Moving on – to Mesa, AZ

10/13/16 (Thursday) in Mesa, AZ (Val Vista Villages)

Even though it was in the 60’s in Mesa where we were headed it was in the 30’s here in Flagstaff. Brrr. After a nice warm breakfast (we had the generator on) we started departure procedures. All went smoothly except for 2 incidents: our jacks took 6 minutes to come up. John had just cleaned them 4 days ago. It was cold, but that normally didn’t stall them that much. Later, on our trip, the “jacks down” indicator came on for a while. Hmm. Then towards the end of the process with the CRV for towing, I walked to check that the front tires would roll as John moved the RV forward. Except they didn’t. Whoa! So I dashed to the driver’s seat and discovered that the transmission was set to Park. Yikes. I can’t remember how in the heck it happened. I’m sure I set it in Neutral while I let it run for 3 minutes. What the heck, did I have some sort of mental lapse and put it into Park after that? I tried to get it out of Park and got frantic when it didn’t. John knew the wheels hadn’t rolled so he backed up a bit, taking the pressure off the transmission. By this time I started the engine and easily got it out of park. NOTE: I don’t do well under pressure, the opposite of John. So we gave it another 3 minutes of running as it sits in Neutral, just in case I had it in Park for that time and everything when well after that.

At this point we go to the restroom before leaving. John realized he wanted a mechanic to reset his service settings given at the dash, so he asked. The lady said when someone was free in a minute they’d help him. 15 minutes later I’m asking her about it. She said she told John it would take a minute. So we stood in front of an open bay door watching the mechanics meander around. Sure seemed like they were free enough to stop for a couple minutes. The Operations Manager (I think) could see us from his office and came out to ask what was up. We explained. He said someone will help when they’re freed up, in about 10-15 minutes. Hmm. Their idea of 10 minutes seems to stretch into an hour. John really didn’t want to sit around that long, so we left- at 9:15. Now maybe we were trying to push ourselves over someone else but it didn’t feel like it. If that was the case then it was probably best that we left.

This trip was pretty basic: take I-40 W to I-17 S, then SR 101 E (around Phoenix), then SR 202 to Val Vista Dr. I like simple! There was a wrinkle: much of the way was downhill, 6-8% grades, since we were going from Flagstaff in the mountains to Phoenix in the valley. We saw lots of Saguaro cacti south of Prescott. As we entered Phoenix, traffic was heavy but not so congested to slow down any. There was great signage for getting onto Loop/SR 101and SR/Loop 202. A one point 101 had 10 lanes including the HOV lane. As we exited to SR 202 E “Convoy” started playing. We’d talked about that song with the truckers a couple days ago.. How cool. Apparently Flagtown is Flagstaff.  I love how they use a form of sand painting for images along the overpasses, as you see below.

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About Patricia Elser

I've always loved the loose, flowing, transparent look of watercolors, of Chinese paintings and their calligraphy, but alas, no watercolor classes were available when I was in school, so that interest remained buried until my children were grown. Even then, I was afraid that I couldn't really paint, so upon my sister's advice, I actually started to take classes. I signed up for every class available, determined to learn no matter how afraid I was. I came upon a teacher, Stan Miller, who inspired me, who opened the door to success in watercolor. I love to look at beautiful images. I want to capture them forever. All my life, photography was how I gathered images of the beauty I saw. Thanks to all that photography, I enjoy composing pictures, especially up close. Watercolors allow me to add more of me in their translation of that beauty. My paintings reflect my love for music and dance, with their rhythm and flow. I am fascinated by the play of light, so it appears in my pictures as drama for they are filled with darks and lights. Maybe it's the challenge, maybe it's the beauty, but now, when a work comes together, it fills my soul.
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