Monday May 25th 2020
Today was a travel day north to Cottonwood AZ. The one hundred and seventy miles and two thousand feet of elevation dropped the day’s high temperature close to ten degrees. That difference is going to come in handy this week. The Phoenix area is forecast to have highs over 110 degrees later in the week.
I was packed and ready to start my travels shortly after ten, but the line up for the dump station put a serious delay in my departure. This holiday weekend seemed to bring amateur hour too the dump station. The guy with a trailer at the dump station when I arrived was incredibly slow and deliberate. For some reason he got out his own garden hose out to wash things down rather than using the provided hoses. Then he spent some long minutes carefully coiling the hose for storage. Overall he was probably there for forty five minutes. I was only behind him waiting for about thirty minutes.
While I was dumping the next amateur arrived at the other side of the dump island. He stopped well away from the appropriate hole in the ground, but still close enough that a stretched out hose would reach. He didn’t stretch the hose out choosing instead to point the hose in the right direction and open the valve. Sewage went everywhere including onto my side of the island. I jumped out of the way and grabbed a water hose. Thankfully, the slope of the cement pad allowed it all to find the drain with lots of help from a good hosing down by both of us with water from the flushing hoses. The amateur (read idiot) really believed that was how you were supposed to dump your tanks.
I was on the interstate shortly after eleven. The drive north went right through the center of Phoenix. The alternative loop 101 around the city to the east had an area closed because of a fatal accident during the night. As soon as you leave the traffic and congestion of the Phoenix metro area, Interstate 17 starts to climb. There are many long climbs with a few five percent down grades. The last downgrade into the Verde River valley is a seven mile six percent down grade. Cruise control isn’t an option along the mountainous route. It took a lot of very active driving.
I arrived at the Dead Horse Ranch State Park in Cottonwood AZ shortly after 2PM. This state park is busy. It is probably considered full even though there are empty sites marked reserved. I’ll be here for the next two weeks.