Sunday, December 13, 2009

Betsy Suggests A Sunday Drive - Payson and Bumble Bee - or not

In my defense, it was looking pretty nice when I suggested a drive up to Payson to check things out.  We got on the road, and the drizzle started.  By the time we got off I-17, and headed toward Payson, it started to pour.  For some reason, I thought Payson was just a few miles off I-17.  It's more like 50.  Kim humored me and we kept on driving.  And then we encountered this:


So we turned around.  Payson will have to wait until another time.

We saw an exit for Bumble Bee and decided we should check it out.  About one mile from the exit, it pavement stops, and it turns into a Primative Dirt Road, not regularly maintained.  It was 5 miles to Bumble Bee.  About 2 miles in, it got so rough that we decided to turn around and head back.  Looking for a place to turn around, we came around a curve and were greeted with one of the most vivid rainbows I had ever seen.  Too bad these pictures do not do it justice.

Bumble Bee, it turns out, is a ghost town, "once a flourishing stage stop on the Prescott-Phoenix stage line.  In the mid 1930’s an attempt was made to bring Bumble Bee back to life by making it into a tourist attraction. Several new buildings were constructed, but the attraction never drew the tourists they hoped for.  Over the years, the property changed hands a number of times, until the entire town was placed on the market and purchased in 1960 by newspaper king, Charles A. Penn. Though Penn had plans to restore the town and build a museum, it never happened."  (

Unless there is another road in, I can understand why it did not thrive.  We were in a Ford F250 truck and it was not an easy drive for us.  I can't imagine what it would be like in regular car.

South Mountain Park in Phoenix

Yesterday, at the suggestion of Kim's dad, Warren, we took a drive to the Dobbins Trail Outlook at the top of South Mountain Park here in Phoenix.  South Mountain Park is the largest municipal park in the country.  The day was overcast, so the pictures aren't as far reaching as I would have liked, but here they are.

Looking down onto the central valley

At the top of the lookout

Kim and Warren at South Mountain, Phoenix

Down the otherside of the mountain (looking south)

Looking toward Tempe and Mesa

It is a slow 5-10mph drive up to the top, with lots of curves.  You need to watch for the bicyclists coming down the mountain, sometimes they cut the corners.  We had a few close calls.

Taken from the truck as we were leaving.  One of buildings by the Ranger Station at the entrance to the park.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Electronics - Really, Really, Fingers Crossed, The Rest Of The Story

Headed back out to Pioneer Park today, hopefully to stay, until we fly home to Snohomish for Christmas.  The insurance inspector, the RV tech and electrician have all been out to look at what happened.  Kim has run all the test checks, and we are going to try it again.

Many thanks to Ken, Tom and Cathy for putting up with us for the last few weeks.  We will miss playing pinochele each night.  I do have dibbs on the 'good' chair when we come to visit next.

And now, here's the rest of the story, according to Kim:

The rest of the story....

Previously, we experienced an electrical problem that ruined our day as well as several pieces of electronic equipment; ie: LCD TV, DVD/Surround Sound System, UPS, Printer and most importantly the ac/dc converter. The converter keeps the 12 volt batteries charged which run most of our lights, the refer control panel and the furnace fan and it's been darn cold at night lately.

We thought we had found the problem in a shorted water heater element and as the water heater can also be run on propane we replaced the burner out ac/dc converter and thought we were set to go.

Not to be. The new UPS started beeping, just like the previous one did just before Armegedon struck, and the new ac/dc converter made a hissing noise and emitted a puff of smoke just before I could get to the main circuit breaker to cut the power.

I called the RV repair technician and told him what occurred and he returned the next day to look deeper into the problem. He finally located the problem as a loose neutral wire in the receptacle in the trailer where the power cord plugs in from the campgrounds power box.

Instead of causing an electrical surge and tripping the circuit breaker the electrical current found a different path back to the breaker panel and combined it's 120 volts ac with the 120 volts ac already there and became 240 volts ac which the electronics didn't like.

We have a new converter installed and I test ran everything yesterday for several hours, running all the heavy power users, electric space heater, toaster, electric tea kettle as well as all the normal things like lights, refer and furnace.

We will be moving back into the trailer today. We've been at the campground for just over two weeks now and only stayed in the trailer for 3 days. Its been fun staying at my brother's house but it will be nice to be back in our own 'home' again.