Making tracks for home

Those are dinosaur tracks near Tuba City, AZ on Rt. 160.

With no reliable internet service at Cliff Dwellers Lodge or anywhere along the Vermillion Cliffs area I had to wait to send that last story until I arrived in Flagstaff. That proved to be a good stop and rest spot also, before continuing on my way back to Phoenix. I arrived back home at about 5:40 p.m. Tuesday afternoon.


Part of the Vermillion Cliffs, along US 89A


Not wanting to put it off, I unloaded my very dirty car immediately, but have not yet stored all my gear. I'll need to go through everything to have things ready and restocked to go camping the next time I venture out. 

Rock House, built into and around a huge boulder under the Vermillion cliffs. In 1927 a woman's car broke down near here, so she camped out and liked the area so much, she bought property and built her rock house. It's pretty much dilapidated, and still interesting.

Now it is late on Wednesday, 8/29. I spent most of the day cleaning the car. From past experience I knew I would likely end up with road dust inside the car. To help lessen the cleanup, I covered everything in back with a tarp, and covered the front seats. That tarp has been covered in dust since I first left paved roads and hit those dirt roads on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon and on all the other unpaved roads in the Arizona Strip, and in Utah. Though the tarp captured a fair amount of the dust, it still permeated every nook and cranny inside the car, even underneath the tarp. Again, from past experience, I knew it would take quite awhile to clean up the mess. After several hours of vacuuming the interior and washing the surfaces thereafter with Murphy's Oil soap, I was happy to have the interior, at least, looking like normal. 


The exterior of the car had received help from rains while away and then a nice shower just after leaving Flagstaff yesterday. I'd guess that after my battle with the mud hole, I had more than 100 lbs. of mud adhered to the car. Most of that was lost with rains and on paved roads when I intentionally tried to hit the wet spots which made that clean up a lot easier. The car wash up the road provided all I needed to high pressure wash and scrub the remaining mud and grime off the car. Back home in the garage I decided to then polish the car, which took the rest of the day. I was wetter with sweat than a fugitive with blood hounds hot on his trail. Dripping like a faucet as I worked on the car and toweling off (myself, that is), made the job more tedious.

                                                                                         A view from inside the rock house through a window.

However, the car is clean and spiffy now and I'm happy.

Also this morning, after the interior car cleaning I ran to the Post Office and got my accumulated mail. I can't remember when I have ever entered the Post Office and found no one else in line, so was able to get in and out in record time. Oh joy, then all that mail to sort through later in the day.

Being close to 1st Class Collision I, naturally wanted to check on the progress with Phiona. When I left 3 weeks ago, they were all very optimistic that they would have the car painted while I was away.


Phiona was pretty much sitting just as she was when I left. NO PAINT.

Mike the owner said Steve the painter had questions about the color, supposedly not sure all that was to be painted black. I was shocked to hear that, since I had reviewed those items several times with them. Mike said I should talk to Steve. Being very unhappy with having Phiona still in primer, I went to the back shop to talk with Steve who was idling chatting with a couple of the other guys (not looking like they were too devoted to doing much work, at least that's how it appeared to me). "What the heck", says I, "why is my car not painted yet? It's been 3 weeks, and back then you told me you'd have paint on the car!" 

"Not my fault", says Steve, "its the boss, he keeps putting other jobs ahead of yours, go talk with him."    

"No, I just talked with him and he said to talk with you, I"m tired of this finger pointing you to him, him to you, and back and forth. 3 weeks ago YOU told me the car would have been painted by my return". Steve goes on again about Mike loading him with other jobs and mine has to sit on the back burner, and again says go talk with Mike. I did start back to Mike's office, but turned back to Steve and asked him if he had doubts about the color scheme and what was to be painted black. He had understood, but said they found a fender that needed some welding and that took time (yeah, right, a welding job holds up the whole process??) He showed me the fender and it was a minor repair, but, of course I'm glad they fixed it. When I pressed him about when I MIGHT expect to see my car painted he said to talk to Mike. 

"No, WE are going to talk to Mike, I want everyone on the same page here. After all these months, I am really pissed off that you guys keep passing the buck". As we left the back shop, Mike was coming out of his office. I stopped in the shade of the building with Steve and said, "just wait, Mike can come to us", which he did, apologizing for not being able to talk more when I first went to his office.

Mike, Steve and I then talked. Mike wanted to know what Steve needed to do to get my car back in line. Steve saying he had all these other jobs that Mike put ahead of mine, and that he had sanding to do on it, more sanding and prep work (which surprised me because of his telling me 3 weeks prior that, the car was ready for paint). Understandably, I felt I was getting mixed messages and that further annoyed me.

So, Mike then told Steve to devote Thursday and Friday to my car to get it back on track. Monday, being Labor Day, they will be closed. Hearing from the boss to Steve that my car was to take precedence, really does not make me rest that much easier. I've heard that song and dance before and have little hope, yet, that I'll have Phiona back before October. 

My parting comments were that I'd stop on Friday at the end of the day to check on Phiona's progress. I'm not holding my breath.

The cold, hard reality of real life is back. 

(But I did have a terrific time on my vacation)!


More along the Vermillion Cliffs, nearing Marble Canyon and Navajo Bridge, which is the only crossing of the Colorado River on the North Rim.


Navajo Bridge - old (1927), and new to the left. The old bridge is closed to vehicles, but open to pedestrians.

Marble Canyon with 3 rafts going down the river. Marble Canyon is, basically, the start of the Grand Canyon.


Another view of Marble Canyon and Verrmillion Cliffs.

More dinosaur tracks, these measure nearly 4 feet from heel to toe. © Donald E. Kline 2012                                         Disqus Comments