Fire Cloud...
An irregular marking on the exterior of Native American pottery: usually resulting from burning fuel coming in direct contact with the vessel during firing

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Further West on 66

Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Nevada

We took our RV into Kingman Ford to get the dash air-conditioner looked at before heading to Death Valley. The Service adviser has good news and bad news. The bad news is that the failed compressor hose is a Fleetwood part, so he can't help me. The good news is that there is no charge for the diagnosis.

We pull out of Kingman, heading West on I-40, and pull over on an Interstate exit to Google Fleetwood dealers. Eventually we find one in Las Vegas and make an appointment for today.

After a series of wrong turns in the desert, we find ourselves again on Historic Route 66 heading for Bullhead City, a lucky break.

The route begins with 20 miles of desert valley. We come to a mountain range and stop at "Cool Springs" to get cold drinks and ask about the sign that warns us not to take a vehicle over 40 feet in length though the mountain passes.

The proprietor of "Cool Springs" has an incredible collection of photos of wrecked semis and motor homes that failed to negotiate the hairpin turns leading to Oatman. He says we should be ok if we take the hairpins wide. He tells us about a man who stopped for advice but didn't know how to drive an RV. He tried to stay in his own lane an dropped his rear wheels and towed jeep into a gulley, blocking the highway completely for days.

It's a really lovely drive with grand vistas and lots of chollo cactus. Hard to believe that this was once the main route west and east from Chicago to Los Angeles. There are many working and abandoned mines along the drive. We pull off at a the 3,500 foot pass to take some pictures.

Oatman is a surprise. As we pull into town, the road is completely blocked by the High Noon gunfight. Jackasses and people fill the street. I can't back up so I turn of the RV in the middle of the street and send Mrs. Phred up to take pictures. Eventually, the crowd breaks up and we ease though town at one mph, waiting patiently for the feral jackasses to amble off the dusty road.

We pull into a Lake Mead campground about 4PM. The main slide won't extend. I review the documentation that came with the RV, but the part about the slides is missing. Eventually I find the relays. The slide that works clicks and has a green light that comes on when you push the button. The other relay is dead. I try replacing the fuse, but no luck. Mrs. Phred points out that the relay cannon plug is cock-eyed.. When I push it in the slide goes out.

The right turn signal on the towed Toyota stopped working. I put the voltmeter on the wires going back from the RV jack and see no signal. Probably there is a break in the wire. They get a lot of abuse.

This is a lovely place with multi-colored sandstone mountains and islands coming down to a huge blue lake. I'm saving the pictures for another day. We'll probably drop off the RV early and wander Las Vegas today.

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