We stayed 8 days at the free campground in Pioche and then planned to go to the Dixie National Forest near Cedar City.
Okay...this area is gorgeous. Breathtaking. The mountains were textured walls of rock around us with cedar and pine growing precariously on any smidgen of dirt the roots could find on sheer precipices. Some mountains were red. Some were grey with pockholes. Some were piles of boulders that looked like the Rock Biter from Never Ending Story. Some were bluish. Around that were seas of glorious green...
I should have took pictures, because they would have been amazing. I'm sorry I let you down, but I have a good excuse.
We're going up the mountain road into the forest and climbing...and climbing...and climbing. I'm not kidding. It's 20+ miles of a 6% grade upwards. My mom does not do well with heights. On one side of us is hugegantic mountain rock wall. On the other side is a steep (and I mean STEEP) drop into a verdant valley that dives for what has to be MILES downward. We climbed to the fricking clouds for God's sake!
After huffing and puffing upwards for 20 miles, with nothing but incline ahead of us, I started to fear we would get altitude sickness. I'm not being overly dramatic, either. When I pulled over my mother looked green. At first I thought it was because she'd looked to her right and seen the drop. Fortunately that's her blind eye and she'd been oblivious to the bottomless pit. She said she was having trouble breathing.
Well, right as we started the climb was the first camp site. Small. Close to the road. Not very level. But it seemed a better option than pushing higher. I said let's go down ten miles and just camp there. Where we were was too high, and we still have 4 miles to go.
On the way down my mom could see the drop and slowed down to drive extra careful. I had to slow down too, but the camper wanted to fly down the hill. So I had to ride on the break to make sure I didn't lose her.
After a while I'm smelling smoke. Is there a forest fire?
I ask my mom if she smells smoke on the walkie-talkie but the mountains are messing us up. If we're around a curve from each other she can't hear me.
I passed the campground and pull into a recreation area to turn around. A white car pulls next to me.
"Your brakes are on fire."
My mom pulls next to me wondering why we stopped. I go to the back of the RV and I smell it.
Oh my God...what have I done?
My mom says to call a tow truck. I say we go up the mountain a little and pull into the camp site. This place we're at is private property (some resort business) and there are signs all around saying no overnight parking.
She says no. She says her brakes caught fire once and they incinerated away. In her mind I had no brakes left.
But I knew I had *something* because I'd managed to stop to make the turn.
We agreed that we would go up to the camp site, get online, and see about what to do. We just couldn't stay where we were.
So we get there and I open my computer to see if there's mobile RV service that can come up and fix my brakes.
Hey...guess what? You'll never guess.
We had no Internet.
There was no bars on the hotspot. My mom's phone couldn't get a bar either. We had no satellite for the TV either.
Well, there was one thing that got a signal...GARMIN! Yes, my annoying little GPS was able to fight through the mountains. She told us that there was an RV service center we could go to in Cedar City.
So we spent the night in the campground with the plan to drive into town tomorrow to be able to use Internet again. (I had work to do).
The place we were at was beautiful. If beauty was our priority we would have loved it. But I need to work.
This morning we went to A-Kicking Tire Truck & Automotive in Cedar City, formerly Desert Automotive and RV Service. I can't recommend this place enough. They really took care of. One of the owners told us to bring in the RV and they'd service it within the hour.
So we drove back up the mountain and I got the RV and brought it there. I told him to check the SUV's brakes first, because it smelled smokey too.
We needed new rooters. Our brake pads were fine for another three months, maybe. I told him him to go ahead and replace them. As they're doing this they find that a calper melted and cracked. Okay, so we only had one brake working on one side. Argh. We had him change the oil, too, since it was due. So we're up to $400+ on the SUV and they haven't even looked at the RV yet.
They changed the oil on the RV. The manual says every 7,500 miles, but it was filthy and needed a change at under 4,000 miles. I'm guessing we need to change it every time we do the SUV's oil.
Then they looked at the brakes.
They were fine.
"Your brakes look good. You can tell they got hot, but they're still in great condition."
WHOOHOO!!! So it was just the SUV that needed repairs. We're glad we got that taken care of. We want our vehicles to last, and for them to run well.
The shop didn't have the calper we needed replaced. We're camping in their parking lot until Monday when they get the part in. It's concrete, noisy, exhaust smelling, with non-stop traffic going by...AND WE LOVE IT!
Because we have Internet again. ;o;