It's all down hill from here

Pulling out of Show Low was no easy feat. It took two men and myself to guide Jim, and I'm not talking a fantasy here, folks. That's down right reality. Mix together a tight space, a few trees, and a 40-foot fifth wheel, and it just spelled trouble. After about 10 minutes of maneuvering, various hand signals from the man guiding Jim up front, one hand signal from me in back (giggle), a few broken tree limbs, and we were outta there. Whew!

Jim has a hand-held GPS system that looks like this:

He puts it on the dashboard for better reception. He attaches a cord from the GPS to the laptop computer, which sits on a post between our two seats. This way the map is displayed on a fairly big screen and can easily be viewed by either one of us.

We drove a few blocks away from the campground and the GPS kept telling us to turn right. We were in a residential area, so Jim kept going straight. The woman on the GPS repeated for us to turn right. She's a persistent little bitch that way. The GPS always tries to find the shortest route, without considering what we are hauling. She kept saying, "In 100 feet, TURN RIGHT." I swear, her voice was getting LOUDER, and if you listened carefully, you could hear her STAMP her foot. I was surprised that she didn't start crying when we continued ignoring her instructions. Finally, Jim listened to her and turned right on the next street.

I yelled, "WHAT ARE YOU DOING? You're turning into a County Park!"

Wait, was that actually a LAUGH I heard coming from the GPS? I could picture her smirking and thinking "I got him to listen to ME!"

We went tooling through the large park, with winding roads that led us around and about. I was a nervous wreck.

"We are going to get stuck in here, I just know it," I said, my voice shaking.

Jim was beginning to lose his patience with me. (That happens a lot.) "No we won't! I can see on the map that this has a road out that will lead us right to 260."

I shut up and bit my bottom lip. If people were alarmed to see this honking unit driving through their park, they didn't show it. All was well till we came to a fork in the road. Oh-oh. Right or Left. Which way NOW Miss GPS girl? She was ominously silent. Jim chose left. Yes! Route 260 was straight ahead. It turned out that if he had chosen right we would have driven into a small parking lot. So at least THAT turned out alright.

Right out of Show Low we drove through Sitgreaves National Forest that had been hit by a fire from lightening strikes and wildfires. It was so sad to see barren land and the charred tree limbs. It's funny how the path of the fire left some trees alone, while right next to them they were burned to a crisp.

We only had about 160 miles to drive to our destination; about 140 miles of which were all downhill. At a 6% grade. Pulling an 18,000 pound trailer. Yeah.

Jim had the truck in low gear most of the time, and it still seemed like a roller coaster ride. A few times I was tempted to throw my arms up in the air and scream, but I didn't want to scare the bejesus out of the driver.

I was VERY thankful we had new back brakes put on in Santa Fe, because my life would have been flashing before me, and it wouldn't have been as a passenger of Big Blue.

I knew we were getting close to our destination when I spotted my favorite cactus, the saguaro - pronounced "suh-war-row". This hill was just full of them.

We have arrived! This is the main drive into the resort. Love those palm trees!

Monday we take the trailer in for servicing. My fingers are crossed that they can repair it in one day. Otherwise, dun dun dun, we have to stay in a hotel. I'm not looking forward to that added expense.

When we arrived on Saturday, Jim noticed some fluid had splashed up all over the side of the truck. He discovered that it had come from the transmission. This is NOT a good sign. So far the transmission fluid is still full, so we're not sure what's going on. We have to get the truck in AGAIN. SHUDDER. I'm hoping our trailer repairs are covered under the special 10 year additional warranty that we took out. But you know how that goes.......
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