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Saturday, January 21, 2012

It Never Rains In California???

That song may have been correct for the last few days, but this morning, when we were going to leave, man it poured.  Our site was not cement, not gravel, it was dirt.  Was being the important word.  This morning, it was shoe sucking mud.

Fortunately I keep an old pair of shoes in the closet, so I was able to schlep around with out doing any damage to nicer footwear.

We got out of the mudhole, er site, and headed on out way.  Destination:  Quartzsite. 

Eventually we came out of the rainstorm and headed on down the road with a stop at a Flying J to fuel, dump the tanks and get propane.

We are thrilled with our fulltime lifestyle and the new adventures it brings.  Today we got an adventure that was something we never experience before and was not thrilling.

We ran into extremely high winds and a first for us, a genuine desert dust storm. 

The blowing sand was blinding at times and the wind pushed us around quite a bit.  I was glad the Journey handled well despite the heavy gusts but we grimaced when hearing the sand hitting the sides.  We were expecting to have all the paint sand blasted off the body.  :cO

Of course, our important stop at the Flying J was right in the middle of the dust storm.  Fortunately the blowing sand lessened, but the winds kept up.  As I was fueling the Journey I was watching trash barrels, mats, even fuel pump metal panels blow around.  Despite all the debris, we were able to get the fuel and propane tanks filled and the black and gray tanks emptied.  Marti even helped me by keeping her foot on the dump hose end where it entered the sewer drain.  We didn't need an "accident" with the wind blowing as hard as it was.

A quick stop at a nearby Walmart for some cold cuts and we were back out on the highway fighting the wind and blowing sand.

After a while, the better part of valor became obvious, we had to get off the road.  The winds and blowing sand, along with the nutty, speeding drivers made our decision easy.  The next good place we could find we'd stop.  We were more than a hundred miles from Quartzsite and we'd fight the weather all the way only to find ourselves trying to get into one of the BLM sites at night.  Not a good scenario.

We called a nearby campground and it was booked full (surprise) so we looked for an alternative and found one, a casino right off the highway, 29 Spotlight Casino. There were a bunch of RVs in the huge parking lot already, so we joined them.  The posted rules allow a 24 hour stay so we were golden and very glad to get off the road.

Safety first, it is a good stop, RVs are still pulling in and the prime rib at the buffet was delicious!

Sorry, no pictures, the aircard signal is weak. :c(

Thanks for visiting and feel free to leave a comment.


  1. Paul, as you settle more into the full time life it will eventually sink in that there is no place you have to be and destinations will still be there when the weather clears. It finally penetrated my thick skull that t was a lot more fun to drive when the weather was nice and to sit when it wasn't.

  2. We know exactly where you are. We've visited there! I'm glad you stopped. The winds were terrible in Q. We had new folks join us from Las Vegas and they had very high winds on their way here. It's better to be safe than sorry.

  3. So glad you stopped and did not try to continue driving in the sand storm. Right now in Q the winds are around 18-25 mph. Tomorrow the winds should be calmer for your journey to Q.

  4. We are enyoying reading about all your first time experiances out here in the desert southwest. Brings back memories for us.

    Next thing you know you'll be a Desert Rat also and not want to go east of the mighty Mississippi!!!

  5. I remember all those things. Stay safe.

  6. We experienced a sandstorm in Arizona, but fortunately we were IN the campground, not DRIVING!!!

    I cannot imagine being on the road in one of those. Glad you found a safe haven to ride it out!!!

  7. Love the desert southwest but I hate the wind and sandstorms.

  8. Glad you made it to a stopping point safe and sound. You're braver than me. I would have never even attempted leaving with such a rain storm.

  9. No hurry - the big tent is a zoo the first weekend anyway.

  10. Ohhh, I remember that wind! Unlucky for me, (Nan) I was driving and at times felt like I needed to stand to keep the motorhome in our lane! Good decision to pull off. Hopefully, today's trip will be more pleasant.

  11. We don't drive in nasty conditions. There is nothing that important. If there was an emergency, we'd park it and fly.

    Waking up to rain and mud would just extend our stay until it cleared. Running into a sand storm, we'd find the first available place to stop.

    Deep breath...You don't have to get back in time for work anymore :)

  12. Yeah, me too. No bad weather. I just sit another day or two or....

    Glad everything turned out well. You guys are certainly brave in your adventures!

  13. With all that wind yesterday, I was hoping you were already here, but stopping works too. In the late afternoon the blowing dust was so bad we couldn't see the mountains out our front windows. I've never seen it like that.

  14. wind makes for a hard travel day for sure..but combine it with sand and holy molly...I can't imagine safe...