Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Ojo to Mesa - Hillary Rally

When we left Ojo we had a bit more than a 500 mile drive to Mesa. That's at least a two day drive for us with most of the first day on interstates and all the second day on the red roads. There is no easy way to get from the high plateau 7,000 feet above sea level in Northern Arizona down to Mesa almost 6,000 feet below. We have done it on Interstate 17 and on route 60 and this time we figured we would try the Beeline Highway over the Mogollon Rim from Holbrook. 
We were on the road early as the forecast on the rim was for 35 mph winds in the afternoon. The first forty miles was across the high plateau on a narrow two lane road. The good news was there was very little traffic
After a few miles of driving through forest on flat land we came to the Mogollon Rim and it seemed like the bottom fell out. There were two long 6% downhills that are almost ten miles long. The good news it was almost all four lane highway to Payson. 
From Payson to Mesa there where a couple long 6% downhills and then several miles of climbs and descents with a couple 7% hills. While there are many long hills, including some climbs on this road, most of it was four lane and really not too bad with the engine brake. We knew we were near the bottom when we began to see the giant saguaro cactus. 
We checked into Good Life RV Resort and got set up for our two month stay. We are looking forward to our stay and getting together with friends. We were treated to this beautiful sunset our first evening.  
We were here for our 47th anniversary and celebrated with a great meal at Dvine, a nice local restaurant that, in addition to great food, has music each evening. It is really hard to believe that this is the tenth anniversary we have had since going on the road.
We heard that Hillary Clinton was having the largest rally of her campaign on the campus of Arizona State in Tempe so we decided we would go. We arrived two hours early thinking it would give us plenty of time to find a parking spot and get to the venue. We were shocked to find the line was four blocks long.
After more than an hour we made it through security and were into the standing room only area. 
This was as close as we could get to the seats. I guess those people were here real early.
As with all political rallies there were several speakers to warm up the crowd. The first was National Education Association President Lily Eskelsen Garcia. We fit right in with this group with our NEA shirts and pins.
The next speakers were Ann Kirkpatrick, who is running for the U.S. Senate against John McCain, and former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, who was shot in an assassination attempt in 2011. We have seen Gabby on TV many times and it was a thrill to hear her speak. 
Finally after a long delay due to her plane being late, Hillary Clinton came on stage and the crowd went wild. She was a much better speaker in person than what we have seen on TV.

After the speech most people headed for the exits, but we moved forward to try to get a better look and maybe even a hand shake. You can see Hillary in the middle of the crowd surrounded by supporters and Secret Service agents.
We never got close enough for the hand shake......
.....but I did get a couple of closer pictures with the phone. I was surprised how close people were to her.
I got one last picture of Hillary. Being a political junkie this was a very neat experience and we felt we were fortunate to actually be a part of history in the making, seeing a female presidential candidate from a major political party. We sure were sad about the outcome of the election and are not very optimistic about the future, but only time will tell.


Bobbie and Jim said...

That was such a cool experience you had. Great memory.

Doing It On the Road(Part II) said...

Nice post, and I was a member of the NEA for thirty years!