I was hoping to make it out of town around noon. For various reasons I was running slow and didn't the urban all packed up until around 12:30. Deciding to take a quick run around the block with the expen on the roof rack to make it was secure, I had a nasty surprise: turn the key and only get clicking. I managed to find a nearby helpfull person to give me a jump start and then it was off to the FINE parts store for a battery. The selection at checker was pretty crappy, but I managed to find one that would work, and got it home to replace the old one. The urban has the most anoying battery replacement method in the universe. It has a bar over the top of the battery with a nut that was not quite a 3/8ths. (Probibly metric). Then there was a clamp that holds the battery in place. You can get a socket on it, but only get about 1/16th of a turn in the cramped space, so it takes forever to get the dammed thing out of there. Finally got the new battery in and everything set around 3pm.
My destination for the day was the Royal Holiday Best western in Gallup, NM. I managed to get there around 1:30 am after dealing with nasty traffic through Denver and Colorado Springs. The place was pretty old and in a really seedy area of town. There was a sonic on one side of it and a place that promised "Live nude girls every night" on the other side. Aside from the location and that it was a really old building it wasn't too bad. They had free wireless net, they allowed pets (of any number) and the rooms were clean at least. After settling in and checking my mail, I passed out.
Merlin and Twyla had no problems settling down for some sleep, but Kurt wasn't too comfortable there. Another lovely feature of the hotel is that it was right accross from the railroad tracks, and anytime one went by Kurt would get up and pace around.
Finally gave up sleeping around 8:30am and got up and got ready to hit the road. The goal today was a pretty easy one: my sisters place in Desert Hills, north of Phoenix. Without any real issues I made it to here place around 1:30pm or so.
Not sure if there is anything to be said about thanksgiving dinner itself. There was tons and tons of food, and tons of people. There were around 30 people for dinner. Unfortunately, most everyone had to leave after dinner. By around 9pm almost everyone had departed. It's nice to see all those folks, but you really can't get much of a visit in in a few hours, especially if you aren't sitting at the same table.
Those of us left at my sisters relaxed and visited. The discussion turned to politics later, but luckily we had enough wine to fuel the talk.
This year I setup in my sisters motor home that was in the garage. It was quite nice. The bed in there was comfy, it was quiet and away from commotion, and my laptop could reach the wireless AP just fine.
Today we took it pretty easy. After lunch we decided to try doing a geocache. Unfortunately, we choose one that was way too hard. We made it to the park and looked over the area for the first clue, but we couldn't figure it out. We milled around and looked around the park, but finally gave up in disgust. ;(
After the failed geocache attempt, we went on a hike. It was up near cave creek and the trail wasn't bad. The dogs had a nice time. We saw some horseback riders, and one group with a great dane we said hello to.
Later friday night there was a gathering of folks not too far from my sisters place. Various people in from San Diego, or Chicago, or whatnot. It was nice to see them all, but I couldn't spend much time visiting before fatigure set in and I headed back to my sisters place and the moble home to sleep in.
The goal for today was to make it back to Los Alamos to visit with some friends there. Got a somewhat late start again from Phoenix, and ran into some nasty road construction near grants, but still made it to Los Alamos around 8pm. Got in a brief visit there before passing out.
The dogs let me sleep in until around 8am or so, which was nice of them. Finally got up and showered and got coffee. Then it was time for a rousing game of Lord of the Rings monopoly. The one advantage this has over regular monopoly is that it has a much shorter timelimit (you move a ring around and when it hits mount doom, the game is over). I hit the road for home later than I was hoping, around 11am. Overall the roads weren't too bad, with 2 exceptions: Between trinidad and pueblo it was quite slick, so it was slow going (20-30mph) and after colorado springs it was very slow as the volume of traffic was so high. Made it back home around 8:15pm, so it wasn't too bad.
Here are some pictures from the trip down to phoenix and the hike on friday.