Shake & Ed-Gee-Kate, part 1

I’m off to Colorado Springs for the RV Safety, Education and Lifestyle conference.  This will also be a big test of the “dry camping” systems aboard the rig as I’ll be off the grid for 9 days. It doesn’t hurt to get out of the Valley heat either.

Roadside

I’m a fan of (or sucker for) roadside attractions and the route takes me through plenty of Rt 66 towns, stars of the roadside.  Gotta stop in Winslow …

...such a fine sight to see
…such a fine sight to see

Near Grants, New Mexico, I took Scooter of Anarchy for a ride about 30 miles to the Bandera Volcano and Ice Cave. Thirty miles puts it well off the roadside, but it was a nice day and the road goes up into the mountains and pine forest.

The 800 foot deep crater is about a 25 minute walk from the trail head.
The 800 foot deep crater is about a 25 minute walk from the trail head.
Ice cave? Well, it's a cave with a pool of water that stays frozen even in the summer since the cave never gets above 30 degrees.
Ice cave? Well, it’s a cave with a pool of water that stays frozen even in the summer since the cave never gets above 30 degrees.

I love single topic museums.  The New Mexico mining museum along Rt 66 in Grants was really well done with an underground exhibit of mining equipment and techniques that featured recordings of real miners explaining how each item was used.

 

Uranium Made and Killed Grants, NM
Uranium Made and Killed Grants, NM
Part of the underground mining exhibit
Part of the underground mining exhibit

The Road Through New Mexico

I-40 and I-25 are long stretches of barren, dusty, windswept land interrupted only by the odd Indian casino.  Most of the way there is no plant visible over 10 inches tall or closer together than 25 yards.

I-25 continues into Colorado, where it’s mostly flat grassland.  Permanently posted highway signs warn of high wind, and they weren’t kidding.  Pretty stressful keeping the motor home on the road.

Finally reached Colorado Springs in the middle of an afternoon thunderstorm.  The view from the conference location, was, well pure Colorado …

Colorado Springs View

to be continued.

RV Driver Confidence Course

Lazydays Tucson has a free (yea free) all day RV driver confidence course, so I’m down at the Lazydays resort campground in Tucson for three days.  The drive down from Phoenix was a breeze – just a few hours, all freeway, with a stop at the Flying J to weigh Roamward Bound on the CAT Scale.  Now I know you really need to weigh an RV on each wheel separately and the CAT Scale only gives you axle weights, but I don’t have any weight yet on my RV loaded for travel so this is going to have to do until I get to a conference that has weighing.

The hardest part of the whole thing for an RV using the scales is pushing the button. There’s no door on the drivers side and the button is a good 10 feet in the air.  I finally managed to get it with the awning hook, but just barely.  Walk inside and for $10 you’ve got a nice printout with each axle’s weight.

Registration at the Lazydays resort was a breeze and I was parked and hooked up in a nice site in minutes.

Only thing is, it’s freaky cold today.  One of the coldest days on record throughout the state (overnight low in downtown Tucson was 18).  My rear furnace is making a screeching noise, so I set up an electric space heater pointed to the bathroom and bedroom.  The living room furnace is fine, so I let that run – all comfy inside now.

Free wi-fi at the campground is an amazing value, worth exactly what you pay.  I could barely check email on the link.  I definitely have to pick up a 4g mi-fi type device.

Now the driving course is a whole nuther matter.  Totally professional, the classroom part had great travel and driving tips.  The driving and parking part, while short, was, I thought, very helpful.  I know everyone in the class gave the instructor excellent marks in the course eval.  The course is certified by the RVSEF and completion certificate is good for a discount on RV insurance.

The high today was 30.  Even the people from Minnesota were wearing long pants.  This desert rat was wishing he owned a parka. I’ll have to stop by this park again in warmer weather.

Ready to Roll
Ready to head out with scooter in tow.
Parked at Lazydays Tucson
Parked at Lazydays Tucson