Saturday got off to an interesting start. Before we left Mesa (where we stayed, next to Phoenix) we stopped at a local shopping center to get a few things at Target. While Danny and Savannah were inside I got a text from Virgie, the woman we'd stayed with. "This might sound strange, but do you have a gel pack that was in my freezer?" We were taking along a couple of little coolers to put sandwich fixings and other stuff to snack on. Danny's mom had packed it, so I hadn't seen which of our cooler packs she'd used. So I had, indeed, stolen their gel pack. We were only 15 minutes away so I told her we'd go back and drop it off. Well, somehow Danny got 'confused'. He says he never got lost, he knew exactly where we were - in Arizona! Somehow, don't ask me why, it took about 1 1/2 hours to get back to her place! The map and street names didn't seem to agree. So we eventually got back to her place and had a nice visit while she printed up maps to take us each step of the way on our trip.
As we were leaving Phoenix I saw signs for Cave Creek. I had forgotten how close Cave Creek was to Phoenix. A very dear friend of ours lives there, but we'd lost touch, we hadn't spoken in 20 years. I texted Virgie and she did a search for him and managed to find a phone number. I called it, the recording gave his cell phone number, so I called it. I got his voice mail and said we were there, eating lunch. We ate a leisurely lunch at Wendy's, and finally gave up and started to leave. I called and left another voice mail. We had only gone a short ways down the road when I got a phone call from him. "Are you still in town??" We were almost outside town, by a Burger King. He and his wife rushed over and we visited for a couple of hours. What a wonderful visit! We just took up where we left off, like you do with good friends. So, between Danny getting 'confused', and us visiting with friends, we didn't get on the road until 5pm!
Thankfully the sun was still up when we reached Flagstaff. It had been pouring rain when we arrived in Mesa, and as we went up into the mountains we got more heavy snow. It was really windy, but the views were beautiful! We stopped just before Flagstaff to play in the snow, we just couldn't resist it. But you know what? When you're used to living at sea level, the air at 7,000 ft is very thin. I was breathless!
We were going to spend the night at another friend of my brother and sister-in-law's, but with the late start we got we didn't get to Albuquerque until 1am, so we spent the night in a Wal Mart parking lot, the first of many. Apparently this is called 'boondocking'. Wal Mart's are open 24 hours, so you're close to a bathroom and other necessities, and they have security in the parking lot, which rest areas don't. Just another part of our adventure.