We aren’t really on the road right now. We have arrived at La Paz County Park near Parker, AZ. But getting here, as they say, was half the fun.
We’ve already told you about the fun problems we had while at Gila Bend, AZ, for two nights. Thursday we headed out toward Parker. We had learned that there was major construction on I-10 just about where we would normally join it, and were warned to expect serious delays. A friend coming to the same rally told us of a route he prefers that would avoid I-10 altogether. That sounded good, as we would be able to take some back roads that we hadn’t traveled before.
Friend Bruce even showed us a map of the route. His highway atlas showed one small section in gravel, but he assured us that it had since been paved.
It was a lovely route, loosely following the Gila River. In fact, this part of the route is Old US 80, which used to be the major highway connecting the Western USA with the eastern USA. This old highway is the same one that passes through Benson, right in front of our Saguaro RV Park, then on through Tombstone and down to Bisbee.
We arrived at a long narrow bridge just as a wide vehicle was coming from the other direction. Being a wise driver, Suzy stopped to let the other vehicle clear the bridge, and we saw this sight:
This is the historic Gillespie Dam, built in 1927 for agricultural purposes. It failed in 1993 due to extra heavy rains. Take a closer look.
Shortly, along this two-lane back road, we passed the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Plant.
And shortly after that …
That’s the former graveled section that had supposedly been paved! Guess what? Someone never told the road it was paved! We traveled about nine miles on well-graded gravel, and then it turned to washboard for about three miles. That really rattled our teeth!
Soon we crossed I-10 and were on the (paved) Salome Highway to – where else? – Salome, AZ, where we had lunch at the Salome Café.
The town of Salome was originally (in 1904) named Salome - Where She Danced, Arizona. I won’t tell you about it. If you’d like to know, and I think you really would, take a look at this link Salome Where She Danced.
One last thing to tell you. As we were approaching the town of Salome on the two lane Salome Highway, we looked ahead and saw a police car heading straight for us –-- IN OUR LANE! And flashing his headlights and his red and blue lights! Suzy immediately pulled off onto the shoulder. The officer slowed and told us to stay off the highway, a large load was coming that took up both lanes. He was right!!!!
While we didn't ever learn what that big thing was, we knew it was BIG! And we were glad for the advance notice to pull off the highway!
After lunch, we moseyed on up to Parker and the La Paz County Park, where we now sit comfortably, looking forward to all the rally activities. But as we drove, we continued to look around, and we saw so many places and things that called to us to stop for a day or two or three and explore. We have not allowed enough time before and after our trips to just break away from the schedule and see the world the Lord puts before us. We need to take the time, to seek the opportunity, to break away, follow our noses, and smell the mesquite!
Now here we are in a rally. We’ll tell you more about it on the next episode of … Our Life on Wheels!