The low-key week we spent near St. George was much needed, and it was great to get some quality time with our friends Chris and Cherie, who were parked next to us in their "new" vintage bus. On Tuesday, we had to say goodbye though and move on toward our next destination. The annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is coming up and we want to be there for it.
We gave ourselves a few days to make it to Albuquerque so that we could make some stops on the way. We like to roll this way… there's nothing worse than having to speed to a location and miss everything in between! Our first stop was in Page, Arizona. We parked at the Wahweep Marina on Lake Powell just in time for an amazing sunset. While we were there, Karen took a drive to shoot Horseshoe Bend. We were there recently before, but she was eager to get back with her new fisheye lens.
We planned to make our next stop at Canyon De Chelly National Monument. In route, I noticed that our refrigerator stopped running. After some investigation, I learned that the belt that drives the bus' alternator had frayed and needed to be replaced. That caused the fridge to run via the inverter off battery power… I've known for a while that I should replace my house battery bank since they usually last for five years or less and I've been living on the bus for longer than that and don't even know if those batteries were new when I bought the bus. In the end, that meant that the refrigerator could run for just shy of a day before the batteries were drained, which meant we needed to get to an RV Park that offered power that night. When we searched for one, we found that none of the campgrounds near Canyon De Chelly offered power and that Monument Valley was the closest place with power! Not a bad place to spend another night! We got up early, drove around the park and then had breakfast at the little restaurant that overlooked the valley. I found a Napa auto parts store on the border of Arizona and New Mexico and replaced the frayed belt in their parking lot.
After breakfast, we hitched up again and drove the rest of the way to Albuquerque and we stayed at an RV park called Enchanted Trails, which is located right on Route 66. The park had some excellent vintage trailers sprinkled throughout, along with a collection of unique old stuff in their office area. There was one particular car and trailer combo that I wanted to photograph and got permission from the owner to do so. The resulting image is shown above. If you want to see a huge version, check out the Light Painting gallery at TheBestOfBen.com.
In addition to the problem with the alternator belt (mentioned above), there were some pre-existing bus issues that I wanted to take care of. These problems cropped up around the time we were at Burning Man and dealth with the generator and the air conditioner. I had ordered the parts needed to fix them and they were waiting for us at the next RV park office. The air conditioner needed a relay replaced, and after some frustration (and an unfortunate sunburn), I was able to get that working. The generator will have to wait, unfortunately, as the wrong part was sent.
We will be in the Albuquerque area through Oct. 6th, and will hopefully be seeing a lot of hot air balloons! I will also be flying out to Arlington, TX this week and Boston, MA next week to present my From Focused to Finished seminar. More to come!