Sunday, May 2, 2010

Leaving Arizona

We left Arizona on Friday, April 30th with heavy hearts. After dropping the last of our company (Rod and Wendy Wiebe) off at the airport on Wednesday night, we began the ever-enjoyable packing up process, and readying the house for the summer months. There was much whining, a little cursing, and a lot of dragging of the feet (at least on my part), but by late Thursday night, we had everything we needed packed into the motorhome, and the house cleaned.

Next - break it to the cats …. Needless to say, they were even less thrilled with the idea of leaving the house and moving back into the motorhome than I was.


Saying goodbye to the desert and its lovely heat, blooming cactus and emerging summer creatures, we again embraced the nomad lifestyle and pointed the motorhome north.

First night – Vegas. After setting up at the Oasis RV Park and pulling together a quick supper, we headed down to the strip for our obligatory attempt at cracking the one-armed bandits. I managed to double my meagre grub stake at Planet Hollywood, but promptly lost it all when we moved on to Aria – a lovely new hotel/casino. Terry’s luck was virtually non-existent. After losing his allotted fun money at Planet Hollywood, he wisely spent his time at Aria touring the new resort rather than participating in the gaming.

Vegas was busier than we had experienced on our trip down, and consisted of a very different crowd. Younger, with a large number of ‘gangsta’ type folks.


Chalk it up to the time of year? Younger, gangsta types more likely to travel to Vegas to put money down on the Derby? Don’t know, but it made for interesting people-watching.

We had a late start out of Vegas, and were on the road by 1:00 p.m. the next day. Terry had plotted out a new route for us along Highway 93 N. Virtually zero traffic, but the most desolate route I’ve seen. The road stretched out visibly at least 10 miles ahead of us in one long, straight line as we travelled a high desert plateau between mountain ranges.

At one point we travelled along the ‘Alien Highway’, as identified by the highway signage. Trust me, if ever there was a chance of alien abductions taking place – this would be the perfect spot for it. No one around to help you in this lonely, virtually devoid of life forms strip of road. Travelling at night became less and less desirable to us.

We had targeted Wells, Nevada as our stop for the night. When planning the route, Terry located an RV Park where we could stay for the night. However, after one brief phone call to the RV Park and dealing with an extremely rude staff member, we opted instead to spend the evening in the parking lot of a Flying J truck stop. Nice to have choices.

The weather is hideous. As we move further and further away from our Arizona home, we watch in horror as the thermometer plummets. Snow is visible along the hillsides surrounding the highway, and we experienced periods of wet snow as we neared Wells. Yuck. Back to reality.

The wind is howling. At one point yesterday, we met a transport truck and the wind tunnel that formed ripped the passenger door awning out, where it began flapping wildly outside the door. There was much screaming and cats flying off of laps. We needed to pull over and secure the awning, but the highway we were driving on had zero in the way of shoulders, and a sharp drop along the sides of the highway. Great.

We slowed down to a crawl and searched frantically ahead for a pullout. None to be seen (and trust me, you could see MILES ahead on this highway). Seeing no vehicles behind us (surprise), Terry put on the emergency flashers and stopped. He quickly jumped out and fought with the awning until it was back in place
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As we travelled down the highway towards Wells, we passed through the small centre of Ely, Nevada. We began to notice signs at various spots along the road and through the town site urging people “NOT to vote for Harry Reid’, ‘Vote for anyone BUT Harry Reid’, and even to ‘Give Harry Reid Hell’.

What up with that??

Not being familiar with that Harry Reid fellow, we fully intended to Google this interesting little story. Turns out we didn’t have to Google the story, but instead received our answer via ‘Saturday Night Live’. Their opening skit clued us in to the fact that Harry Reid is the Governor of Nevada and Senate Majority Leader, and is very much in the bad books with his constituents for his heavy involvement with the unpopular health care reform, along with some unsavoury business dealings.

You gotta love American politics.

We were up earlier Sunday morning and on the road by 9 a.m. The wind continues to howl, which, according to Terry, takes the fun out of driving the motorhome. We crossed into Idaho, and are finally into more civilization, and evidence of green grass.

We drove through Nevada to Idaho, into Oregon and finally Washington. Wind howled the entire time. We pulled into the parking lot of the Legends Casino in Toppenish, Washington around 8:30 p.m. Ate supper in the stinky and surprisingly busy casino. Promptly lost $20.00 each and called it a night.

Tomorrow we head to Port Angeles, where we’ll take the ferry across to Victoria on Tuesday a.m.

For those of you wondering about our trip to the BVIs, I am busily preparing the blog posting and pictures. If all goes well I should be able to post the story tomorrow or the next day.

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