Sunday, March 24, 2013

Headed for the North Pole … almost!


It was a great week spent at Stewarts Point on Lake Mead.  The weather finally started to cooperate (ie get Warm), and it was good to have friends camped nearby.

Unfortunately, the calendar kept ticking off a day at at time, till it was finally time to hitch up for the last time and start the northern migration.  Hailey didn’t want to leave, and I had to crawl under a thorny bush to catch her and drag her out.

Nevada’s Valley of Fire State Park is just to the north, and we could not resist driving that way for another look at the incredible scenery.


After that, it was mostly I-15 northbound.  Mesquite was the last fuel stop in Nevada, then through the top corner of Arizona, and then into Utah, where the tanks were topped off again just south of Provo.  I must say, either things have started to change at the gas stations, or I have just been getting lucky.  Either way, I have not had to go inside and give an ‘exact amount’ and prepay for the fuel in the last month or more.  Several pumps have requested a zip code, and I have used the postal code ‘trick’ (which has never worked for me in the past), but none recently have forced me to go inside!  Yay, about time.

Cabela’s in Lehi has an RV dump site and a huge parking lot that I shared for the night with one other small RV and a semi-truck.  I guess I just didn’t see that ‘no camping’ sign till morning Winking smile.  After a slightly delayed start to let the Salt Lake City traffic thin out, it was non-stop through there and it was nice to see that all their construction projects on I-15 are apparently finished.

By lunch time we were in Pocatello Idaho, which must have the largest ‘downtown’ cemetery that I have ever seen. I took advantage of a nice sunny parking lot to drain the fresh water tank and fill all the lines with pretty pink antifreeze.  Hailey was upset that she could no longer drink from her sink! Roads were bare and dry over Monida Pass and the continental divide, and continued that way almost all the way to Helena where they were only a bit wet from melting snow on the sides.There was still daylight most of the way to Great Falls where I’m not sure who was the most worried.  Me, or the deer standing broadside in my lane just coming down the hill into town.  Hard braking on my part and rapid acceleration on his part prevented a closer introduction.  By this time, shorts and T-shorts were but a distant memory ;-(

One last fill-up in Shelby, Mt got us to the border crossing at Coutts, where the process was quick and pain-free.

I likely should have kept moving north, but visited friends for the night in Pincher Creek, which gave the weather gods time to conspire against me.  It started out well, but soon deteriorated to near blizzard conditions, which succeeded in covering the truck and trailer with frozen, muddy slush.  Stopping for fuel for the first time in Canada, I was surprised to find that my fuel tank had obviously swollen over the winter!  Now, it was easy to fit in $100. worth of fuel.  What a bonus!


Luckily, it improved somewhat for me by the time I turned off, but just 100 miles or so ahead, this was the party I missed.  There were about 100 vehicles involved, but at least no one died in it.

When I finally got home, another challenge awaited me.

I had blocked my driveway to prevent the plows from scraping off all the gravel during the winter.  But arriving home a month early, I found there was almost a foot of snow everywhere, with a rock-hard crust that I could walk on.


Good thing I didn’t bother washing it before heading home!


But after dropping the rig in a nearby plowed lot, it was not much of a challenge for the big GM with the new Michelins to bust through, then pack down the offending snow.


It wasn’t long before we were parked, partially unloaded, and with the dish set up, back on-line. 

But, we’ll only be enjoying the ‘luxuries’ of home for a week, before heading out again to begin our ‘summer’ (?) job!


  1. Definitely recognized some of those spots along the road through Valley Of Fire. Looked pretty gruesome the closer you got to home. Been a few years since we seen that kind of snow. If the weather doesn't smarten up along our homeward route we'll just delay our departure here until it does.

  2. We were thinking about you when we saw that huge pile up, we weren't sure how close you would be. Sorry you have such crummy weather (and hockey teams).Hope you enjoy your summer job.

    1. For some reason, I'm a Maple Leaf fan, and we're winning again!

  3. Thank goodness you weren't invited to THAT PARTY.

  4. I am just going to ignore your post and continue believing that the sun is shining and the grass is greening down the road from Dogpound North.

  5. Oh my gosh! What a traffic pile up! Being from Florida, we have not spent much time in snow. Hope the snow is gone when we head for Colorado April 1st. Good to see you made it home safely.

  6. Oh, my!~ From Lake Mead to snow! Wow! We live near Palm Springs (have lived here nearly 40 years now...), but we always spend a week up in the Sierra Nevada (near June Lake). This year, however, the snow is already GONE! Glad you had a chance to thaw out before you returned home!
    ~~Cheryl Ann~~(new follower)

  7. Just found your blog, incredible photo of the traveling cat.