Lake Mead N.R.A.

Lake Mead N.R.A.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Travel Day to Usery Mountain Park Mesa AZ

May 7, 2010
Yesterday, we spent the day at home cleaning our Cameo and our vehicles. I checked the air in the tires and installed the transponders on the Cameo's valve stems for our TST tire pressure monitor. We packed up and prepared for our early travel day on Friday, May 7.

Today, we got up at 6:30ish and we were hitched up and on the road by 8:00. It was expected to be windy today as is common in the West! We wanted to get an early start as we expected to spend 6 hrs. on the road. Our plan was to travel to Usery Mountain Regional Park in Mesa, Az.

We had good weather, mild winds and rolling hills.

A beautiful day for traveling on the road.

We just wanted to get to Mesa AZ early to beat the heat. It was forecasted to reach 93! You can see the snow capped mountain in the distance on Hwy 70 near Safford, AZ.

We stopped in Globe, AZ at a McDonalds which advertised RV parking. When we got back on the road headed west on Hwy. 60, we ran into a traffic jam just outside of Globe. We inched forward till I was able to speak with a police officer in the median. He said the Highway Patrol was working a fatal accident and the road would be closed for at least an hour! He suggested we turn around and take Hwy. 77 to Hwy. 177 looping around to Superior, AZ and back to Hwy. 60.

So, we turned around and headed back through Globe, Az. and found 77 west toward Winkelman. We took the route and were soon headed down hill at a steep grade coming into a beautiful saguaro desert. However, it was a 50 mph road with winding curves and a steep rolling hills so it was too dangerous to risk taking pictures. Soon the temperature was 94 degrees and we were committed to climbing and descending some very steep hills/ mountains. I saw signs for 7% grades, then 8% grades and a sign for a 10% down hill grade for 4 miles.  Signs warned trucks to use lower gears and of truck runoffs. At one point I radioed Joyce following behind me, that I was climbing in 3rd gear and floored to maintain 2500 rpms. I thought that was the worst of it till we hit another climb where I had to shift to 2nd gear to make the climb at about 25 mph! That must have been a 10% or greater grade! Needless to say it was a white knuckle detour that I would not want to make again. 

After our 50 mile detour we made it into Mesa and Usery Mountain Regional Park. It was 93 degrees so we rushed to set up and get the two A/C's cranking. Our trip was 320 miles from which I got 9.9 mpg towing. I was surprised it was that good considering the steep climbs. As a side note, at their max, my TST Tire Pressure Monitor system measured the tire pressures in my Goodyear G614 tires at a pressure of 125 psi and 105 degrees. Cold pressure was 110. 

We have a beautiful site with a great view surrounded by various (dangerous) cactus and saguaro cactus.

There is plenty of space between sites as depicted in the photo of our nearest neighbor's site with Superstition Mountains in the background.

This is another shot down the road in the opposite direction.

And finally for today, a shot of our view out the back window. Love the view. What you can't see from this view is the city in the valley to the left. Last night we could see the lights of the city in the far distance and it was a beautiful contrast to the star fill night sky.

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