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It’s a balloon kind of morning!

WOW! This morning when I took Roxie out, I saw 4 hot air balloons; always a really cool sight, and it happens almost daily here. A little while later I heard that distinctive sound of the propane burner and I looked out…..there was a balloon landing about 50′ from the camper! How cool is that! The sun of course was coming from the wrong direction but I snapped a bunch of photos out the door of the camper. I have never seen a hot air balloon up that close…..they are massive!! I wondered if it would collapse onto the camper but there’s a rope hanging down so someone can direct where it falls.  About five minutes later, another balloon landed right next to the first! WOW!

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Wow, compare the size of the people to the size of the balloon! That thing is humungous! 

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He’s walking the rope out to guide where the balloon falls.
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TWO balloons!

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Yesterday I had a not-so-nice experience so today’s balloons were extra uplifting. The little red battery icon was lit up on my car’s dashboard, so I took the car to a repair place that my friend Donna recommended (she lives here in Cottonwood). They said it’s the alternator. You may remember that just last May I broke down in Gallup, NM and had to get an alternator and battery……yeah. The guy at this place said that they don’t use that brand of rebuilt alternator because they don’t hold up well. He’s quoted $427 to put in a new alternator. That’s bad news but what makes me feel worse is that obviously Pep Boys in Gallup ripped me off…I paid around $800 for a rebuilt alternator and battery that only lasted nine months!!  Grrrrr.  I am stuck here at camp until my Wednesday afternoon appointment. I checked the battery this morning and it’s pretty dead; so glad I have the solar panel to charge it up!

Ahhh…breathe in, breathe out, shake it off…..here’s the sunrise from a couple days ago.

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The sunsets have not been really great because there haven’t been many clouds in the evenings. It’s been very pleasant, near 70 degrees during the day, but with enough of a breeze that it’s not quite warm enough to sit outside for very long.   Last night the low here was 35 and Thursday and Friday’s highs are supposed to be 80. What a huge difference a few days make! I’m going to be miserable in 80 degrees, but I have to hang around here until Friday when I take the camper back to get the brakes checked again.Something is still wrong; they’re still not working. Boy this month is sure a big money pit! $250 for the camper repairs already, plus $427 for the alternator, and who knows how much more to get the brakes fixed! Ouch. I seem destined to not ever have any savings.

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A-Frame Rally in Cottonwood, AZ

This past weekend was the A-Frame Campers rally at Dead Horse Ranch State Park in Cottonwood, AZ. There were 24 camper units and 35 people present! Boy the organizers (Donna, Wanda and Kathy) really know how to put on a great rally! It was obvious they put a lot of work and thought into it, and it’s not easy planning out four days of fun and food.  Not just morning coffee and doughnuts, full breakfasts every morning! Pancakes, eggs, french toast….!  Every morning there was a demo or discussion topic (not that I made it over there much in the mornings; I’m SO not a morning person!) One morning I did have to get up early because the demo was happening to my camper; Tom Warfield installed new wheel bearings! Nevada Nick donated one set of bearings so I only had to purchase one set costing $24.  And Tom was also the reason I was camped at the state park; he reserved and paid for a site for me! Wow.  I must say it was a treat to have electricity for those 4 days. I dug out my toaster and even got a chance to roast some fresh coffee beans.

There were also mid-day activities like touring Montezuma’s Castle and Well, the copper museum, and Tuzigoot ruins. Evening campfires didn’t happen because it rained all weekend, but the area was a sea of canopies and screen tents so we were able to keep dry while scarfing down more food at the potluck dinners.

There was a Swap Meet where people brought unwanted goodies to sell, and I got a Wilson signal booster for my new wifi hotspot for only $50! All I need to buy is a long piece of galvanized  pipe to mount it on.

Today we moved to the “1000 Trails” boondocking site about 5 miles from Cottonwood, just off Hwy. 260.  It’s nice here with much much less traffic than my other site off FR525. But after all that rain, it sure was gooey. The car was slithering all over the place! And it’s the kind of mud that builds up on your shoes until you’re dragging around 5# of it per foot!  It dries out pretty fast here though. This is Open Range land and as soon as we got set up here, one of the neighbors came to call….Ms Moo!

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Our campsite off Thousand Trails Road between Cottonwood and Camp Verde

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See the mud??!!