The 2011 Trip
Part 19 San Carlos and Gold Canyon, Arizona

Saturday, December 18th, 2010

We met several trains yesterday and I meant to comment on them. They all were travelling east and laid out differently. There was a container train with three engines front and one on the back. The one at the back was going backwards with the windshield looking back. There was a general freight train with box cars, flat cars, tank cars, automobile cars and so on. That one had two engines front and one back. Then their was another container train with six engines front and none on the back. There appears to be no rhyme nor reason to it as though they were simply taking the engines someplace. These trains are so long it is impossible to get a decent photograph of one.

Most of our Coast Guard ships were powered identical to these trains when I served as radio officer in CCGS TUPPER. Her engine room was diesel electric identical to two train engines. The CCGS JOHN A. MACDONALD was the same except she had nine diesel electric installations. The equipment that made it possible for the lead train engine to operate all these engines as one would be interesting. We have not met one here but in the mountains they often have an additional engine or two in the middle of a train. One would think these additional engines would be controlled via radio in some form or other.

A very nice quiet night here in this campground. This is the Apache RV Park and Casino at San Carlos, an Apache Indian Reservation. We got up at 0647 and the sunrise was unreal it was that pretty.


This is the truck parked with the other units at the RV Park. Most of them appeared to be parked there permanently.


This is the Casino with an early bird looking for breakfast.


There was a bit of rain, probably the reason for the pretty sunrise, as we got ready to leave. The sewer was so small I could not drain the tanks properly. We went over to the office service station and put thirty dollars into the fuel tank. We then left at 0920 with the temperature at 48F.

The town or city of Globe was twenty miles down the road and we spotted a car wash. We had to turn around and go back because of a cement divider in the street. We tried, but it was impossible to get this rig in for a wash. We had a job turning it around getting out on highway 70 then turned again in order to go west rather than east. We were unable to find a car wash we could use so neither the truck nor trailer has been washed since K & J did it and as one can imagine they are filthy dirty.

Just past Globe we joined and went on highway 60. It was a beautiful drive but very steep and curved in places. The Queen Valley was the steepest. We stopped in the truck stop at the top and checked the truck and trailer over. We could smell the trailer brakes but it was simply from hard use coming down the hills to the truck pull out.

After the inspection I started down with the truck's Allison transmission in the manual position and locked in 3rd gear of the six gear transmission. I then watched the tachometer and when it started to creep above 2500 RPM's I would touch the brakes lightly and hold it back. What a truck! We came down that steep mountain with no trouble at all. The cab over Freightliner with the chrome long horn cow head in the grill pulled into the truck stop behind us and came out behind us but took his time coming down. He passed us once at the bottom and on the straight.


This is the sign and you want to heed it or you will get to the bottom of Queen Valley much faster than you want and not be able to enjoy it when you get there.


Going down into the Queen Valley. The photo is not good but better than our first down hill run on a mountain in 1963. This was on the Alaska Highway and Joan jumped over in the seat next to me and had a beautiful photo of the trucks mirror.



This is the runaway shoot for a truck that has lost its brakes. I remember the time one lost its brakes coming down into Peace River, Alberta. The truck started to roll back when it stopped and the driver jack-knifed the trailer into the side of the ramp to stop it and upset the truck. He was bound to up-set that day no matter what he did but he did not wipe out half the town like one had done and the reason the off ramp was built.



This is the Freightliner that followed us down into the valley passing us on the straight.


We continued along obeying the GPS and arrived at Canyon Vistas RV Park at Gold Canyon at 1052 with the temperature at 62F. The guy on the gate alerted the Main Office of our arrival. We filled out a ton of paper work and then one of the maintenance people escorted us to our site, 543. He guided me as I backed the trailer on the site to just where they wanted it. We met a few of the neighbours and started setting up. Bob and Karen came home and found us here. They had phoned us three times yesterday via On Star but were cut off after two rings. The same treatment Mitchell received. So much for On Star and the super service it is suppose to provide.

This must be our daily run with the shortest distance of only 97 kilometres.

The morning rain shower was short and did not amount to anything. When the sun came out, especially later in the afternoon it was hot.

We had enough white water hose to get hooked up. Everything is way at the back of the lot. We did not have near enough sewer hose nor electric power cable. Bob went with me to Apache Junction RV sales. That cost me over three hundred dollars after we had to make a second trip. We now own a 50 amp 35 foot power cord and enough sewer hose to go farther than that. It will be something else to keep all that in top shape.

We told them when we first phoned last March (2010) that we would be operating amateur radio in the park. We told them again this morning when we completed all the paper work at the Main Office. No one said anything against this and felt it would be okay. We read the multitude of instructions this evening to learn amateur radio is not permitted in the park. This makes it all the more reason to use it and use it often. There is a large motorhome here in the park with a very high whip antenna and that must be amateur radio. It is shaping up to be very interesting.

After we had things more or less livable around the trailer Bob, Karen, Joan and I went for a walk around the park and had a look at the various attractions. The swimming pool is cleaned every morning from 7 to 8 AM. It is heated via solar panels and kept around 88F. There is a hot tub next to it one can use after a swim. There is an exercise room with lots of fascinating exercise equipment. There is a library where one can simply pick up a book and bring it back when finished. One can also leave any books they no longer want. There is a large ballroom that converts into a non-denominational church on Sunday mornings. There is a huge laundry that operates on a card system. One can purchase so much time on a card and simply insert the card in whatever machine they use. There is a wood carving shop and Bob is on his first project with that. There is a room where they play cards. There are rows of built in mailboxes. There is a wood working shop and I believe I have named everything. It is quite a community. One has to go outside the community for groceries, parts and whatever else one may require.

After our tour we went to Bob and Karen's motorhome for the dinner Karen had been promising us on our first night here. An excellent breaded pork loin dinner. We were quite tired as one can expect from such a long trip with the changes in time and altitude. It was a very busy day.

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