Friday, May 16, 2014

Flat Tire – Grand Canyon

(Flagstaff, AZ) Hi 77 Lo 38 – The trip from Phoenix to Flagstaff yesterday wasn’t as smooth as most of our trips. About 30 miles north of Phoenix on I-17 my Pressure Pro tire monitoring system started beeping. One of the rear tires on the truck was losing pressure, and losing it fast. It went from 70 lbs to 30 in the time it took me to slow down and pull over. I updated Dee by ham radio (we both have 2-meter radios in our vehicles), then called Coach-Net, our emergency roadside service. The representative (Crystal) was very nice and arranged for a tire service to come out. She initially said it would take less than an hour, but she called me back a few minutes later and said it would be two hours. So Dee joined me in the truck and we played with our smartphones, me reading a book on my Kindle app and Dee playing Words With Friends and other games. Fortunately it wasn’t very hot, only in the mid-70’s. The tire service showed up in 1 1/2 hours, so they under-promised and over-delivered. I like that!

He had the bad tire off and my spare on in no time. I know what you’re thinking… I could have changed it myself. Well, I probably could have, but I would have had to un-hitch the rig because I’m not sure my truck’s jack would have lifted all that weight. Besides, we’re paying good money for Coach-Net, so why not have it done for us for free? And the biggest reason I didn’t do it myself is I’m lazy. Smile

Overall we are impressed with Coach-Net. Crystal was very good at keeping us informed with status updates. There are two main competitors in RV roadside emergency service, Coach-Net and Good Sam. I’ve heard good and bad about both of them, but based on our one experience we can heartily recommend Coach-Net.

That delayed our arrival in Flagstaff by a couple of hours, but no big deal. This is the route we took.


We arrived at J and H RV Park and got set up. It’s a nice park, and we’ll have photos of it before we leave. This morning I called a nearby Big O Tire place and arranged to drop off the truck to have them repair the flat tire. I know the tires on the truck are getting near the end of their life, and Dee and I had discussed whether we should replace them before our travels this year or try to get one more season out of them. Well, Austin at Big O Tires called me later this morning and informed me that 3 of the six tires are worn down to the wear bars, and the two front tires have some cupping on them. So we made the decision right then to replace them all. After some negotiating over the phone with Austin we settled on 6 replacement Firestone Transforce HT’s. He gave us a good price, threw in a front end alignment (the likely cause of the cupping on the front tires), and they’ll have them in and installed on Monday.

All this happened while we were on our way to the Grand Canyon. (It’s so great to travel with two vehicles!) We had been to the Grand Canyon a couple of times many years ago, but we couldn’t leave this area without seeing it again. It sure hasn’t lost it’s grandeur and majesty! To keep this blog a reasonable length, I’ll just include a bunch of photos and keep the commentary to a minimum. It was a little hazy today and not conducive to taking good clear photos. Of course, photos can’t come near to portraying the actual beauty of the Grand Canyon. Except for those who have a lot more photographic talent than me. (I’m talking to you, Gordon.)  Smile  As always, click on the photos if you want to see them bigger.

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Dee didn’t like taking this one. She was very nervous, but I got quite a rush sitting on this bare edge about 3,000 feet above the canyon floor.
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With our binoculars we could see hikers on this trail way down below.
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I zoomed my camera in as far as I could to capture this village on the canyon floor. Through the binoculars we could clearly see buildings. It may be one of the lodges they have for hikers to overnight before the climb back to the top.

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At different viewpoints along the Rim Highway we could see different views of the Colorado River. It was much bluer than it appears in these photos.

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The Rim Highway (AZ 64) exits the Grand Canyon to the east and connects to US 89 back to Flagstaff. On the way is some beautiful scenery as you come back down to the lower elevations.

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And there are some very deep gorges.
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As we got closer to Flagstaff we were awed by the beauty of Humphreys Peak in the San Francisco Peaks north of Flagstaff. Humphreys Peak is over 12,500 ft high, making it the highest point in Arizona. And as you can see there’s still snow up on top.

We got back to the park around 6pm, a little weary from our full day. Tomorrow we’re going to Sedona. Check back tomorrow evening to see how that went.


Ruth said...

That trail that you saw the hikers on is the South Kaibab Trail which leads down to Phantom Ranch at the bottom which is a lodge that hikers can stay at if they wish. Kevin and I did both back in January of 2005 and as you said pictures just don't do it justice. It is such an amazing place and your pictures do a pretty good job of showing it.

Mike and Terri said...

Glad you're getting the tire issue resolved. It IS great having two vehicles. The pictures of the Grand Canyon are beautiful! Keep having fun!

Jim and Judy said...

I am with you jim, I am not changing any tires on the rv or truck unless it is the last resort. Glad it wasn't any more serious.

Laurel Owen said...

I did the Grand Canyon when I was in college, hiking down to the bottom and back up in the same day. It was exhilarating. Not too sure we could do it now :) Enjoy your time there!

The Happy Wanderers said...

Marilyn & I backpacked the Canyon three times. Each time we camped beside Bright Angel Creek near the Phantom Ranch. Crossed the suspension bridge going down the South Kaibab and then crossed the newer Hikers Bridge on the way up to Indian Garden. Awesome Trip!
Thanks for the pictures.

Mister Ed The poster boy but the real brains behind the scenes Miss Sheri said...

Were at the same park Be glad u were not here Monday it snow,,, thanks for dragging the warm weather up here

Gypsy said...

I think your pictures are excellent, and especially loved the 8th photo down. It's probably a good think you had tire trouble and ended up getting them all checked. You could have had real problems. Stay safe.

Chuck and Anneke's RV travels said...

I will wait a long time for help before I think about changing a tire on the rig!

Bob and Jo said...

Glad the TPMS alerted you.

KarenInTheWoods Karen Pfundtner said...

So glad you got your tire changing done toot sweet and are now getting new rubber all the way around!

The Grand Canyon... wowzers.. there just aren't the right words to describe it, ya just gotta be there!

Karen and Steve
(Blog) RVing: The USA Is Our Big Backyard