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Running Hot and Cold

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TBUTLER

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Our travels have taken a turn for the hot lately.  We've been spending most of our time in southwestern Colorado, northeastern New Mexico and northern Arizona.  The temperatures we've faced have been moderate to cool.  Several weeks ago we decided to visit Louise sister in the Mohave Valley in western Arizona.  The elevation is 483 feet alongside the Colorado River.  Needless to say the temperature was quite a bit warmer than in the mountains and high elevations we were used to.  Temperatures were in the high 90's during the day.  We had a nice site at Moon River Resort with a little shade but not too much.  We enjoyed three days of visiting.  On Saturday we spent the day at Oatman visiting the donkeys that roam the town and doing some shopping before having a fine dinner at the Oatman Hotel. 

Our next stop was Lake Havasu City.  This is where Louise's parents settled when they retired.  The state park was almost empty and we had a nice site with a view of the lake.  We visited the cemetery where her parents are buried and spent some time around town.  In Lake Havasu City, elevation 459 feet, the temperatures at sunrise were 90 degrees and it warmed into the mid 100's.  We took the Copper Canyon Sunset Cruise the night before leaving town.  The best part was the breeze when the boat was cruising.  We left town headed for Williams, Arizona. 

We had stayed at the Canyon Hotel and RV Park in Williams, elevation 6924 feet, just a week before.  Returning, we were delighted to find more moderate temperatures again.  We were back to comfortable daytime temperatures in the upper 70's and low 80's.  We spent one day in Flagstaff at the Lowell Observatory.  The Lowell Observatory was built by Percival Lowell, an astronomer famous for his drawings of the canals on Mars.  This is also the observatory where Clyde Tombaugh discovered Pluto.  They have a spectacular program of lectures and tours of the telescopes that are well worth a visit. 

The next morning we were on our way to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.  As busy as the South Rim is, the North Rim is uncrowded and very available.  We stayed at the Jacobs Lake Forest Service Campground, elevation 7900 feet which has no hookups but has some nice sites the will accommodate large RV's.  We ran the generator morning and evening to charge the batteries and only needed to run the furnace at night.  Air conditioning was never needed.  We were parked among trees and the daytime temperature was in the high 70's while the nights dipped into the high 40's. 

We drove to the North Rim one morning and came back after dark.  There are many overlooks into the Grand Canyon and you can drive to each one.  There were plenty of parking places at each viewpoint.  There were never crowds at any place until we reached the visitors center and the lodge.  After a day of exploring along the northeastern reaches of the canyon we spent the evening at the Lodge and the viewpoints in that area. 

It was a little early for dinner but Louise wanted to get dinner at the lodge so we asked and were given a table by one of the big windows overlooking the canyon.  Wow, was that a fantastic setting for dinner.  Louise had roast duck, I opted for the blackened chicken fettuccine Alfredo.  Both dishes were gourmet quality and the service was excellent.  Following our meal we made our way to the overlook below the lodge.  We enjoyed the view and visited with several of the people who were there.  Everyone was quite talkative, maybe the bar above had something to do with it.  From there we made our way to the Bright Angel Viewpoint to watch the sun set.  We drove back to the park and arrived by 8:00 p.m.  On the way back we saw a few cattle near the road (open range) and several deer but none challenged us for a spot on the road.  

The next day we moved on to Hurricane, UT.  We stayed at Sand Hollow State Park, elevation 3040 feet.  We're back to warm again.  With highs in the upper 80's and nary a tree in sight, the air conditioners are running all day.  We are headed for Zion National Park tomorrow morning for a little hiking and exploring, then we'll leave for Las Vegas, elevation 1672 feet, on Friday.  Once more into the desert heat.  Maybe they will have a cool spell while we are there though the forecast calls for highs near 100. 

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