The annual pilgrimage to Napa is planned, reservations made and all is due to begin on Monday 3
Oct. The Safari has it’s new tires, new tags, time cards for Dolores and Cortez School Districts are in,
the lawn is cut and the fridge loaded. Just the last minute loading of clothes, dogs (6), and Luna the

Sunday morning the Safari bursts into life and off I go to refuel ($200) and LP gas ( $100)…… all done
back in the park and connect up with the trailer now that Brenda has her NEW directions sorted out
using her previous experience as a cheerleader. So far, so good ………. but now the generator won’t
start !! A frustrating afternoon unable to resolve anything and now the bloody Safari won’t start either!!!
I’m beginning to lose it ! Frantic phone calls to Howard our RV Guru and as no answer there more
calls to other traveling RV experts. Seems everybody is on vacation and things are looking bleak.

Monday morning and still no answers from RV experts. Nothing for it but to try and resolve what I
believe to be a power issue in the battery bay. The generator just clicks! same noise that you get
when you try and start a car with a bad battery…….. just the click, click, click of the solenoid trying to
engage the starter motor. Well it could be a connection, bad earth, corrosion etc, etc. Let’s eliminate
all of the above. All batteries cleaned, all connections polished back to gleaming copper…… no
change…… just clicks faster!! About 11’ish Howard rings and he will be round later in the afternoon.

Battery cleaning time!


Howard arrives, immediately says its a voltage shortage and its one battery dragging the others
down causing all the problems. Bad battery removed, everything now works!  No need for all the
hi-tech diagnostics to tell me it was the fuel pump, computer, cam shaft position sensor and any
other mysteries of the CAT engine…. no, very simple a NASTY battery!

Trying to recover lost time contestants must now depart at 0430 and make their way to Cave Creek
where they will find their next clue. Amid the non stop barking from the dogs the final bags are loaded
and Starship Safari slips from her dock at 0440. Moving through the time continuum we gain an hour
as we make Arizona and slide into a roadside docking area in the Cave Creek recreation area. Not
exactly a pull through but 50 amp right beside the road. Plugged in and not yet noon AZ time contact
a happy daughter to announce all is well and we WILL finally get to see one year old grandchild

Cave Creek and roadside 50 amp

Next up get the Beemer out…….. but once again thanks to the delights of the atrocious roads of
northern AZ my bike has once more shed all its 6 tie downs and is once again on its side in the trailer
……. I’m less than amused ! 30 mins of struggling with 850 lbs of Bavarian finest and its upright and
out of the trailer.

On the road by 1230 and meet up with Sally and grandchild at her apartment. Plan is to go to the zoo
and we will ride the Beemer. Zoo is done now time for some ice cream over in Scottsdale. Sophie
now suitably fed she becomes more amiable to being held so endures Grandfather’s touch without
too much resistance. All too soon time for fond farewells and OUR visit to a quality restaurant.

One happy daughter

A snowcone brain freeze…. and look what it did to my hair

Sophie with Grandad

Sally and father, Ian, take a baby break over icecream

Amazing what you miss when you are in the mountains. Last year when we were down for the
Buckeye Trial it had to be a visit to Red Lobster and this year would have been the Char grilled fillet
at Harolds on Monday and then a visit to P.F Changs on Tuesday. Well we are back on the Tuesday
schedule so PF Changs it is ! The weather has changed from strong winds and blowing dust and
now we have some warm rain to contend with but its intermittent  so press on without the rain gear.

Standard “memory” meal with lettuce wraps, crab and cream cheese wantons and then duck for
Brenda while I opt for my favorite of shrimp in lobster sauce.

Meanwhile outside the rain has intensified and is no longer warm! Rain gear on for the 20 mile run
back to the RV. Yes it stings but we make it back in one piece despite some clown driving straight
through a huge puddle that I was trying to avoid and covering us in a mighty bow wave!!


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