Flagstaff

Even after our Roamer service was completed in Colorado the rig just didn’t have the same performance as before. So we took it back to the Ford dealer in the valley after we arrived home. I had a good chat with the mechanic, changed out a couple parts, got a data logger attached to capture any engine events and we took off north to see if it was finally fixed.

Our first stop was Orme to discuss our next rebuild project.

One of the larger ranch homes was vacant and in need of a serious upgrade. As one of the few three bedroom, two bathroom houses, it really needs to be brought back to life and should be a good project. It needs nearly everything: windows, doors, cabinets, counters, and new bathrooms… so it will keep us busy. We took dimensions and discussed what would be needed to make this place a beautiful home again.

Because the issues with the truck were related to high altitude and cold conditions we continued to climb up to Flagstaff and headed to Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument. If you are not familiar with the area, Flagstaff was once a huge volcano field, where some of the more eye-catching buildings in town are made from volcanic rock. Sunset Crater, northeast of Flagstaff, has many of the cinder cones from past volcanoes and beautiful lava fields to hike through.

The cinder cones and lava fields line up with the San Francisco Peaks. It too was once a huge volcano that blew ages ago. Humphreys Peak, the tallest, tops at 12,633 feet. You can see from the mountain shape how big the original volcano must have been before it erupted, possibly rivaling Denali in height.

Just north of Sunset Crater is Wupatki National Monument. Wupatki is a collection of ancient Pueblo communities that existed on the land just north of Flagstaff. It is located at the southern border of the Navajo Nation that encompasses the north-east quarter of the state of Arizona, and some of Utah, Colorado and New Mexico.

The excavated remains of the ancient communities include the buildings, gathering places and even game courts.

The stone construction is very impressive, where some of these dwellings are built on rock ledges overlooking canyons.

We’ve camped at the campground in Sunset Crater before, but it was closed this time of year. We have also dispersed camped just south of here near Walnut Canyon, but we wanted a new place. There is dispersed camping on the west side of Hyw 89 across from Sunset Crater, but this is typically a crowded area due to its popularity. We ended up finding a new place near Wupatki on Forest Service (or maybe Babbitt ranch) land in the cinder fields off the park road before you reach Hwy 89. It was a great place to watch the full moon rise and light up the evening skies. We’ll definitely use this new place again.

The next morning we continued our exploration of the Wupatki ruins. The colors of the ruins and the morning sky were just stunning.

The sky always seems a little bluer when you’re above 7,000 feet. Then again it could be my mind playing tricks due to the lack of oxygen – lol.

Our sticker collection has now covered the entire inside of the lid and is two or three layers deep in some areas. …but more are needed. It will be done when we run out of new places to visit.

The Roamer passed the checkout test and is ready for extended travels again. We also just received a letter from Ford that extended the warranty of the items replaced. We will get a refund for the most recent work since it was already changed out on our truck. Nice.

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