Monday morning we drove down to Mesa to spend time with some friends who graciously welcomed us into their home.
Wow, more steep climbs and descents 6% or more on the interstate! Hopefully once I get the radiator cleaned it will help.
We went out to dinner with Tom & Darlene and another couple from Michigan who are also Newell owners. We never realized when we bought our Newell coach that we were joining such a wonderful family of fellow Newellee's. We've met some wonderful people such as Tom and Darlene whose home we're staying at this week.
I brought our coach to a bus repair facility to have some maintenance done. Tom has used this place for years and highly recommended them. I just took pictures of the coach up in the air and pictures of the entire underside for future reference. Leo (service manager) found and repaired a couple oil leaks and hopefully the engine will stay clean now. Other than these leaks everything under the coach looked good so I feel better continuing our trip.
Wednesday we cooked a gumbo for our hosts and showed Darlene how to cook cajun and left her some Bourgeois andouille so she can do another one. I think they both enjoyed our gumbo.
Thursday Darlene took us on a tour of Mesa and to see their Mormon visitors center. I'm impressed with the Mormon faith and happy to dispel some of the misconceptions I've had (mostly due to ignorance). They have a cannery in Mesa and other cities where they package various items in bulk quantities for long term storage. The cannery is staffed by volunteers (except for a couple employees who have to be certified by the USDA, etc.) and amazingly everyone had a smile and greeting for us. Not like a commercial run operation at all, everyone looked as if they truly wanted to be there. They also have a "welfare system" where a member who has fallen on hard times can apply and be approved by a committee to receive various commodities. Which a lot of religions do also but they require the recipients to give back in whatever fashion they can by volunteering. Nice concept and one I can only dream of that our government adopts some day. The Mormon faith is very family oriented and believes strongly in personal responsibility and volunteering and they are Christians.
Today (Friday) we're driving over to Tuscon to see the "airplane graveyard" and tour a de-commissioned ICBM silo. That should be an interesting day for those of us who survived the cold war.
In the evenings I've been helping Tom work on his "new" coach. He recently bought a 2002 45 foot 2 slide coach. Beautiful coach that he is updating. If anybody wants a Newell he has a 1990 38' coach in excellent condition he is selling.