Indecision makes me cranky.
Now that I’ve decided to put off a trip to the Grand Canyon’s South Rim, I can return to living in the moment. I feel good. However, I need to empty the waste tanks. I cannot believe I went from April 5th to April 21st without dumping!
This morning I hitch the PTV to the BLT for the drive down to Chino Valley.
I call Primrose RV Park which I found online.
“Do you have a dump station?” I ask.
“No, but Ace Hardware does,” the man replies.
I call Ace Hardware and they confirm that they have a dump station and it costs $7.50.
Before the crew and I leave, Rusty comes over.
I suspect he wants to check to see that I’ve hitched up properly. It’s a hot day and I need to cool down a bit, so I invite Rusty to have a seat.
After a few minutes, I get up. “I’m going to make myself a smoked turkey sandwich. Would you like one?”
We eat our sandwiches in the shade of the BLT. I explain to Rusty that I’m going down to Chino Valley to dump tanks. Then I’ll come back here.
Ace Hardware is on Highway 89 on the south end of the town of Chino Valley.
I pull the BLT into the parking lot and a young man waves me over.
“What do you want? Propane or dump tanks?” he asks.
“Both! Just show me where you want me to park.”
He’s a pleasant young man named Dan. Like most people who see my plates, he asks where in South Dakota I’m from. That question leads to my explanation that I have no permanent address. I tell him a little bit about my lifestyle, as he’s pumping the propane. He’s very interested, and he thinks it’s “cool.”
I’m surprised when he helps me with the dumping process.
I’ve never had that kind of service before. Not only that, when I suggest we use the water hose to flush the tank, he doesn’t hesitate to run over to grab the hose for me, and go back to turn on the water. Oh, if everyone were this agreeable! Dan gives me the ticket for the propane and adds, “Since you bought so much propane, we won’t charge you for the dump.” I thank him and give him a five-dollar tip.
I take the ticket inside and pay.
What a busy place! No wonder it’s busy. These people know customer service. I hurry back outside because the PTV is parked in the sun. I pour a bowl of water for Bridget and Spike which they drink inside the PTV. This quiets them down. I pull over to the water dispensing machine and buy six gallons of drinking water.
Now we’re all set for a while.
We’ve got two full tanks of propane, empty waste tanks, plenty of fresh, clean water, clean clothes and bedding, and the refrigerator and cupboards well-stocked with groceries. I love it when it all comes together!
The drive back to camp confirms it was the right decision to skip the South Rim.
It’s Saturday and cars, motorhomes, and fifth wheels are racing northward. They follow too closely because I refuse to drive 70 miles per hour up and down hills. I get off the road at a pull-out and let them go by.
As I approach the turn to go over the cattle guard into the National Forest land, I turn on my right directional.
I give plenty of notice of my intentions. The driver of a huge truck pulling a fifth wheel cannot accept that I might want to slow down in order to turn off the highway. I have to make a sharp turn. This cannot be done at top speed. My brake lights come on and he lays on the horn. Boy, am I glad I’m not going where you’re going, buddy. It must be so much fun for your family to have their lives depend on you.
I’m back at Ash Fork Fields in a new camp next to a juniper tree.
It’s a peaceful, quiet, shady spot. I’m happy — so happy — to be far from the maddening crowd.[slideshow]
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