Back home – boys ecstatic. Could have gone I-17.

Gizmo was in my recliner and Kerby was somewhere in the back of the house when we walked in the door this afternoon around 4:00. I headed for the front bathroom and Elaine to the rear, and Gizmo did not know which way to go. After a few pets from me he followed Elaine, and I could hear him squealing and crying with joy at seeing her. After a minute or so he came to where I was and squealed and cried some more. What a welcome! As I came out of the office Kerby was coming across the kitchen from the back of the house and as soon as he saw me he ran and wanted to be petted and loved.

We spent a few minutes with the boys before heading back to the car to unload it. Gizmo followed us and didn’t know who to follow. Kerby just stood in the living room and watched us going back and forth. Yes, it is great to be back home with our boys!

Pete Petersen came by a little while later and we had a good visit with him, catching up on his and the boys doings while we were gone as well as news from within Royal Palm. Pete did a great job of caring for Kerby and Gizmo while we were gone.

GPS map
A screen shot from my Galaxy S8+ shows traffic jams on our route in red, good traveling in blue. We are traveling up on the route on the screen. Up near Payson you can see the N Tyler Pkwy route we were redirected onto to get around Payson.

As it turned out, we probably should have taken the I-17 route. There were no reports of accidents or blockages anywhere on that route today. However on the US 191 route I took we did run into a blockage on US 260 about 15 miles out from Payson. We were tooling along with a lot of traffic when suddenly everything came to a halt – both lanes. I was using Google Maps GPS on my smartphone and could see the blockage as the route turned red. It showed the red to extend about eight miles ahead of us, and we spent at least half an hour or more getting to find the reason for the backup. The road changed from two lanes to one lane, and this slowed things up for the merge.

I was expecting, and could see on the GPS, more delays approaching Payson itself with many traffic signals and local traffic. But as we got closer to the city Maps suggested an alternate route that turned out to work well and routed us around all the congestion.

Starting with our run on US 191 back in Rock Springs WY yesterday and all the way through to where we met up with I-40 today, traffic was very light. As in many stretches where we did not see another vehicle in either direction for as long as ten minutes at a time. We took I-40 west today to Holbrook and then turned south on AZ 377 south. Traffic started getting heavier, though still was moderate. Down in Heber we turned onto AZ 260 and took that into Payson. AZ 260 was quite a bit busier. Much of the traffic was trucks and cars pulling camping trailers as well as a number of motorhomes; people were returning home from a weekend of camping. From Payson we were on US 87 into the Fountain Hills area, where we turned onto local streets at Shea Blvd. Traffic was heavy on the rest of the highway route but it was moving fairly well.

In retrospect, If we could have hit Holbrook by about 10:00 AM instead of 12:30, we probably would have had an easier time of it. But that would have meant going much further the day before, and that just wasn’t in the cards for us. Besides, once past Blanding – where we stayed last night – there aren’t many places to stay, especially ones with decent Internet. But on a non-holiday weekend this route would be great.


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