What a day...an entire movie could have been written about this day!!! I have made lots of new friends from AZ and love them dearly. I can tell you without question that "good road" is certainly a relative term. We should have learned this when we were told the rv could make the Fossil Creek Road. I road it on Tonto and knew quickly that a blown engine would certainly been our end result.
When we left Overgaard, we were told that there were trails...roads that would keep us off hwy260 and would come out in Show Low. We were even provided with a map - how easy could this be. The road Andi and I would ride, which was called 300, paralleled hwy 260. There were lots of trails/roads that crossed between the two and all we had to do was pick one and Marla could meet us on the corner for the night's camp. Now that she and Tonto are a "train", I am no longer needed to help confirm our spot.
The horses had just gotten new shoes and I decided not to have pads put on Whiskey since we were going to be on roads. Well.....the winds from the previous day had blown trees down all along 300. We had no problem crossing on the horses but the short 20 mile ride took a long time. There were so many rocks and logging trucks had made deep ruts that caused the horses to have to walk a "tight rope". To make matters worse, my cell phone (our only means of communication was dead). The last thing I heard Marla say was "I cannot get to you because the trees are down on the road". When Andi and I got to the intersection of 300 and trail 132, we had to try to think what Marla would do. We hoped and prayed that she would just come as far down the trail as she could so we started toward her. I wish I could describe just how tired we were even at this point and if we ended up having to go all the way to 260, it was 8 miles. Whiskey's feet were too tender so I decided to walk with him. Andi was starting to have blurred vision, she is a diabetic. We were scrambling for an answer when she finally found some candies that had become lodged between the lining of her saddlebags and the inside. This seemed enough to stop her from bottoming out. We were not too far down the road when the sun was completely gone and we were trying to find our way down the dark dirt road. Knowing that there are some "not so friendly" animals in the area, I made up songs to sing as we walked. My night vision was better than Andi's so I lead and sang "follow the white appy butt" to the yellow brick road tune....lol. It was 10:30 when we finally got to the end of 260 and.....no Marla. I also noticed that the road sign was different from the one she was supposed to enter. Yep...we should have taken 130 and not 132.
Andi and I crossed the highway and found our way to a LDS church. I tried to enter and find a phone but it was locked up tight. I asked Andi to watch the horses and I was going for help. I was able to flag down a couple that allowed me to call Marla...she only had enough cell battery to tell me she had tried to find us and came up 300 from hwy 60 and was stuck....the rv was dead. The sweet woman of the couple was determined not to leave us stranded and contacted James Rogers and his girls. They had just come in from barrel racing and still had their horse trailer attached and came to the rescue of our horses. When we got to their house, Debbie and James agreed to take us to find Marla. After a couple of hours, we found her smack in the middle of the road on a huge incline. We thanked Debbie and James and told them we would stay in the rv and be back for our horses the next day. By this time, it was 2:30 am. Our feet hurt so bad it was as if we had been walking on hot coals. I got into bed which felt like a 45 degree angle...I had to put my feet on the headboard to hold my position. Marla had informed us that the alternator belt had broken and she had run out of power. I got up and pulled the generator out of the back of the horse trailer and pulled it up to the front of the rv. I filled the gas tank and attached a batter charger hoping to get enough charge to get us out of there the next morning.
Marla had bought a new belt so in addition to the battery being charged, I put the new belt on. More than one belt broke so it was fun trying to figure out which pulleys the belt actually went on. Once the belt was secure, you cannot imagine how excited we were when the rv actually cranked. I pulled it into drive but the severity of the incline was too much from a dead stop to pull the hill. I backed all the way down to a flat spot and got something of a running start. I didn't even make it back to the original spot and it just would not pull the hill. We dumped all the water and removed whatever heavy things that might make a difference. I backed at least 1/4 of a mile..over a big hump and up a hill to give me a better running start. I said a prayer and pulled it into drive. I didn't slow down...not even for the hump which Andi swears the both front tires of the rv came off the ground when I came over it. We were all wooohoooing as I passed them and crested the hill.
The rv and trailer have a few new character dents but seem to be ok. We were to be staying at Joe and Sue Dowd's place just beyond Show Low. Sue's friend and another angel in our path named Rose took us to retrieve our horses.
Days like this let me know that we are truly surrounded by angels. We are not promised there will be no obstacles...but we were provide the wisdom and help to overcome the unique challenges of this trip.
Thanks for your prayers;