Thursday, April 2, 2015

Florence AZ or bust

Well its been an interesting two weeks since we left family in  Cottonwood AZ.  Fred started feeling some transmission slipping issues with Mr B.  It became apparent as we did the mountain climbs to get out of the valley and head towards Phoenix that we really did have some transmission issue.  We had progressed far enough that we decided to continue on to Florence A,Z where we had planned to visit with our friend Keith for a few days.

Florence is a small town in Arizona, established 1866, about 65 miles southeast of Phoenix.  This is mainly farming country, rice and alfalfa for the most part.  What it has the more than that are 3 prisons, minimum, medium and maximum security plus a county juvenile detention.  In addition there is an INS security building, though we think it is not in use, not sure.

visit Florence AZ

Keith did know a good repair shop in town, one that he has used with success.  So, off we went with Mr B to have them check it out.  It has now been in the shop for 2 weeks.  First it was thought that 2 of the transmission solenoids had failed. It took a few days to get those and installed, however, it did not resolve all the issues.  More investigation lead to failed on-board computer.   So that was removed and sent out of state for repair.  It was determined that the computer failure was due to some electrical short in Mr B, which now needs to be found so another computer failure does not occur.  To add to this tale of woe, one of the shop mechanics has injured his back, so the shop is now short staffed.  There is a very slight chance that all may be resolved by tomorrow night, but the reality is that it may not be until Monday.  We shall see....

So, in the mean time we are trying to keep ourselves in good spirits.  We are both feeling very frustrated with the situation.  Our latest disappointment was to learn that our roadside assistance will only pay for hotel and car rental expenses if we had had a collision, not in just a breakdown. Damn, we should have hit something, LOL! Guess we'll need to do some shopping around for a better package.

While here with Keith, we have gone off and done some four wheeling in the desert.    He does this on a regular weekly basis with some friends, so knows lots of areas to explore.  That was quite fun!

We decided to rent a car and headed out to Coronado Island in California.  We joined my brother and his girlfriend at the Navy Lodge there for two nights.   Enjoyed beach walks and even breakfast on the beach.  A Navy training experience we saw was Navy helicopters retrieving someone from the ocean, just a short distance off the coast.  What a beautiful place, with balmy, sunny days! It really helped ease our tension to be there.

We were joined by a friend of my brothers for a trip into Mexico for a very leisurely lunch about 50 miles down the coast.  Lots of food and laughs.

oh, no!!!!

From there, we headed out to visit Palm Springs and the surrounding area for a few days.  We had only been by here once many years ago, so since we had time, we decided we could do a bit of exploring in the area.  This is also very close to Anza Borrego, the largest state park in the continental US. We headed up into the mountains outside of Palm Springs to start a scenic driving tour that included the desert and the Salton Sea before heading back into Palm Springs.  Anza Borrego is the Sonoran Desert, very hot (104 when we were there) and dry.  There were crazies dry camping out in the desert.  Some loners and some in groups which circled their RVs as though they were frontier wagon trains.  Weird to say the least.

borrego in spanish = big horned sheep

The Salton Sea is a very strange area.  A dike broke, which allowed the "sea" to form.  Developers thought this would make for the establishment of cities around the sea.  When driving in the area, your GPS really shows the street grids that were put in.  Unfortunately, the sea is so salty that the fish died, the smell used to be horrific and the people did not come.  You can still buy a piece of property for under $7,000, but there is no reason to do that, since there is nothing there. Those who bought water front property are now about a mile away from the water in some areas.  A very sad place.
I just found a link (see below) about a Museum and Visitor Center at the Salton Sea.  We totally missed this, never saw any signs as we drove around the sea, which is a shame.   We would have really enjoyed seeing the museum.  Guess we have to go back again.

Palm Springs was beautiful, with palms, bougainvilleas and cactus everywhere.  Lots of food options up and down the main street.  Free covered parking is offered in downtown Palm Springs.  We took an architectural tour of Palm Springs, which was not just about the homes but also the history of the area.  If you are looking for some really good tours, check out the Palm Springs Historical Society.  Be sure to take time and do the Walk of Stars.

Elvis Presley honeymoon location in Palm Springs

Palm Springs
Anzo Borrego
Salton Sea Museum Visitor Center
At the end of a week, we headed back to Florence with the great expectation that our RV would be just about ready to go.  Well, not really!  So here we are for another week.  We are extremely grateful to Keith for his understanding of the situation we are in.

Baseball spring training is winding down, but we were able to get another Mariner game in yesterday. Not a full stadium, as lots of snow birds have already headed home. The White Sox beat them 12-4.  We may get to another game in tomorrow.

In the two years and 30,00 plus miles, this has been the worse breakdown.  Every time we think we get closer to fixed, something else happens. At the moment, it looks as though the B will not be ready until Monday.  Not sure what we will do then.  I want to just go home and Fred still wants to see Xander in Seattle. Depends upon what our new friend at the repair shop tells us when we finally get the B back. ‎
Stay tuned, as we continue to bleed money and lick our wounds,

Michelle and Fred
Traveling the country so you don't have to (sometimes)
‎Thursday, ‎02 ‎April, ‎2015