Going Back To Cali

Days in the work yard were not as bad as we’d expected. Sure, it was hot, but there was a breeze. In the evenings, though, the mosquitos came out, so we had to cover our hatch with netting. Unfortunately the netting we had was for no-see-ums, which are tiny. The net stopped the mosquitos, but it stopped the breeze too! We survived by putting wet washcloths on ourselves, and sleeping under fans.

We planned to get an early start to beat the heat on our drive from San Carlos to Tucson, but with last-minute details and our farewell breakfast of huevos a la mexicana, it was 10am when we hit the freeway. After just a few minutes on the road, our air conditioner gave out. We’d had problems with it occasionally blowing a fuse, so we’d stocked up on fuses, and just popped a new one in every once in a while. Well, after pulling over twice (having blown 3 fuses in a row), it became apparent that our solution was no longer cutting it.

We decided to stop in Hermosillo (about an hour from San Carlos) to look for a garage. As the temperature crept up in the car, we sat in silence, contemplating the misery that lay ahead of us. I checked the clock; 10:24. An eternity later, I checked it again; 10:28. The drive to Hermosillo turned out to be one of the longest of our lives! But happily, the Pemex guys directed us to a garage, where the mechanics quickly diagnosed a short. They had to pull the alternator to get to it, so it took a couple of hours. Final cost: $22! We were on our way with A/C baby!

We now have a routine in Tucson: we stay at The Big Blue House, and walk around the corner to Magpies Pizza, where we order the Greek pizza on whole wheat crust, and wash it down with a pitcher of micro-brew. The next day, we drove up to Williams, where we stayed at the Grand Canyon Hotel. The cool mountain air, Thai food, and a night in the “Romantic Room” made for a great stop.

Near Flagstaff, we stopped at the Sunset Crater and Wupatki National Monuments, which were great diversions on the drive up to Zion in Utah. That evening, we met Todd’s Uncle Jim Chris and his girlfriend Susan, who had kindly invited us to spend the weekend with them at Bryce Canyon.

Bryce Canyon is gorgeous, and it’s hard to think of two better people to tour it with. Susan was born and raised in Utah, and Jim Chris is a tour guide by profession. Not to mention that they’re just fun to hang out with, wherever you are! We did a fabulous hike into the canyon, and also drove to the various look-out points.

We had wanted to go to an astronomy talk that night, but it was canceled, so we drove to nearby Panguitch. They have a hot air balloon festival there, and on one evening the balloons are inflated along the town’s main streets. Pretty cool!

The next day we did a walk in Kodachrome State Park, as well as a great short hike in a slot canyon. And despite getting stuck in the mud on the dirt road that passes for a highway in Utah, we managed to make it back to Zion.

Unfortunately we left our camera in Jim Chris’ backpack, so we don’t have any pictures of our trip to Mammoth Lakes, which has become another favorite spot of ours. But you can check out our other photos here:


One Response to “Going Back To Cali”

  1. MArcus says:

    Have you heard how she fared in the tropical storm?