We began our travel day late, around 10am. Cristy made her shake for breakfast, I usually skip breakfast but had a pea protein shake to make sure I had a clear head for the day’s drive (and little did I know I would need it). We took a walk around the small RV park, and then made preparations to leave. I dumped our tanks, filled the fresh tank just a little to make sure we had enough water to run the toilet and wash our hands while traveling that day.
I was in our space a little crooked and it’s not a good idea to hook up our Andersen Weight Distribution Hitch when crooked. Ideally the trailer and tow vehicle should be completely lined up. So I hitched up to the trailer but didn’t attach the weight distribution chains. We pulled out to the front of the RV park and made sure the truck and trailer were straight. I took this opportunity to show Cristy how the chains were connected. These aren’t the safety chains you see with all trailer hitches. The weight distribution chains pull on the bottom of the hitch while the trailer tongue pushes on the top of the hitch thus transferring some of the hitch weight from the rear wheels of the truck to the front.
We got the chains connected and properly tensioned and then hit the road. It was a nice easy travel day. In the distance I notice some towering cumulus clouds. I remarked to Cristy, “Hey look, weather!” But didn’t think any more about it. We stopped at a rest stop about half way through our 4 hour travel day. I made a PB&J sandwich while Cristy made her protein style lettuce-wrapped turkey sandwich.
We hit the highway again and enjoyed a very nice drive. There was no wind and a lot of the trip was level or downhill so my gas mileage was great! As we started getting closer to our destination I noticed the clouds had not moved and were getting bigger. Finally as we were coming down the last grade into Needles, CA, I could see that Mohave Valley, our intended destination was right on the edge of a DARK column of rain. Hmmm…..
I told Cristy we might be setting up in the rain but we continued on. We followed the GPS to the road that would take us over the river and to the RV park. As I was getting reading to turn on the road a fire engine pulled in and blocked the road. Just beyond I could see a torrent of water washing over the road. Okay. Can’t go that way. I pulled into a gas station and tanked up and checked my GPS. There was another route so we tried to take that.
It was a small two-lane twisty road where I had to drive across a small muddy stream of water. Hmmm… We kept going. I finally turned onto the road that would take us to the RV park. A small black Hyundai passed us and then just over the hill had come to a complete stop. Luckily I was going slow. He had stopped in front of another stream of water washing over the road. His wife had gotten out and taken her shoes off and was walking across the stream to see how deep it was. It got just past her ankles but she said the mud on the road beneath her feet was really slippery. Two other cars had stopped, one on this side and another on the far side.
Well great. In my mind this was strike two. I didn’t want to go for strike three. YER OUT! With lightning striking in the distance followed by thunder after a count of three, I had Cristy walk back up the hill and watch for cars. I backed the trailer up the hill about 70 yards or so and then onto a hard sandy shoulder. I got the trailer as close as I could to the bushes on the right side and pulled a tight U-turn. The right wheels came off the road surface onto the shoulder slightly but I was able to make the turn. Cristy jumped into the truck and we headed back down the way we came. Sorry I don’t have any pictures of this but we were a little busy.
I pulled into a gravel lot and checked my phone for nearby RV parks. We saw one not to far off the freeway called Desert View RV Park and headed for it. It was just starting to sprinkle as we pulled into the park. I paid and we were directed to our spot. I was so grateful to be anywhere. Our 4 hour travel day had turned into a 6 hour travel day but we were “home” safe. And the park was a much better one than I had reserved. Praise God for His traveling mercies and His providence!