6.0 Ship’s Log May 29, 2011—2nd Cont.

In a perfect world, even a slightly tattered one, my May 29th would have proceeded without racking up any more incidents.  Not May 29th of 2011.

Back on highway 260, through Heber, with some stops to photograph the cemetery of a forest nine years after Arizona’s largest wildfire.  (Pix and story soon to be posted).

The wind continued to punch me, sliding us across half a lane.  Pounding, AWOOM, AWOOM, like brontosaurus farts.

Then a new sound–the sound of my door slamming.  A quick look over my shoulder at the door which appeared to be properly secured.  I pulled off to the side of the road and checked the door which seemed tight.  I inspected the contents of my fridge and food lockers for any great shifts.  Nothing amiss.

I drove on but the slam-bang hit again.  Again I pulled over and opened the door.  The wind took it from me with the strength of a gorilla.  I walked around the coach testing my awning supports, my basement lockers, my bicycles secured to their rack—and saw nothing out of the ordinary. 

I drove on, securing and locking the door.  Every minute or two the demon that invaded the JS thumped.  I stopped twice more for a complete walkaround without finding anything to secure.  I proceeded down the highway slowing to 30-35 miles an hour.

Then a big bang.  In the side view mirror I saw my 14-foot awning behind me, half off the road, flailing at the wind like a gale-shredded mainsail.  Behind it, a pickup truck had stopped before running over it.   The driver helped me toss it into a ditch. 

I pulled off the road and spent the next hour dismantling struts and braces that were now hanging free.   Then with a light foot on the pedal drove my wounded Jolly Swag on into Show Low. There to a McDonald’s for free Wi-Fi, a soda, and my first Micky D burger in a decade.

Here, while writing up my day’s adventures, I watch the wind outside flailing at the trees, whacking at the windows.  I think it is still after me.  If I were at sea, the sails would be down and I’d be hove to, riding out it until the gale abated.

With the manager’s permission, I park for the night in Micky D’s back lot, glad to have found a safe haven.  Tomorrow I will deal with the repair project. I imagine I will be in Show Low for several days where I can learn more about the card game for which the town is named and whatever other local lore I can sleuth out.

6 Responses to 6.0 Ship’s Log May 29, 2011—2nd Cont.

  1. Bill & Rebecca says:

    One of my biggest concerns Al! I had the springs tightened and a new locking torsion bar toggle installed on my awning before we left Oregon. I had visions of my 22 foot awning leaving the “Wright Flyer” as yours did. Additionally, I tie my awning up with 1 inch nylon straps at the top of the support arms when we travel.

    We have had extreme winds spanning multiple days here in Western Colorado. I have clocked over 60 MPH gusts that just rocked our little home in Grand Junction. Even with the feet down as Rebecca likes to say. I pull my slide in, when winds are that high, to protect the other slide topper awning from ripping in the winds.

    We will be passing through Raton, NM in about another 2 weeks on our way to the “Discovery” (coach) gathering in Shawnee, OK June 24th. We are currently in Rifle Gap Colorado State Park around 7000 ft up! Going to Blue Mesa reservoir in a few days to spend a week or so. Then over Monarch Pass at 11,000+ feet to Sand Dunes National Park and onward.

    Carry on, sir, with your very interesting perspectives.

    See you down the road,
    Bill & Rebecca

  2. Colleen Rae says:

    Wow! What an adventure! Did you begin to think the boggy-man wind was after you? Not exactly what you expected for the BIG BANG, huh?
    Your choice of words are wonderful – brontosaurus farts…loved that. It tells us how loud the noise was.
    A Note to your other readers having a difficult time opening some of your blog entries. I took your email that I couldn’t open and forwarded it to myself. When it arrived, (a few minutes later) in my inbox, I went to it and was able to open your blog easily. Don’t ask me why this worked, for me. I’m not a nerd or techi. It was the first thing I tried and it worked.

  3. David Bauer says:

    Thanks for your report on your adventure in roaming through Northern Arizona in late Spring. Seems to me to be more like March than it does like early June. Must be yet another sign of global warming.

    Incidentally, I have been having no problem accessing your web site using MS Explorer that came with the Vista for Windows loaded on my Dell PC.
    Again, thanks for taking time to create and monitor this blog. Good luck with the repair.

  4. karen wittgraf says:

    When you send the underlined http- no problem- when it is just typed as everything else- can’t get it. I did subscribe in the beginning, but subscribed once again- so we’ll see if this helps. I was with you on your wind journey and felt the banging and crashing and the awe of the awning flying about. Love the Show Low name and anxious to hear about the card game..how many people in that town? Stay safe!

  5. linda says:

    Oh no you just lived the rv’ers nightmare. Sorry it was you, relived it wasn’t me.?

  6. Colleen Rae says:

    Al, many years ago my parents were going over Donner’s Pass when a huge gust of wind tore the folded down tent-trailer off the hinges and tossed it down the canyon like a kite. They stopped in the next town, made arrangements to go back and retieve the tent-trailer from the canyon. It costs them booku bucks and it was so smashed they couldn’t use it again. My dad sold it for scrape metal and left it at Auburn.

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