Tuesday, March 20, 2007

I drove the bus...

.....I did!!!!! After preparing myself for several hours I finally drove the RV!!!! Of course it was on a back road, in the middle of nowhere without a car in sight. I like to ease myself into these things. I couldn't let my fellow men down, could I? Anyway, back to the blog.

We stopped in Cottonwood for provisions (& the purchase of a duvet!!!) and hit I17 heading north to Canyon country. After a brief detour around Flagstaff - my navigational skills failed us & with new roads being built the satnav got a little confused too! (we got in the wrong lane but managed to turn around in a hospital car park watched by a smiling group of Ambulance drivers) we got on Route 89 towards Lake Powell. Abi wanted to stop at Sunset Crater National Park which is just off route 89. It's 32 mile loop through a volcanic landscape but it also includes the Wupatki National Park
This is where I did my RV practice drive, although the roads were narrower, the speed limit was 35mph & it was quiet :)

We walked up into a crater (a bloody long walk up a steep, cinder path), walked along a lava flow and visited some abandoned Indian Pueblo. Although the volcano was interesting the highlight was the Indian village. I'd always thought American Indians were nomadic people but it seems they also built permanent communities.. up to 800 rooms by all accounts & a fantastic 'blow hole' at the bottom which had cool air gusting out at some speed! At last we've managed to see a little of the 'real' American history. I only wish we'd had more time to spend there. Dusk was approaching and neither of us like driving in the dark.

We had 100 miles to cover through Navajo territory before we could relax. The driving wasn't too bad, I managed to keep it between the lines but did cut a couple of corners :-( It's quite an experience being overtaken by a truck at 70mph and trying to stop weaving around.

We arrived in Page around 7pm, re-fueled (30 Gallons for $75!!!) and drove around Lake Powell in the dark. The only time we actually saw the lake was when we drove across Glen Canyon Dam. After getting lost (again - but Abi's fault this time!) and having a short discussion on the best route we arrived at the camp ground. If you arrive after office hours they post your reservation details on the front door and you check in the following morning. Much to our delight we had been allocated a prime spot on the lake. However, when we got there we found someone had already claimed it. I went and had a 'chat' and found
two guys had 'accidentally' parked there. As they'd already 'hooked up' (RV speak for connecting your rig to the mains & sewer) I agreed to swap in the morning. They'd also been drinking and were smoking HUGE cigars so I assumed they were in no fit state to be driving anyway. After parking and having dinner we decided to call it quits and explore the following morning.

I woke at 6am busting for the loo, had a quick look out the window and this is the view that greeted me... (Abi here: To clarify, Rob stayed under the nice warm duvet & I went out in my jammies & his fleece to get the 'sun up' shot, amongst the cottontail rabbits and lizards! - got back to the RV planning on jumping on Rob [he hates it cold!] but he'd thought as much and was already up with the kettle on!! - I'll get him next time!)

How cool is that!?!?!?!?! I love America, the people, the landscape, the food (big juicy prime ribs - yet to indulge), the music (BB King, Otis Reading..etc)....well just about everything except for the politicians (met a guy from Canada who was less than complimentary about American Politics, but loves to come back for a couple of months each winter!!). I'm so glad we're back, it's fantastic.

Today we explored the resort, rented a power boat and whizzed round part of the lake, ate lunch on a deserted beach in Navajo Canyon, got sunburnt and walked into Utah (twice!!!! the camp site we're in straddles the state line). Tomorrow we leave for Zion National Park (south west Utah). More to come. Oh and check out Flickr as we've uploaded some more photo's. Thanks to Muzza, Mum and Sis for the comments. Always appreciate a little light banter. :-) Be good x


H said...

Good that you are sharing the driving. Like the photographs. Tried to find some of the locations on Google Earth - can follow the route.

Muzza said...

MASCULINITY REGAINED!!! Nice one Rob…and don’t spare the air horn. Now that you’re a man again I expect you to go out early one morning and kill yourself some breakfast. Cottontail on toast sounds nice on a cold desert morning.

Abi I have boundless respect for what you're doing since I can't back out of my own driveway without doing £450 worth of damage.

Keep the photos coming and all the news of your travels.

Sis said...

WOW With a capital W !!!! What an amazing view to wake up to! Well done there Abs for getting the photo .... what's me Bro like eh?! He never was a morning person, always hid behind the cereal packet not talking to anyone !! Lol
And yes, you have regained some credibilty by driving the RV. Though it obviously took a woman to show you how it was done. Ha ha
Looking forward to more photos and updates ... I'm always waiting. Take care - Love Sis xxxx

Anonymous said...

Hi auntie Robbie
Well done mate. If BOC (or Linde) ever lets you go we have pleny of jobs for truck drivers down here
Ciaran said to remind you not to set the cruise control so you can go back and make a cup of coffee.

Glad to see you are having a ball

J Fe & C