Monday, August 6, 2018

2018 Vacation -- Arizona & Utah, part 3

On Sunday, June 9--one week after we left--we went to Emmaus Evangelical Lutheran Church where Pastor Else (ELL-see) preached the gospel and fed us with the body and blood of Christ.  We also enjoyed his Bible Class on Revelation.  (They had just started the series.)  After the late service, the congregation of Emmaus held a special Farewell for Faith.  Although she filled in as an emergency teacher for 1-2 grades, she had apparently made a lot of wonderful connections with the people there.  And I know she will miss them, too.

After that, we went to our hotel (Faith's apartment was emptied of all furniture) and spend the afternoon there.  I took a four hour nap.  I guess the time on the road had caught up with me.  Caleb, Philip, and Peter enjoyed the pool.  After Sunday-Monday's efforts to have oil changes and last minute clean up of Faith's apartment, we departed shortly after noon on Monday.  North to Flagstaff, and then to the Williams, AZ KOA campground.

Flat tire #2 happened just as we were coming to the campground.  Also, a bone-headed move by me was mercifully spared of serious consequences.  Caleb helped again with the tire changing job.  The result of me not doing everything (for which I should be grateful, right?) is that I had skipped something on my mental checklist.  I tightened the lugnuts while the tire was in the air, but failed to tighten them completely once the tire was back on the ground.  We drove with the wobbly tire (Caleb said it look bad as he and Faith rode in her car behind us) for about one mile.  Then, at the KOA, I actually did tighten the lugnuts appropriately.  There was no real damage to see, but we were probably one more mile away from losing that tire and wrecking the bolts on the axle.  God's mercy overruled my negligence (for which I AM especially grateful).

On Tuesday, we went to Grand Canyon National Park, mainlly spending the day hiking along the South Rim from the Visitors Center to Grand Canyon Village.  We all took lots of photos.  Some are below.

On Wednesday, I got up early to the tire place in Williams to get our blown-out camper tire replaced.  While there, the tire guy let me know that we were destined for a blow out on our Traverse really soon.  I knew that the tire was in need of replacement, but I was hoping to get back home before we took care of it.  When he told me that he could see the steel of the steel-belted radials, I decided that I did not want to risk a blow out in the middle of the northern Arizona desert, MILES from anywhere.  (And from what he told me, the blow out was not merely a risk; it was inevitable.)  So, after we broke camp, we travelled to Flagstaff and got new tires for the Traverse.  It was not an expense we had planned on, but it was absolutely necesssary.  And obviously, we made it home, so it was a good call.  While we sat waiting for the tires (and the Firestone guys in Flagstaff were outstsanding in getting us taken care of quickly!), we met a Dutch couple who was travelling throughout the western US.  It was really nice visiting with them, and they were thoroughly enjoying the USA.  They were also surprised how far we had travelled from Detroit.  (When we are outside of Michigan, we are from Detroit.  It is just easier than trying to tell anyone where Novi is.)

After leaving Flagstaff, we travelled north and then west through Arizona on US Highway 89, then ALT US Highway 89, and finally on Arizona State Highway 389.  We passed through some rugged, yet beautiful, country.  We stopped at Navajo Bridge over the Colorado River.  Late in the afternoon, we finally entered Utah.  After passing through Hurricane, UT, we made our way to the St. George KOA campground, which is actually a bit north of St. George, UT.  After lounging for a little bit with the putt-putt golf course and the pool table in the rec center--air-conditioned rec center!--we went to bed to rest up for Zion National Park the next day.

Photos of June 9-12 are below.

Faith's Farewell at Emmaus Lutheran School.

Pastor Else (pronounced ELL-see) had nice words to say about Faith.

Faith, leaving her apartment for the last time.  Good-bye, Phoenix.  On to Minnesotra!


There are too many photos from the Grand Canyon.  Here are a few.

Laura, Faith, Caleb. Philip, and Peter are in the middle, dwarfed by the size of the Canyon behind them.


Yep, it's big.


The Colorado River, taken from the Navajo Bridge in northern Arizona.


Landscape in nothern Arizona on State Highway 389.