Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Where the Heck is Clifton?

Clifton is where we are, that's where! We're still in southeastern Arizona, a little further northeast of Safford, on US 191. We are staying at the only real RV park in the area, run by the City of Clifton, adjacent to the city's largest park. We have full hookups on a level lot with trees around us and a great encircling view.

And because the City recognizes Passport America, we are paying only $9.50  a night! Can't beat that.

There is an interesting side benefit to this park. Last evening, Suzy called out to me to get my camera, and I knew exactly why. This is why:

The Bighorn Sheep are not tame or domesticated in any way, but they feel very safe in this area. They often come right into this park to graze, and occasionally are found wandering in the town. Traffic stops to let them pass! We read that they aren't bothered by automobiles, unless the car doors open, then they will leave.

Once I got my exposure adjusted, the next pictures are some of the results. I had my camera on maximum zoom, I cropped the shots to get closer, so the pictures aren't the best. But they ARE the best I've ever gotten of Bighorn Sheep. Maybe we'll see them here in the park soon, and if not, our park manager has told us a spot where they are nearly always seen.

The lady at the Chamber of Commerce told us the town is trying to redesign itself, and is very much a work in progress. A lot of old businesses have closed, but progress is being made in one narrow old historical street that could become a real tourism center. In the meantime, these two buildings are very attractive.

This is the old railroad station, now the home of the Chamber of Commerce and location of a weekly craft fair.

And this is the Greenley County Court House.

On a large bluff overlooking the town we saw a display of flags. We'd like to get closer, and learn more about the what and the why of it, but haven't found the how yet.

But our visit here is overshadowed by concern. Last evening our mechanic down in Safford left a voice mail message that our car was repaired and good to go, except it needs brake work. This morning he called and said that the transfer case he had repaired -- at great cost -- had failed again, and was locked in neutral. He has one more straw to grasp at, and we'll hear more later today.

If he cannot get it fixed, he can at least set the transfer case to operate like a two wheel drive car, but it won't be towable behind the motorhome. The part he brought in from New York on two-day delivery is still OK, but there's some other problem he can't locate.

That Suzuki has been our wonderfully dependable friend for 8 years, but we'll no longer feel we can trust it, and we have no ready money to plunk down for another car. We're kind of down today.

We may have another major change coming up in ... Our Life on Wheels!


  1. We enjoyed reading about Clifton and riding along for the tour around town. The old buildings are very impressive and the Bighorn Sheep are spectacular! We do hope your Suzuki is feeling better soon.

    John and Ellen

  2. I don't think I've ever seen a bighorn sheep up that close. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Very interesting area -- sorry about the Suzuki...hopefully tomorrow the Suzuki situation will look better. We can hope anyway!

  4. Well, that's too bad about the bad Suzuki news. I hope things can be resolved to your satisfaction. I enjoyed the tour of Clifton!

  5. $ that a typo? Amazing!!! The park looks lovely.
    I love those sheep. I am so glad we got to see them here in Boulder City also.
    Sorry to hear about the Suzuki! If it isn't one thing it is another. BLAH!

  6. First of all..LOVE the Bighorns!...Change..yep that is what life is full of....I hope it gets resolved, but if not, I know you two have just the attitude to deal with it..

  7. So sorry about the car. It is so depressing when vehicles fall apart and it gets too expensive to repair them. Hope it all works out for you. I could not believe you got such great pictures of the sheep. That would be just an incredible sight. You're lookin' good.

  8. Wow! Great pics of the bighorn sheep! I camped in Safford last month and now wish I would have ventured up to explore Clifton-- next time I guess.

    Sorry to hear about your Suzuki woes-- any chance a technician in Tucson (or at Suzuki USA headquarters) could offer phone assistance to your mechanic in Safford? I've got an '03 Tracker (aka Vitara) and want to keep it running as long as I can as there's no real alternative for a lightweight 4WD auto transmission toad. Will be eager to hear what your final diagnosis is on the transfer case and what might have caused it....and certainly hope they can get it repaired for you at a fair price!

  9. Nice place you're at there. Great shots of the big horned sheep, too. Suzy is looking good in that walker, too. Sorry to hear about your Suzuki. That really hits home with us right now. Our little Fit is finally repaired and they will actually deliver it to us here tomorrow. We're hoping to be able to hit the road after that, but the wind is blowing like a hurricane tonight. Lots of rigs in the RV park here, to get off the road, I think! We're hoping it will "blow over" by tomorrow! Otherwise, we might just stay another day!!

  10. Man O Man, that's really too bad about the Suzuki. I know what you mean though about not really trusting it anymore. Your park looks lovely and the big horn sheep are amazing. I really like the looks of that former train station too. Looks like the city is doing what they can to revitalize the town.

  11. Ken Krall emailed this comment:

    Thanks for the pictures, not only of big horn sheep, but of you, Suzy. You are looking great! Congratulations. Sorry to hear about your car. Shall keep you and it in my prayers.

    On the last Wednesday of each month we Jesuits have a Mass not in our own smaller Jesuit House Chapel, but in the University Chapel on the Third Floor of College Hall, as we now call it. And we invite faculty and staff to join us. Today is the last Wednesday of April, so that’s where I will be heading as soon as I finish writing this reply to you. And that’s where I will remember you and your needs at Mass.

    Thanks for the continued reports. I do enjoy them.

    Ken, who has less than two weeks of classes in the school year and, I believe, in me.

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  13. Too bad about the Suziki problems, sure hope the last straw fix works.

    Amazingly close shots of the Bighorn Sheep. Those critters are hard to spot and harder to find most times.

  14. John Souva sent this one:

    Hello Jerry and Suzy. I am just now catching up with you two today. I do hope your car is feeling better by now. Your latest trip looks great! Looking at western parts of our country leaves me with a strong desire to visit. I was struck by the low water levels. While I am certainly aware of the continued drought throughout the west (and southeast too), I guess its different when I can see a photo from the perspective such as the one you shot with the campers seeming way down from the more traditional shoreline.

    As always, thanks so much for viewing and commenting, I appreciate your efforts!

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  16. Great post as always. If we had time we would visit the area on our way back East, but it doesn't like it's in the cards this time. The nice thing about RVing is that you can find these little gems and spend some time checking them out rather than just zooming by.

    Guadalajara Bar & Grill is on Kolb between Broadway & Speedway. They have happy hour from 3-6 and serve great Margaritas and $2.50 mugs of Dos Equis. The salsa made at your table is great and you can make it to order. Medium is strong enough for my wimpy taste buds.

    Have you thought about hooking the Suzuki up to the MH (if possible) and towing it to a Suzuki dealer in Tucson for repairs? Small town mechanics can be gems or terrible. I would think a Suzuki dealer would be better prepared to repair the car. JMHO

    Have fun out there and keep up the reporting.

    1. Larry, that would have been a great idea --- if there were a Suzuki dealer in Tucson. There is only one in Arizona, and that's in Phoenix. However, as you'll read in our next post, it won't be necessary!

  17. Interesting area and photos of the sheep. Bummer about the car:(

  18. Darn cars!!! I swear! GREAT sheep pictures!

  19. Sorry to hear about your car problems. Hope they can be resolved, but it sounds serious. Glad you're doing so much RVing close to home, exploring places we've never been so we're enjoying the ride. Love the bighorn sheep - great pics!


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