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2023 Trip #2 – Grand Canyon to Tucumcari

Wanderlust Road

From Lake Havasu State Park we drove to Grand Canyon’s Trailer Court RV Campground in a day. Interstate 40 from Kingman, AZ to Williams, AZ was HORRIBLE! Avoid at all costs. On our return trip, we’re going to travel on old Route 66 instead.

Shortly after arriving in Trailer Court RV Campground, we set off for a short (1.5 mile) walk to the Grand Canyon – just as we did when we camped here before in 2019.


It’s everywhere . . .

Starlink antennas are popping up on more and more RVs

El Tovar

We stayed in the El Tovar Hotel in 1974. It was incredible. We rented an upper floor patio that faced the Grand Canyon.

Grand Canyon Panorama

Homolovi Ruins State Park

Our first stop after leaving the Grand Canyon . . .

Plenty of open space plus the occasional snake and/or scorpion.


While traveling to our next campground in New Mexico, we received a text message from the RV park saying they had to cancel our 2-day reservation because the campground was badly damaged in a fall flood the night before.

We dodged a bullet by arriving a day AFTER this storm

Storms keep rolling through the area . . .

. . . and the night skies are spectacular

2023 Trip #1 – We’re Off

We left Mariposa on Sunday, May 14th, at about 10 am

Our first stop was an RV park in Bakersfield (180 miles). On Monday, it was on to a KOA in Barstow (140 miles), then to the Lake Havasu State Park on Tuesday (another 180 miles).

Heading East on Highway 58 across the Mohave Desert

We’re in Lake Havasu City until Friday. It’s a chance to meet old friends, dine out, and shop before leaving for the Grand Canyon.

The Effects of Desert Water

Our Campsite in Lake Havasu State Park

We Miss the Desert Sunsets

A day after we arrived in Lake Havasu, we had our RV’s living room slide out fixed. I suspected that a slide out shear bolt had broken which was causing the slide to go out and come in unevenly. When we were in Mariposa we received two quotes on getting the slide out repaired – one quote was for about $250, another for over $700. And those prices were for just showing up!

Our Lake Havasu RV repairman fixed it for $175.

Two slide out shear bolts needed replacement. All fixed!

Our campsite came with its own “private beach” on Lake Havasu. Flirt loved it . . .

Yep, she’s a water dog

After a swim, Flirt dried off in a walk through the park’s cactus garden

Our Jeep Blew Up!

Yep. Our 2008 Jeep Wrangler gave up the ghost a little over a week ago. It went like this . . .

After I stopped by Bob Blackburn’s Mountain Automotive and RV Center (where we get our RV and Jeep serviced), I tried starting our Jeep which I had just driven to Bob’s a few minutes ago. However, as soon as I turned the ignition key I knew immediately that the engine had “blown”. It raced, faltered, and make very loud knocking noises that shook the whole vehicle.

We had been having some issues with rough starting for a week or so, but didn’t think much it. Boy, were we wrong.

Bob (of Bob Blackburn’s) gave a listen and pronounced it DOA. He figured a piston was destroyed and that the Jeep would need a new engine. That’s about $6 to $12k. More than our Jeep was worth, so it was a total loss . . .

. . . and there is about 2 weeks left before we’re supposed to leave on our cross country RV trip, and we have no car. Super.

So after owning our 2008 Jeep Wrangler for 6 years we sold it for a pittance to an auto mechanic who plans to install a new engine.

Now we need to find a new used car – fast. And we did . . . thanks to some of Jan’s Mariposa friends with local connections.

Long story short . . . we rented a car, found a used 2011 Honda CR-V and bought it 3 days ago. In the 3 days we’ve owned it, Bob Blackburn’s moved the RV braking system from our dead Jeep to our Honda. And today a local mechanic installed a towing system on our Honda. The mechanic worked 12 hours and said he loved doing it!

Good Karma’s back . . . at least for the moment.

Our new to us 2011 Honda CR-V ready for RVing

Kitchen Sink Drain Fix

A follow up to April 16’s Kitchen Sink in RV Slideout (

The original kitchen drain hose was very stiff which caused the eventual failure of one of the two drain fittings.

Original Drain Hose (left) vs New Flexible Hose (right) – both hoses are 4′ 6″ long

The new hose is much more flexible. However, it’s smaller in diameter and does not have a smooth interior like the original hose. Long story short . . . it will clog more easily. C’est la vie.

Interior of new hose

With the help of a heat gun applied to each end of the new drain hose, a barbed fitting was forced into each hose end:

2″ barbed connector

The end result . . .

New hose top and bottom drain connections

Our slide out closes much easier now with less chance of things breaking

Lake McClure – Barrett Cove Campground 2023

Click on any of the photos below to enlarge them.

Cellular Data Speeds: 44 Mbps (Verizon) / 11 Mbps (AT&T)

What a difference a year makes.

We camped at Barrett Cove Campground in April 2022 during the height of the California drought. Now, after weeks of rain this year, Lake McClure shows the result of all that water . . .

2022 (left) vs 2023 (2023)

2022 (left) vs 2023 (right)

We arrived on Monday afternoon after a short 20-mile drive from Mariposa. Also, we’re staying in the same campsite as last year . . .

Site K-6

We’re only here for a few days so we’re doing as much hiking as possible. The area is gorgeous. Plus, as far as we can tell, there’s only one other camper in the entire park!

This was our “shakedown” camping before we begin our long summer trip East in a month.

It was a good thing we did this. Besides the great views and hikes, we also found several things that needed attention (aka repairing).