Gosh, where did the summer go? Back last April and May, as we continued to enjoy “spring” in Alberta (with winter snow still filling most of the garden) October seemed so far away. Here we are, already a week-plus into our 13th snowbird season. And we’re enjoying better weather than we did all last summer. Go figure.
We attended a great going-away party at the Chapter 44 lunch in Okotoks. More than 30 folks showed up. Thanks, Bill & Sharon, for organizing this get-together. Great food as always. It was wonderful to see Wilma & Terry from Lethbridge — I sure hope we’ll see you back at more rallies & lunches this year.
Seems like a lot of us have the same idea this year as many people at the lunch were heading south from there. Marian & Bryant were going to Great Falls that afternoon. Jean & Doug were leaving the next day. We left with Mel & Ann for Warner, AB. Spent the night there and crossed the border early the next morning.
Some interesting questions at US Customs this year: “Did anybody ask you to bring anything down for them? Did you pack everything in the rig yourselves?” Friends who travelled through a BC border crossing were asked “Do you spend more time in the US than Canada?” The next question was “Where are you going?” She said “We have a home down in Arizona.” There was a noticeable pause. Then the customs official said, “The right answer is, you have a house in Arizona. You have a home in Canada.”
Day 2 took us down I-15 through Montana. Clear sailing all the way. Stopped at the Flying J on top of the hill at Great Falls. Sticker shock at the price of diesel — it was $3.18 last fall. Today? $3.91.
The four of us parked that night in Dubois in the gravel lot behind the Phillips 66 station. Fairly quiet. The nearby Rest Area was closed for renovations. Looks like they’re revamping the building to include a Visitor Center. Should be nice when it’s done.
Up early the next morning. As I twirled around the radio dial what to my wondering ears should appear but The Eyeopener on CBC Radio out of Calgary. Got to hear voices from home for the next half hour until it finally faded away. Went west at Pocatello and dodged potatoes and sweet potatoes to Twin Falls where we turned south.
Spent the night at Ely, NV. Once upon a time several years ago they had a lovely Rest Area at the north end of town. Separate areas for trucks and RVs (we got the pavement). Washrooms. Picnic tables. Water. Then poof! It was closed with no explanation. So now we boondock on the gravel alongside the cantina next to the Fireside Inn Motel. Quiet enough. Though the last time we were here with Mel & Ann we were all awakened by the sound of police sirens as some enterprising officers tried to herd loose cows off the highway and past our rigs. Ah, life on the road.
Saturday was an easy hop. From Ely we took Hwy 6, then jumped onto 318.
Stopped for lunch under some gorgeous cottonwoods at the Jxn of 318 & the Extraterrestrial Highway.
We arrived at the boondocking area south of Overton by mid afternoon. Yowzer but it was hot — 86F/30C. We spend the rest of the day sitting in the shade and visiting.
Sunday was a parting of the way. Mel & Ann headed west to the SKP park at Pahrump. We went to Quartzsite. We left early, about 6:30, and drove down the Lake Mead highway. For most of the trip there was no traffic at all. Wonderful. We got to enjoy sunrise on the surrounding peaks and valleys. Beautiful colours.
Sunday morning is the best time to travel anywhere near Las Vegas. We emptied off the Mead Lake road into Henderson (just a bedroom community of LV) shortly after 7:30. Very little traffic.
Stopped for morning coffee at the Cal Nev Ari Casino on Hwy 95. Four or five grey-haired pilots were warming up their small planes and taking off into the wild blue yonder. Looked like fun.
We drove through Vidal Junction and Parker. (Never did find a convenient water source in town). All the while the thermometer in the truck kept registering hotter and hotter temps outside. Sure thankful for air conditioning.
Just before noon we rolled into one of our favourite spots on Plomosa Road. For the first time ever there were absolutely no RVs parked at the front of the 14-day area. Down where we park there were 2 sets of campers but still room for us along the wash where it is shadier. Stepping out of the truck and onto the desert was like entering a blast furnace. It was about 96F/35C. Thought I was going to keel over by the time we got the rig parked and set up. Whoo-eee. Some kinda hot. But sure beats shovelling snow 🙂