Monday, March 26, 2018

An amazing crested saguaro

I love the magnificent saguaros we see in southern Arizona. Especially interesting are the "crested" saguaros, which have a fan-like growths instead of -- or in addition to -- human-looking arms. Per the Saguaro National Forest website, it's not known what causes a cactus to crest. Maybe a freeze, perhaps a genetic mutation. Even lightening strikes have been suggested as a cause, although it would have to be a minor bolt because we've seen saguaros that were blasted apart by lightening. 

This year we noticed a huge crested saguaro right off the main entrance to Tucson's Davis Monthan Air Force Base, where we are staying in our RV.  We've camped at Davis Monthan six out of the last eight years and have never noticed this particular saguaro before. It must have been transplanted recently, as the poles supporting (plus a fabric fence around it) suggest. But no matter when it showed up, it's beautiful.
The crested saguaro near the entrance to the Davis Monthan Air Force Base at the corner of Craycroft and Golf Links Roads. I did an online search for any news about it being transplanted and couldn't find anything.  But it must have been moved from somewhere else, which is a big job.
A close up of part of the crest. Just amazing.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

It could have been a lot worse

Friday morning we left Salt Lake for Tucson. We'd stored our rig at Davis Monthan Air Force base last November. The plan was to drive to Arizona in our tow car, get the rig, and enjoy some warm weather. Then this happened:
In the middle of the photo is Brian, the friendly AAA guy who came to our rescue when white smoke started puffing up from underneath the car.
We were in Henderson, Nevada, on the southern outskirts of Las Vegas, when we got off the freeway to get gasoline. We'd just left the exit ramp when we both smelled oil burning. Jim said "Is that us?" White smoke lofting from under the passenger side of the car said yes. He immediately pulled into a parking lot.

Oh crap. Here we are with a back seat full of clothes, folded dog kennels, and everything else that needs to go back into the motor home. Two big dogs are behind all that, two kayaks are on top of the car, and we have obvious car trouble. This is not good.

Jim called AAA. I did a quick iPhone search; a Honda dealership was just four miles away. Honda said they could get us in Monday. With some convincing from Jim they said "bring it in and maybe we can take a look today."

So we set off for Findlay Honda with me, Jim and Brian the AAA guy in the front seat of a tow truck, and dogs Maddie and Arlo being towed in our car.

William, the service manager at Findlay, came out right away and took a look. He talked with a technician. Turns out out our car had a failed oil pressure sensor and the tech said he'd handle it right away. Three and a half hours from smelling burning oil, we were back on the road. 

We easily could have been further down the road where there is literally nothing -- a town named Nothing on US 93 about 100 miles northwest of Phoenix. Per Wikipedia a town sign (which we saw -- it looked forlorn, but I might be anthropomorphizing) once said "The staunch citizens of Nothing are full of Hope, Faith, and Believe in the work ethic. Thru the years these dedicated people had faith in Nothing, hoped for Nothing, worked at Nothing, for Nothing."

Nothing against the fine citizens of Nothing, but Henderson is probably a better place for travelers with car problems.

We'd like to give a big shout out to Findlay Honda in Henderson, Nevada. They were great.  So was Brian of AAA. Thanks, folks. We made it to our evening's planned destination of Kingman, Arizona, where we spent the night an then traveled on to Tucson.
The Honda where it should be: parked near the motor home and down on all four tires. We got the motor home out of storage at Davis Monthan Air Force Base yesterday, and now have a spot at the base's RV park.