As we continue our diary series of our first motorhome road trip, Dave takes over the commentary for what we did on Day 3.
(Dave) PAAAARRRRRRRRRPPPPPPPP / PAAAARRRRRRRRRPPPPPPPP. PAAAARRRRRRRRRPPPPPPPP
That was the sound we were woken up to at 2am, and 5am. Our campsite was next to a railway line. Those horns have a certain romance to them along with the 50+ double decker freight carriages that slowly passed us. They heavy carriages caused the ground to shudder, which was quite hypnotic laying in the van, it sent Miche back to sleep.
Up at 6:00am to make coffee. I now have matches and go to light the burners. Couldn’t get the burners to stay lit so I kept the button pushed in with what was to hand. Fortunately Miche was still in bed and unable to carry out her risk assessment. I’ve sussed them out now. 🙂
Sand snake yoga
Yoga first thing, to stretch out the ole bones (Oi less of the old – M). We took our new Walmart mats and headed over to the kids play park, which had a soft sand pit. This seemed like a good idea rather than doing downward dogs beside the van and putting our neighbours off their breakfast.
However, this is where we discovered it’s bloody hard to do yoga on moving sand. It’s slippery so your hands go one way and your legs the other. Downward dogs quickly turned into a plank then a sand snake pose (face splat). But hey we felt smug knowing we’d done our exercise. Probably only about 60 calories worth, but we’ll skip over that.
First van dump
Yes folks, our water tanks were full and needed purging. This’ll be fun methinks! This was our first motorhome road trip, we were complete newbies but hey I’ve watched a ton of YouTube video, how hard can it be?
I dug out the hose from the outside cupboard and found the valve it connects to. Seems like the valve leaks a bit, so when I removed the cap to attach the hose, out shoots a torrent of soapy wee. (Hmmm Dave this vanlife doesn’t seem as glamourous as the Instagram pics I saw – M).
I hook up the hose pretty smartish and the rest of the process to offload the tank water goes ok. I’m not looking forward to the next time. I must show Miche how to empty the tank. Well she did say she wanted to learn how to do everything 🙂 Disposable gloves are now top of our shopping list.
Time for a clean up
Miche got the upper hand this morning with the toiletries. Off she goes to the shower block with a bag full of travel size potions. I go off with a smug face and one bottle of shower gel, that’s all you need for face, hair, pits and bits right? Wrong!
Miche comes back smelling like she’s been to a spa courtesy of Liz Earle. Whereas I just come back not smelling. My ‘all-in-one’ product strategy back fired on me. The black pepper and ginseng body wash is a bit like chilli oil in your eyes. So I return from the shower block with stinging red eyes, but hey I’m not smelly I assure Miche.
Wupatki National Park
We wave cheerio to Grand Canyon railway RV Park, which was a great stopover by the way. So check out this RV park if you’re ever in the area. It was spotless clean, lots of space, perfect for a stopover as part of a motorhome road trip.
Next we fill up with more food at the Safeway store outside of Williams town before heading to Wupatki National Park. This takes us on the I-40 and US-89N 65 miles north to the Wupatki National Park. Here’s a Google map link if you’re interested or thinking of heading out that way.
We wanted to come here to find out more about the Hopi people, or Hoppy, as Miche calls them. Having parked up we headed into the very impressive visitor centre building. The centre tells the story of the area and the Hopi people who lived on the lands. Having read the story boards and viewed the photos we headed out into the 100+ heat to continue our tour.
We’re deep in Arizona desert territory now so when we step outside we’re surrounded by a majestic landscape of red. The park website says: ‘Wupatki is a landscape of legacies. Ancient pueblos dot red-rock outcroppings across miles of prairie. Where food and water seem impossible to find, people built pueblos, raised families, farmed, traded, and thrived.’
Around the site there are trails that take you to the remaining pueblo ruins. We walked over half a mile exploring the ruins, which was not easy in the scorching sun, with no shade except our hats, but it was totally worth it.
Next stop Grand Canyon
From Wupatki National Park, we continue our first motorhome road trip by driving 70 miles into the Grand Canyon National Park. We booked to stay at the Grand Canyon Trailer RV Park. (Googlemaps route link) for 3 nights so that we could hike, bike and fly (more on that next time).
We park up in our allotted RV bay. Next to us were a huge American RV one side and a tiny hired van the other side. So we don’t feel soooo small for a change. Mr Big has every conceivable gadget on his van. They BBQ’d under the awning, dined on their banqueting table, entertained us with great 80’s music, whilst the kids rode around on mountain bikes. I’ll give it to them, Americans know how to camp in style.
Mr big’s RV had side slide-outs (like the van wasn’t big enough already – M)! Things just kept coming out of side cupboards. I wouldn’t have been surprised if Thunderbird 4 hadn’t made an appearance at one point.
No flies on Miche
There were a lot of flies and midges in the area, so we decided to try out the vans built in bug screen on the main door. As we pulled the screen across we discovered a huge hole in the middle. Miche our resident risk assessor soon had the hole plugged up using her straw hat, worked a treat. 🙂
Summary: What did we learn on day 3?
- Disposable gloves are highly recommended for doing the mucky outside jobs. They weren’t provided in the (not so handy) ‘Welcome pack’ so pick some up before you head out on the road.
- Again… check the van before you hire it. If you’re heading out somewhere hot and likely going to need air con / fly screens etc. then make sure they’re in working order before accepting the hire van. We were rushed through our handover as they were late and we didn’t realise we had faults until we were in the desert. Big mistake. (more on this soon)
Miles travelled: 135 with on stop at Wupatki National Park
Campsite: Grand Canyon Trailer RV Park (South Rim) 100 Trailer Village Rd, Grand Canyon Village, AZ 86023,
Coming up: Day 4 of our first motorhome road trip, we spend our first full day in Grand Canyon National Park – wow! Wait till you see some of our pics.