Red Bluff, California: I have no other way
to describe the past 24 hours or so. After dinner last evening, the wind started
to blow. By midnight, it was howling. By two o'clock in the morning, the winds
were so strong, I stowed our satellite television and internet dishes. By three
o'clock in the morning, we brought-in the bed slide because the wind was causing
the awning over the slide to vibrate - making a huge racket. We had a miserable
night of little sleep. Our motorhome was rocking in the wind. We tossed and
turned all night. Miserable.
The winds were so strong this morning, neither of us exercised. We just wanted
to get out of Dodge. The winds were strong as we left town, but the road
Walker Lake for over twenty miles, and the vistas are so remarkable, it is
easy to forgive the wind.
Steam rising from Walker Lake
What a way to greet the day!
However, the wind did not improve. The weather did not improve. We kept checking
the road report on my iPhone. Closed roads due to snow. I-80 between Reno and
Sacramento was closed/chains required. Early snow. Schools were
closed in Truckee, California as they were not yet ready for snow (in a ski
resort town!) this early in
the Sierra. Change of plans. Change of plans again. Change of plans again. And
Please forgive a whole bunch of photos snapped through the windscreen today:
We ended up going through Reno and heading north on Highway 395
to Susanville, where we had several options to cross the Cascades. (Yes, Dear
Reader, at Mt. Lassen the Sierra mountains end and the Cascade mountains begin.)
We stopped in Susanville, made a sandwich and surfed the web on my phone. We
checked the Caltrans website. Passes that had been closed earlier in the day
were now open, so we chose the pass-o-least-elevation - Highway 36.
Moments after leaving Susanville, where
the road climbs to nearly 6000 feet, the snow started.
The outside temperature gauge on RV read low 40's.
kept checking the weather and altitude on my phone. We
did not see many cars (nor truckers) on this road and
were worried we had made a bad decision. I was
remembering the nearby
Donner Party and wondering how long I could survive on my skinny husband.
Some runners never think of others.
Socially progressive, I could feed a village.
This autumn-leaf vista from the passenger seat was snapped
just before we passed the southern entrance to (probably DT's favorite)
Lassen National Park (which
was, naturally, closed due to snow).
After crossing the pass, the weather
seemed to improve (fooling us) for a few quiet moments... only
to return to a full-on blizzard until we reached
Lake Almanor... where things calmed down a bit at
the 4000 foot elevation.
weather may have improved, but our windscreen was covered with ice and snow:
we settled on those smaller/cheaper The
Wal-Mart wipers? Mistake!
At least we had a pretty show as the snow slipped off our
We knew it was all down hill from here. Red Bluff - and a great RV park -
awaited. Just as DT started to relax, the sky grew dark.
If you haven't driven downhill in a
54,000-pound, 45-foot RV (towing a car!) on a one-inch sheet of frozen ice crystals - well... count
yourself LUCKY! The noise from the hail pounding our bus (no damage!) along
with the noise of the crackling lightning and roaring thunder... well, let's
just say those boys in San Francisco had it easy tonight.
By the time we pulled into the
Durango RV Resort, we were simply at the end
of our RV ropes. I was exhausted and I was only manning the iPhone. DT is such
a trooper to handle the Magna Peregrinus over the longest 300 miles
we have EVER traveled.
A miserable day on the road.
We watched the debate/Giants win the National League Series and I made a
super yummy and super-easy veggie (Donner Party pun intended) dinner. I put brown
basmati rice in the rice
cooker with the zest of one lime. (I used the juice of the lime to make
myself a much-needed margarita!) I heated a can of black beans with a 7 ounce pop-top
can of Herdez
Salsa Casera. Then I chopped fresh cilantro, tomato, jalapeno, avocado, green
onion and shredded some cheddar. We filled bowls with the rice, beans and the
fresh toppings. Great dinner - plus all the leftovers were tossed together
and will be zapped in tortillas for lunch tomorrow.
Hopefully to be enjoyed in less-stressful circumstances.
I-5, Baby... all the way to The Eug.
Until my next update, I remain, your vegetarian correspondent.
RV PARK: Durango RV Resort.
Great park. Full-service, paved pull-throughs. Pool, hot tub, fitness center.
Pick up garbage and recycling. We paid $35 with Good Sam discount.
Sign Up is NOT required! Anyone may comment. Sign
up only if you would like to add an avatar, or if you wish to be emailed when someone responds to your comment.