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Weather Made Us Double Back Through California

Weather Made Us Double Back Through California

Hollister, CA
40° / 69° Sunny ☀
TODAY’S RV PARK: San Benito RV Resort
OUR RATING: 3 Stars – a rustic campground tucked between hills of vineyards and farmlands, cell signal is poor but tolerable, nearby towns are fantastic and 1 hour drive from many awesome adventures
PRICE: (Free) Thousand Trails resort

We never made it to Lake Tahoe. The National Weather service had severe wind advisories in effect for the area we were to travel to. Beyond his fear of heights, Steve’s healthy fear of high winds had us re-thinking our ambitious plans to get to the Northwest.

As we explored our options, comparing driving and travel costs with park fees, it made the most sense to go back to a Thousand Trails park in California, and wait out the storm. Then head up north to Washington, Goal post #2.

That’s just what we did, but it wasn’t without a bit of driving peril. As we headed south down Nevada Hwy 95, hoping to have outrun the winds that were north of us, we ended up right back in the middle of the winds!

windy detourTroopers had just closed the highway and all “high profile” vehicles were diverted to a dirt lot, to sit and wait.

There’s a YouTube channel that we are addicted to, HappilyEverHanks , made by the most goofball couple ever about RV life.  In a episode this past winter, they got caught in a wind storm and shared an app called Windy which shows real time and forecasted wind speed and directions.  We’ve used this in the past and it seems pretty accurate.

We watched this app like a hawk while parked in this dirt lot on the side of the road with other RVs and lots of Semi Trucks.  The thought of hanging out in this lot for the next several hours seemed daunting, especially with the wind rocking the RV.

I ran into the RV and did a hurry clean up, keeping the driver’s side slides closed, opening up just the couch side.  Steve came in with the dogs and we all lunched and then napped the windy afternoon away.

At sunset, as the Windy app predicted, the winds died down and we were able to continue rounding the Sierra Nevadas.

We overnighted in Bakersfield, and woke up Easter morning to a beautiful 72° sunny morning.  We hooked up after a delightful morning brunch and made our way north, back to Hollister.

Winded and Stranded Off-Course

Winded and Stranded Off-Course

Hawthorne NV
28° / 59° WINDY!!
TODAY’S RV PARK: Whiskey Flats RV Park
OUR RATING: 4 Stars – a clean rv park along a busy highway, wifi is ok for email only
PRICE: $36/day FHU with Good Sam

Today, we made it an entire 104 miles from Tonopah. High winds and wind gusts have shut down the rest of the road to our next planned stop – Carson City.

As we drove into Hawthorne, we spent the last 29 miles in a sand storm.  We were trailing another RV and I noticed it was fish tailing a little.

Steve fired back “So are we, look in your mirror!”.

nevada sand storm rv life

Sand Storm in Minah, NV

Sure enough, Steve was working hard to keep us upright on the road and in the middle of the lane.  His hands were sweating so badly, that between sand gusts, we amped up the a/c so he could dry and cool his hands, and pause from the swearing.  Then the a/c went off again a lessons learned last year in a previous sand storm to save the air filters.  A very expensive lessons learned.  At least today, there was visitiblity and we could actually see the RV in front of us and beyond.

The part that upset Steve the most, was that we had just splurged for a professional RV wash in Las Vegas.  They scrubbed the RV and hand shined every window and crevice.  When we pulled out of Vegas we looked like a Million Bucks.  Rig still looks good.

Right before the detour, complete with flashing police lights, I had spotted a large RV park.  After being turned around, we went straight to said RV park and snagged the last available spot with hookups.

This is our first time being stranded due to weather.  In one way, it’s exciting.  In another, a total bummer, as it takes a day off our Lake Tahoe visit, which was already a short 4 days.

While setting up camp, the wind was so strong that Steve and I had a hard time hearing each other over the walkie-talkies.  I literally felt the wind try to pick me up off the ground.  That’s some serious wind!

While I did my part for setting up, I started freaking out over the sheer noise hitting the driver’s side of the trailer, especially with our slide covers whipping in the wind.  After a quick vacuum, I pulled both driver’s side slides back in.  I could still feel the wind pressing up against the sides and the trailer started rocking.

We all came inside and had our lunches in the enclosed trailer, with the wind all around us.

Oh! the joys of exploring someplace new and various climates.

hawthorne navseaOne interesting point of note, this town is home to a NAVSEA location.  As evidenced by the signs on all the roadway fences “Restricted Area – Warfare Zone”.  The signs themselves aren’t creepy.  Coupled with the thousands of bunkers peeking out of the ground from behind those signs is!  Miles and miles of those bunkers.  Apparently warehouses for missiles.  Not entirely sure if that’s supposed to make me feel safer or not.




Don’t Take Utilities for Granted

Beaumont, CA
47° / 70° Sunny
TODAY’S RV PARK: Cherry Valley RV Park
OUR RATING: 4 Stars because it was convenient off the highway, super cell signals, full hookups, nice friendly staff, and great county park within a 5 minute drive
PRICE: $13/day with RPI membership

Since this journal is about travel, let’s start today’s entry off with yesterday’s RV related snafu.

After taking the dogs to that GREAT dog park yesterday afternoon, we came back inside to wash up and get ready to bathe the dogs.  But when we turned on the water – only air came out!  No water.  Just pressurized air.  Oh No!

Steve ran outside to check the hose hookups – and only air coming out of the spigot too.  Our neighbors were outside stooped over their spigots with the same problem.  The RVs across the way from us had water just fine.  (lucky ducks!)

Panicked, Steve took off to find a park ranger – no small feat since it was after 4pm when most of the park employees go home.  In today’s case – for the weekend.

After piddling with the faucets and spigots for an hour – Steve finally gave up trying to save the day.  He looked so defeated when he came back in and said “Dry Camping Tonight!”  Which translates to no doggy baths and turn off the ice maker.  Small sacrafices to save our water for potty breaks.

Peanut didn’t mind.  Puddin sulked as she loves her baths, or anything to do with water really.

Our second snafu came at the same time.

Upon checking in, we asked the ranger if it was possible to extend our stay 3 nights, but we weren’t sure yet.  They said “Yes, just let us know when you decide.”  Yesterday, we decided.

Upon returning to the RV park after a romp with the dogs yesterday, I stopped to talk with the park ranger and requested the extra 3 nights.  She said I needed to call our RPI membership first for pre-approval.  It was nearly 4pm (PST) and I doubted anyone was still working at RPI.  I said as much to the ranger.  She just shrugged and said “it didn’t matter because she closed her register for the day.  You’ll have to come back on Sunday and work it out with my manager Stephanie when she comes back to work.”  She obviously wasn’t going to do any more work today.

I went home and called RPI right away, my gut said to do it right there in front of the Ranger and up them on the phone together.  But modesty took hold and I went home to make the call in private.  Sure enough, somebody at RPI answered!  She was able to give me the pre-approval for the 3 nights, but first had to call the park to arrange things and ensure they could accommodate us.

By now, I suppose you can guess that park worker had already bugged out for the day.  RPI wasn’t able to finalize the arrangements.  There’s always tomorrow, the day we are due to leave.  Except RPI is closed on the weekends.

The RPI rep assured use that she’s more than willing to back date things in her system on Monday if the Park would let us stay until then, which we can’t find out until Sunday when the manager Stephanie is in and can make the go-ahead call.

Good Grief!  The drama.

The KOA deposit already paid for those 3 nights is looking pretty good about now.