July 28 – Leaving the Sweltering Heat of Chandler

With our RV repairs seemingly behind us, we were finally able to "escape" the blistering heat of Chandler and the Phoeniz area this morning as we headed for Tuscon

and then on east to New Mexico.  Today turned out to be the first day since we entered California on July 3rd that we have not seen temperatures above the 100o mark!

Who remembers John Wayne's movie "Rooster Cogburn"?

This base also serves as a boneyard for discarded commerical airplanes.  If we were not committed to a schedule to get back East, we'd have stopped here and other places along the way.  Other places we wish we'd had time to visit included


Friends and family helping with a move

Picacho Peak

There seemed to be police everywhere.  Fortunately, we tend to travel well below the posted speed limits

As we travel, we always keep an eye on the weather and winds.  Flags

are frequenly a much better bellweather of the wind direction and speed than reports we can pull off the internet on our phones while traveling.

The landscape through which we passed today varied wilidly … with the flat and mostly barren land between Phoenix and Tucson, becoming more rolling as we began heading more easterly

Terraced banks where hillsides had been blasted to makeway for the Interstate

Suddenly, out of nowhere, huge boulders akin to the landscape of Carefree, AZ

Note how small the mother and child look

Then more flat land with green vegetation in the distance.

Looking beyond the sand the vision of a large lake was nothing more than a mirage

This fellow walking in 90o heat with a pack and guitar had many, many miles before reaching the next town.

Both in and around the Phoenix area and frequently along I-10 across southern Arizona were warnings concerning high winds

One of the most incredible sights: Monster dust storm sweeps across southern Arizona

Photo from the Internet

The culprit was a towering dust storm, along the leading edge of a vigorous thunderstorm complex, known as a haboob. Arizonans not only dealt with dust but also hurricane-force wind gusts, hail and torrential rain.

We have experienced only one such event many years ago when approachign Phoenixx from the south.  Fortunately, the zero visibility period lasted for only about five minutes.  When that happened, we pulled over and put our hazard flashers on.  What we've learned since is that what you should do is:

Pull over to the shoulder, stop and put your vehicle in Park.

Take your foot off the brake.

Do NOT put your flahsers on as someone still driving through such low or near zero visilility might take brake lights or flashers as being a drive on the road ahead of them … and drive right into the parked vechicle.

There were more unhappy speeders,

a one-horse trailer,

others apparently relocating,

an Amtrak train passing a long freight train heading in the opposite direction

and the Continental Divide.

We stopped at an overlook just west of Las Cruses

where a large Roadrunner scupture dominated the landscape

before crossing a "muddy" Rio Grand River

and then reaching a really pretty Hacienda RV Resort for the evening.

During our seven hours on the road, Debbie was able to capture the creative artwork on many bridges

and a couple of decorative sound barriers

many of which I missed while driving.

This evening, we watched the setting sun, not spectacular, but still pretty.

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