliness) he broke a cardinal rule and did his whiz facing the wind. Now don’t get all excited, because I felt sorry for him and did not take his photo.

Traffic did not move for about 45 minutes. Then, I called bestest friend in the whole world who looked up information on internet for me and discovered that wind storm was causing the closing of the highway until sometime in the late afternoon or evening. This is the main highway heading east out of Flag for New Mexico. Believe me, there is nothing else out there.

On first chance, we took an exit and circled back towards Flagstaff on the overpass you can just barely see in the photo. We had phoned our RV park to beg for our space back – which was, mercifully, granted.

As we limped back, at about 15 to 20 miles per hour (I do not exaggerate - and sometimes even slower) and absolutely petrified the entire way – to the point of literally screaming in fear – the wind pushed and tossed the RV and finally ripped one of the vent domes completely off the roof. (I’m sitting in an RV repair shop waiting room as I type).

AngelSpouse says at least he learned that I have no problem making decisions under stress because in the middle of my panic I screamed, “I WANT TO GO BACK NOW!”

Here is some of what the wind did:

And this:

There were also a couple of FedEx trucks overturned and a pickup truck pulling a fifth wheel that completely overturned onto its roof - and that I was too paralyzed to photograph.

We finally got back to the RV park and I made another decision: We are staying for another TWO nights. And THEN we will be continuing our journey in another direction – as soon as I can work out a new itinerary. That is…I will if we ever get the roof vent fixed and get out of the RV service garage.

So before you check in to the Hotel Arizona, make sure you have backup contingency plans for making your escape.

After I fully recover from this “experience”, here’s a little something I would love to have:

Isn’t that little guy just the cutest thing sitting up there pretty-as-you-please being royally towed on his own little tiny trailer? I has gots to get me one a them!

And, in closing, my dear bloggy friends, I would like to leave you with AngelMay's new travel tip:

If you are traveling with a GPS, never never program "HOME" into it. If it is stolen, the thief can go directly to your home - and clean your clock since he knows you are not there. So do what AngelMay has done and program "HOME" to take you directly to the police station in your town. (This assumes, of course, that you already know how to find your own home.)

Well, that's my story.....



Brian Miller said...

a little added excitement along the way...love the country out there...i like the rocks that rise up...

fieldagentxx said...

Wow! What an experience. Enjoy your respite, and then get the heck out of Arizona!

Janice said...

Scary! I hope Mother Nature is kind to you the rest of your journey.

Sandra Leigh said...

Oy. Glad you are safe, AM. Just think, though - if you had had a toad, even a little one, you might have ended up upside down, too. Wind can be nasty.

Alan Burnett said...

What an adventure and what pictures. It was almost like being there with you. But given the circumstances, on this one occasion, I am rather glad that I wasn't.

Jessie said...

a wonderful trip you had there. i really enjoyed the hotel AZ, maybe someday...

great advice no the "home" too.

UtahGamer said...

Hope you get this in time: Walnut Canyon National Monument, near Flagstaff, is a great stop, no heavy traffic and a tremendous human experience. (FoolBalance on TMF)

AngelMay said...

UtahGamer: Sorry, but there is no time on this trip. Thanks for the info, though - I'll file it for future trips!

Gladys said...

Angle May,

We ran into 60mph winds coming home from San Francisco. I made the call to stop in Solvang. I know it was a hard call but...

Your pictures are beautiful! Don't you love RV-ing?

sandy said...

AM: That little car in the photo is a Smart Car. They're very popular here in CA where gas is expensive. But they're also very expensive for what they are, and the mileage isn't that much better than a regular compact car to justify the price.

Here's what Consumer Reports says:
"This tiny two-seater is good on gas, a snap to park, and easily sparks conversations. It features a 1.0-liter, three-cylinder engine that does a decent job keeping up with traffic, but the car is very slow when starting from a stop. We've measured 39 mpg overall, but it requires premium fuel. It has a harsh ride, clumsy handling, and an automated manual transmission that has the worst gear shift quality we've experienced. It shifts slowly, causing the car to pause and heave, rocking the occupants fore and aft. ESC and side air bags are both standard. Access to the cabin is very easy and the seats are comfortable. Reliability has deteriorated."

They give it 28 points out of 100 - the lowest I've ever seen for any car.

AngelMay said...

Sandy: Phooey. Too bad the ratings are so low. We like it for its size. It would be easier to pull (and maneuver) something tiny than a big old car behind our RV. Especially since we are such wimps about it. :)