AZ to Alpine

sunset in San Diego

A lot of highs and lows this week. We spent Saturday through Tuesday doing all the things as we finished out our visit with the Christensens: We all had (chilly) fun watching the annual Christmas lights parade Saturday night, and Sunday we went to Prescott Christian Church (first time Deron and I have been at church in person since July) and then to a delicious lunch afterwards. Monday while the kids were at school, the four of us tried out a yummy fish restaurant Jamie had heard good things about. Laura and I made sure to spend some bestie time together, shopping at a craft fair Saturday morning, and then enjoying brunch and shopping downtown on Tuesday. We all spent our last evening playing Guesstures (champions=Laura, Rylan and I) and watching Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy. It was indeed bittersweet, knowing it will be quite some time before we make our way back to Chino Valley (if all goes as planned).

We pulled out Wednesday morning, emptied the tanks and filled up the propane, and headed towards our next stop in Quartzsite. Unfortunately, right off the bat Deron noticed power loss and knew the coolant was probably leaking out again. So we stopped and added more sealant, which seemed to resolve the problem, at least temporarily.

In Quartzsite, our GPS led us to a dirt road in the middle of free camping sites on Bureau of Land Management land, instead of to our scheduled RV park. We figured out the error pretty quickly, but it’s not the easiest thing to find a way to turn around on random dirt roads. Eventually we found our way back out to the highway and to our site, and settled in for the night. Quartzsite is such an interesting place! They have a huge rally in January, but vendors and off-roaders and campers were already starting to pack the place out in anticipation.

We got up bright and early Thursday morning to head to San Diego – with the bonus that we’d be gaining an hour when we arrived. In anticipation of the long climb out of the desert, Deron added more coolant before we got on the road (hills are what appear to be causing the problem). The coach did great on the first super steep grade! But then, sadly, on the next hill, it started losing power and the engine started to get too hot. We pulled off the road, and once again the coolant had leaked out. So Deron added more, and made the decision to just keep going since we were so close to our Alpine destination. Thankfully, we made it! Once again, God protected us from a serious breakdown on the road – we are so grateful!

Once we set up camp in Alpine, Deron got to the business of trying to find a mechanic who can repair the coolant problem sometime during the two months we’re in San Diego. We’re really hoping it is not another super pricey fix, but if it is, we will survive. It’s so pretty and peaceful here in the mountains; we relaxed and watched the sunset out the window and praised God for His provision and protection.

Our first full day in San Diego was indeed full – I spent time visiting my former colleagues in the church office and lunching with my dearest friend Sylvia, while Deron ran some errands and gave the dogs a long playtime at the park. We did laundry, got groceries, visited the memorial in Santee where Deron’s friend Steve was killed during a plane crash, spent a few minutes with our friend Jeff, and stopped briefly at my brother’s house (man, those hugs from my nieces and nephews felt so so good!).

We have so many friends to see, repairs to accomplish (including sending the Honda to the mechanic on Monday to fix the body damage from last week’s crash) and things to do over the next several weeks that it’s hard to wrap our minds around everything – we’re mainly making sure to fill our tanks with all the family, friends and fun times possible. Since we won’t be traveling, I’ll wait to post all the December shenanigans at the end of the month. I’ll get back to weekly posting once we hit the road again in February. Merry Christmas everyone! Thanks for following our journey!

praise & prayer

We’d love if you’d join us in praying for all the logistics of getting repairs done to both the RV and Honda. When you’re a one-car, two-dog family living in an RV, things become more complicated (i.e. where do you live while your house is at the mechanic for an undetermined length of time?).

Also, Foothills students are preparing to head out to their annual winter camp. Please pray that the students would experience God’s presence, and would receive encouragement, direction and an abiding sense of His love for them.

random observations / learning curve

Routines are a good thing – if you make sure to follow them!

After all the parking brake issues with the Honda during towing, Deron created a routine that would ensure the Honda is correctly prepared to be towed every time.

However, on Thursday morning, in anticipation of getting out of Arizona and finally being able to settle in San Diego for a bit, he decided to forgo the routine – and accidentally left the parking brake on, which contributed to the coach’s power loss on hills.

Thankfully the parking brake was still pretty loose after its last repair, so it didn’t drag badly enough for the Honda to catch on fire!! God is always looking out for us!

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