Tuesday, April 15, 2014

I Can't Believe We Are Headed Home - First Stop: Needles, CA

It rarely happens, but I was actually up and ready to go before Kim.  Of course, he has a lot more on his list of things to get packed and put away than I do.  I asked him the night before what time he wanted to leave in the morning, and he said 10am.  Well, much to his surprise, I was ready at 10am.   He was not.  Therefore, I got to spend a few more minutes visiting with his aunt and uncle before we headed out.  We started our drive up the road to the Thousand Trails Verde Valley gatehouse.  We checked out, and drove about ¼ mile more before Kim realized he had not had anything to eat yet.  We pulled over before we even got out on to the highway so he could grab an energy bar from the pantry.  We had a good laugh, turned left onto Highway 260, and headed east toward I-17.

The previous evening there had been quite the discussion between Kim and Uncle Bill and their GPSs about which route to take.  With the Rand McNally GPS, you can plug in whether you are driving a car, a motor home, or a trailer/fifth wheel.  If you select car or motor home, the route took you south on 17, picking up AZ Highway 89 through Prescott, and then joining I-40 at Ash Fork.  If you put in fifth wheel, it took you north up I-17, picking up I-40 in Flagstaff.  We still don't know why one route was selected for a motor home, and another for the fiver.  We took the route through Flagstaff.  Next week, Kim's aunt and uncle will take the other route and let us know how it goes.  The GPS said that the route through Prescott was quicker by about 20 minutes.  It took us 2 hours from the Verde Valley TT Preserve to Ash Fork.  I know because that was just where we decided to stop for a potty break.  There are a few sections of I-17 and I-40 that are quite bumpy, and after 2 cups of coffee, my bladder had had all it could take.

Back on the road, we motored along until just before Kingman, where we stopped at a Love's to fill up, paying $3.86 per gallon for diesel.

We were headed for the Walmart in Kingman to pick up some groceries, but found a Safeway with a big parking lot and a traffic light (making it easier to turn left to get back on I-40).  We picked up some veggies, a bag of meatballs, some pretzel M & Ms, 5 gallons of water, and a roll of paper towels.  With what I already had in the refer and freezer, that should at least get us through California and possibly into Washington before having to stop for groceries again.

It had been windy the last two days in Cottonwood, and I guess the wind was following us as we were fighting the wind most of the way on today's trip.  Eventually, we crossed over the California/Arizona border, had a laugh with the agent at the Agriculture Check Point when I tried to claim Kim as live-stock....and the agent offered to quarantine me if Kim was offended.  We decided that calling Kim a "live one" was a compliment, and off we went.

We had reservations at the Desert View RV Resort in Needles.  Once we turned left from the end of the off-ramp, the road (part of Historic Route 66) was definitely in need of resurfacing.  Luckily, the resort was just one mile down the road.  As we were driving up, I was a little skeptical.  The surrounding  area was not something I would have picked, but as we approached the resort, I had a change of heart.  What a delightful place!  The spots were level.  It was very quiet.  The staff was very friendly and helpful.  The gentleman who escorted us to our spot even asked Kim if he wanted help or if he'd rather just do it himself.  To me, that's good insight into how your customers think.

I didn't get a chance to check out the pool, the laundry or the bathroom/shower facilities, but everything looks well tended to.  Here's a few quick shots of an empty site.

This was just an overnight stop, but I would definitely come back and do a little exploring.  Laughlin is just 20 miles away to the north, and Oatman is 25 miles to the northeast.  Lake Havasu and The London Bridge are just 40 miles south.  And there is a wildlife refuge I'd love to visit as well.  We will probably return in the next year or so, and spend more than just one night.

Next stop:  Bakersfield, CA.

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