Monday, July 24, 2017

Sedona, AZ

Would you believe we had to travel yet again to Flagstaff!  This time it was to “reshoe” the back four tires on our 330 horsepower towing vehicle.  My parents took it in stride (even Mom the Budget Master), noting that Big Boomer was still traveling on his original drive tires seven years later.  As for me, once again I resented spending our “weekend” doing chores.  But Mom, the Queen of Compromise, suggested we head to Sedona after the tires were installed.   Of course, it took FOREVER for the tire install, with one thing or another going wrong.  We arrived before they opened to ensure we were the first to get serviced since they do not accept appointments.  Unfortunately, an hour into the task, our technician had to go on an emergency service call.  We waited about 30 minutes for another tech to take over.  Then they did not have the proper equipment at this facility to balance the tires, so they transported them to their second location for balancing.   In total, it took over 4 hours and nearly $2,000 to complete the task.   Dad was shocked at how badly worn the old tires were.  Once removed, you could see extensive dry rot on the inner walls, worn treads, and even road debris (like pieces of metal, nails, screws) impaled into the tires.  With our new Toyo M-154 Extreme Long Haul Drive Tires and the two front tires we replaced within the prior 18 months, we are now in good shape for the next few years, barring any unforeseen circumstances.

We had a quick lunch then headed for Sedona, which is absolutely gorgeous!   It is a mecca for arts and culture, boutique shopping, and holistic treatments.  We took State Highway 89A from Flagstaff--a HUGE mistake.  There is road work in progress. And I’m not just talking shutting down a lane or driving on gravel.  I’m talking about driving on newly-dug mud, reminiscent of our driving experiences in Alaska.  What a mess!  Once beyond the road work, I relaxed and enjoyed the scenery.  I was mesmerized by the vibrant orange and red coloring of the rock formations, many named appropriately for their unique shapes, like Bell Rock, Coffee Pot Rock, Cathedral Rock, and Madonna and Child.

Cathedral Rock

Bell Rock

Madonna and Child (in center of photo)

But the highlight of the trip was visiting the Chapel of the Holy Cross.  Built in 1956 right into a rock formation, it presents breathtaking views. Though part of a Catholic Diocese, it is not adorned opulently like many Catholic churches.  Instead, it exudes beauty in its simplicity, offering a spiritual respite for people of all colors, creeds, religions, and ethnic backgrounds.

View from the balcony of the Chapel

The weather started to change and flash flood warnings went into effect.  So we traversed along Scenic Byway 179 and then headed back to the South Rim.  Due to time constraints, we didn’t do much hiking, so hopefully we get another opportunity to visit Sedona in the future.

Speaking of weather, we had a real doozy of a storm on July 18.  Mom and Dad were working at Yavapai Geology Museum and I decided to visit them that evening.  What a relief that I arrived before the storm hit.  It was pitch black to our West—you could not even see the Canyon.  But to our East the sun was shining. The contrast was amazing!  Combine that with lightning bolts and a rainbow, and the result was one phenomenal light show!  I must say, my pictures came out great for a change.  In fact, our organization’s Social Media/Marketing guru used one on the Grand Canyon Association Facebook page!  Unfortunately, she did not credit PoPo the Rambling RV Rat.  I guess it would be difficult to explain what a stuffed rat is doing at the workplace and how one without fingers can even take a photo!

My photo, used in the Grand Canyon Association post of 7/21 (below), credited only to "GCA Store Staff"

As some of you may know, we want an ATV/UTV in the worst way (Mom has even added the necessary funds into her budget!)  But our biggest challenge has been finding a way to transport it.   Although Big Boomer has a garage, the motorcycles lay claim to that area.  Dad has been doing extensive research, so hopefully he comes up with a solution soon.  Mom and I are hoping to have a new “toy” under the Christmas tree this December!

Well, another weekend has come to an end.  I’ll talk to you again soon!

We would like to thank two amazing organizations for all they do for the RVing community:

Escapees/ Xscapers

Escapees RV Club


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Please visit their sites to see how they provide across the board support for everything in the RVing lifestyle.


  1. I replaced my front tires last summer and still have the rears to do as well. I had them inspected at the time so hope to get another year out of them. Great photos of the storm!

  2. Being out west definitely sparks the desire for an ATV! We are in the same boat, but don't think there's a logical way to carry it!! Great pics of the storm!!