roger April 14th, 2009
The leg from the Casa Grande Ruins National Monument to Tucson took a very long time. It did not help that the Arizona DOT was messing around with the on and off ramps by I-10 so we could not get on the freeway. Instead we got to stop and go with the hundreds of others for about 10 miles on the frontage road. It did not help that Tucson was hosting their Rock and Gemstone Show. It just added to the fun.
Our destination was the Gilbert Ray campground at the Tucson County Mountain Park. We were going in without reservations, something I am not really used to. It turned out to be fine and we found a spot just as it was getting dark. Around 8pm we had everything setup and disconnected and had dinner. Yes, the tank was still leaking…
The next morning I crawled under the trailer, as much as I could. I could still see it dripping and according to our meter, the tank was almost empty. The water was coming out of a small ‘patch’ by the drain spigot. I removed the screws on the patch and looked inside. I could see the main drain plug but I could not tell where the leak was actually coming from. If I had more time (and was younger) I would have done some more investigation. In the state of Arizona there are only two Airstream authorized service centers and there is one in Tucson at Oasis RV. I called them and explained our problem. They said to bring it in. I had paid for two nights but we were not sure if we would have use of the trailer but the campground would work with us.
We hooked it all back up and headed to Oasis. They seemed to think that it was not very serious. Of course, I was thinking the fresh water tank was cracked and it would be into the 4 figures to get it fixed. They have many years of experience and had no qualms leaving the trailer. We gave them my cell number and headed off to the Rock show. Might as well do something instead of just sitting there.
The Rock show encompassed something like 20+ locales with different things everywhere. We were able to see some tents from Oasis so we went over there. It turned out to be by a sports area (where the Arizona Diamondbacks do spring training). The parking was ample and easy and they had a place for dry camping (for $20). We started looking at the rocks. The first area had the small individual sellers that were selling out of their RV’s. One guy had a enclosed area with blacklights to see all the odd colorings in his rocks. We moved on to an area where they had more large commercial vendors with crystals that were bigger than me! There was every type of stone, rock, etc. you would want. Roxie particularly liked these:
We were there about 2 hours when my cell rang. It was Oasis telling us that the trailer was done. It was the drain spigot that broke (something must have hit it) and the repair took 2 hours. I was very relieved. We spent about another hour and then went to get our trailer.
We took the trailer back to the campground and set everything back up. The campground had electricity only so having water was fairly important. It was not leaking!! We took a short rest (got on the computers) after all that went on. We ate at Benihana’s that night to celebrate the relatively inexpensive repair. We were able to coordinate with Rich and Eleanor so we could visit with them while we were there. We missed out on courtesy parking at their house since there was already an Airstream there (I wonder what the neighbors think). It turned out they had an idea for the next night and invited us to dinner at their house, perfect!
The next day, Thursday, we paid for one more night. We went to Old Tucson, which is in the county park. It is a movie set that was created in the area to lure Hollywood movies here for a more authentic location. It was kind of touristy but that is what we were. It was enjoyable. We ate at a BBQ place inside, Big Jake’s. The food was pretty good especially for serving a captive audience. Old Tucson took us up to about 2pm. We were going to go to the Sonoran Desert Museum. We drove though the parking lot and it was almost full, we knew we only had about 2 hours so we passed on it this time. This will leave us something to do the next time we are in Tucson. We headed instead, to the Saguaro National Park, Tucson Mountain Division. There we listened to a very interesting talk about the geology of the area and were able to see LOTS of Saguaro cacti.
We stopped by the trailer to clean up and then headed to see Eleanor, Emma and Rich (their chauffeur). Eleanor cooked us a very nice meal with some creative chicken cooking. Rich was in charge of the grill but it wouldn’t stay lit. We got to see their home away from the Airstream and it was a very nice Arizona home. I loved the low maintenance back yard. We finished up dinner and went to a local theatre, the Loft, to see the Academy Award nominees for Animated films. It was entertaining, albiet some of the films went a bit long. My favorite, Oktapodi, did not win the Oscar. We were able to visit a bit after the film and then we said our goodbyes.
We had to decide where to next. Well we were still staying south so we thought, let’s go see some old trailers in Bisbee. Stay tuned…