And the road goes on forever...

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Migration--in Search of Sun

It’s a phenomena best experienced in person to watch the yearly migration of the snowbirds. We assess the rigs heading north and determine about one in four vehicles is some type of RV. We felt sorry for them; wanted to shout “You’re too early; don’t go” for as we took our leave-taking from Bend on Friday morning we were buried in snow and then had to endure driving out through it much of the day through eastern Oregon and on south to Winnemucca, our first stop. Temperatures were only 28 as we headed out from there our second morning on I-80, ice-covered in spots; to connect with the main arterial for snowbird travel, Hwy. 95.

Thankfully, our next stop at Bailey’s Hot Springs in Beatty, NV is everything the doctor ordered save for cloudy skies. Arriving in turtleneck and sweatshirt we are a little overdressed for the 56 degrees we find about 4 p.m. but the hot spring baths soon sooth us into a stupor and an early bedtime for another early start Easter Sunday.

Morning dawns clear and only mildly nippy to our now-accustomed-to-the-cold northern bones. By the time we pull over to pump fuel from the Freightliner’s auxiliary saddle tank into the main tank at Indian Springs, NV just 40 miles north of Vegas, it is already nearing 65. Vegas, in what must be a first, is a piece of cake to maneuver through due to lack of traffic but the elevated freeway beats the rig mercilessly since we are double towing the car and everything articulates against each other. South of Searchlight after the roller-coaster portion of the Hwy. 95 we break apart and I drive so it doesn’t continue to beat the car up so badly. Another on-coming RVers runs off into the dirt shoulder, over corrects and throws rocks straight at us, breaking the Freightliner windshield in a two inch broad shatter. Ever resourceful; Marc tapes it with red duct tape in hopes of mitigating the run until he can return to Bend and his windshield repair kit. We don’t have glass insurance coverage and we figure a windshield for the truck would run at minimum $500—an expense we certainly don’t need right now.

Taking Hwy. 95 south through Arizona, which we consider a better road than the comparable Hwy. 95 south on the California side of the Colorado, we join a lot of traffic; RV and otherwise, mainly pickups pulling boats. The water is packed with a plethora of water toys and ski boats, pontoon boats and fishing boats, all out enjoying this stupendous weather. The desert is also abloom through this region; green, verdant, and sporting a vast array of wildflowers.

Another hour brings us to Plamosa Rd long term boondocking area of the infamous Quartzsite, better known as just Q to RVers. It’s only another 2.5 hours to Yuma but I am ready to just park in the quiet desert and decompress and drink in the sun and the balmy temperature. Boondocking out by ourselves like this is fun we’ve really missed lately after our crowded RV park stays. Even Tucker likes it better as he contemplates the horizon for anything moving. Official desert rat status starts tomorrow; but totally in the moment I notice the current temp: 82. Ah, mission accomplished! Migration complete.