We had many goodbye's to say to the Boomers we had been with for twelve days in Albuquerque so it was after 11AM before we were on the road. Even though it is only a bit over 400 miles to Mesa, that is a two day drive for us, especially thorough the mountains. We decided to got off the interstate as soon as possible and travel the blue highways. We were rewarded with some beautiful scenes we would not have seen along I-40.
The first day was over the high plains along this narrow, but much less travelled highway.
We watched the land change in Western New Mexico.
We traveled by the El Malpais National Monument's huge lava fields. Of course we could not stop to get our National Park Service stamp because the idiots in Washington had closed all the people's parks. This was a neat looking out of the way area that we will have to visit in the future.
Not real sure, but I think this is an old volcanic cone.
We spent the night among the tall pines at the Show Low Elks Lodge. What a change from the high plains. They were doing some work at the Elks and there was a pile of dirt in front of the rig in the morning. Not to worry, they just plowed it down so we could get out.
We saw signs like this several times on day two as we traveled US 60 through Salt River Canyon and then down to the Valley of the Sun.
It was a 7 mile descent with many slow turns down to the river and then an 8 mile climb out of the valley. We just geared down and used the engine brake to go slow on the way down. We actually went faster on the climb. Love that big diesel.
Another look at the river valley.
Here you can see both the descent and the ascent snaking through the canyon. I only got to enjoy the scenery when I looked at the pictures as it was a full attention drive.
Even after that part of the road we had another descent of several miles. We know we are getting close to Mesa when we begin to see the saguaro cactus.
Nanc has officially named our new toad driver Alf. It enjoyed the ride and has now been deflated until we hit the road next year.
We arrived at Sun Life on Tuesday and John and Patrice arrived on Saturday for a short visit. It is always great to see any of our WashPA friends.
We checked out a couple of our local favorite restaurants with them including a trip through the desert to Tortilla Flats where John saddled up to the bar. They moved on to Flagstaff, the Grand Canyon and Sedona. It will be a big change in the weather as it is much colder up there.
At Sun Life we also met up with some of the friends we made on our first visit. Here are Nanc, Carol, Suzanne, Rene and Lance. We are looking forward to a great stay until the first of the year.
We also got together with Sharon and Alan who we met in 2008 in Texas. They have since moved to Apache Junction to concentrate on their pastels. We went to Scottsdale to see the fall show of the Arizona Pastel Association where both won Honorable Mention awards. Even better news, while we were there Sharon got the news that someone had purchased her winning picture, Fantastic!!!!!!
On Saturday we are going on a vacation to the Secrets Capri on the Rivera Maya for ten days. We are looking forward to celebrating our anniversary in Mexico.