For the past several months, Bubba has lobbied for us to join him and his family in Colorado over the fourth of July holiday. We finally gave in, not because we didn’t want to visit with them (they’re quite a hoot to be around), but because it is so disagreeably hot in July and August if you’re south of, say, Nome.
Sandy and I are hopelessly dependent on air conditioning during the summertime here in the hell simulator we call Texas. When we built the new house, we demanded a higher capacity a/c unit than was recommended. As a result, all the lights in the neighborhood go dim when we fire up that sucker. (Not really, but it does keep the house frosty cool.) We even added a separate a/c unit for the master suite, which we keep at 68 degrees while sleeping. And no, our electric bills are quite low, thankfully, due to extreme overkill in insulating the place. It’s actually more like a huge Styrofoam cooler than anything else.
Bubba, LouAnn and daughter BreAnn have a head start. They departed a few days ago for the Grand Canyon, after which they will make their way back through southern Utah to Durango, where we’ll meet them on July 1.
We’ll leave Fort Worth next Tuesday and stay overnight at Lubbock and Santa Fe en route to Durango. While there, we will ride the old steam train up to Silverton through some really gorgeous mountain scenery. I made that trip when I was a kid, so I don’t remember much about it, and Sandy has never ridden the train. I got a note from Ed Dray today, giving us some suggestions about where to sit on the train for the best view and a line on a good Mexican restaurant in Durango. Wish he and Marilyn could be there with us, but schedules just didn’t match up this time. We hope to see them in the fall when they head back to the RGV.
We’ll bid farewell to Bubba and family at Durango and continue into the southeast corner of Utah and Monument Valley. This is a bucket list item for me, and we’ll be so close at Durango that I can’t pass up the chance to go there. In this setting for so many western movies, we’ll be prepared for an Indian attack at any time in Monument Valley, but confident that John Wayne will ride to our rescue if we get in trouble!
After Monument Valley, we will turn south to Flagstaff, Holbrook, Show Low, and back into New Mexico, where we’ll go through Silver City, Las Cruces, Alamogordo and Roswell—all places we’ve never been--before re-entering Texas and making our way home. We’re going to pray that Lucille’s air conditioner holds up in this sun-drenched part of the country, lest we have to call a wrecker to drag her to an air conditioner repair shop! If any of you dear readers have suggestions for interesting places to visit on this route, we’d be delighted to hear from you.
In preparation for this trip, I’ve acquired a couple of new gadgets. One is a Pressure Pro tire monitoring system, and the other is Microsoft Streets and Trips software. The Pressure Pro will give me some peace of mind with Homer’s tires, which are hardly worn but have been on the trailer four years. The conventional wisdom is to replace tires at five years, irrespective of the amount of wear they’ve seen, so this will probably be either the last summer for this trailer or the last for the tires. I’ve begun to fiddle with Streets and Trips, and I like what I’ve seen so far. However, I need to investigate extra databases I might acquire to show even more cool stuff while planning trips.
This weekend will bring about the final trip preparation and making arrangements for our mail pickup and house monitoring, things you full-timers don’t have to worry about any longer. Grrrr.
We’ll keep you posted along the way, so TTFN! (Ta-Ta For Now!)
346 days to retirement, if anyone is counting!