Windy, with a chance of tarantulas…

We’re six+ weeks into our trip now, and we’re still feeling like this trip is a new experience. We’re still tweaking things, and thinking of how we can reduce the stress and work of this kind of travel. Truly work in motion.

When the newness diminishes, if we start to get tired of things; the newness and wonder slips away, then it’s time to head home. Not yet tho, seriously!

Seriously, seriously? Who knew that weather, wind specifically, would feel “new”?!? We camped in northern Arizona, Lee’s Ferry federal campground at Marble Canyon, and we experienced a windstorm, with 80 km/hr gusts. In the tent, it was crazy. There was little we could do, but use earplugs and wait it out. It was noisy, the tent was just getting blown about on the truck. We both managed to sleep, and not get stressed about it. The steady wind lasted for a couple of days, and it was hard. Tiring, noisy, frustrating… It’s hard to do much, cooking was next to impossible, so it’s just throw together food, eaten huddled behind the truck or trailer trying to find protection out of the wind. At least there, it wasn’t cold, small mercies.

Onward, on the last day at Marble Canyon, a little critter crept up and out of the grasses, under the truck and across the road. A black tarantula. It was fascinating to watch, and I was super thankful I was seven feet off the ground in the tent, vs. sleeping on the ground as a family did a night or two previous.

Our next camping spot was at Valley of Fires, in New Mexico. It’s near Carrizozo, which in its heyday, was quite a hub for the rail system; but that was a long time ago and now it’s a crossroad intersection, where travellers gas up, but seldom stay for long. But, of course, we stayed there for more than a week, camping in pretty much the most exposed spot in the campground. We had 270 degree unobstructed view of the lavafield, mountains all around, night shows from the Holloman Airforce Base. Boyoboy, did we pay for it!

It was windy, and we were somewhat prepared for that; but there’s been a weather pattern that we were trying to stay ahead of. The last night/morning, it hit like nothing we’ve ever experienced. These were 45 miles per hour winds, with gusts higher, and it was bitterly cold, at around 3 degrees celsius. We should have twigged in, and moved our rig so the winds were hitting the back of the tent, not the front. But, we did not. I got up for a night visit to the loo and returned to the tent at 2:33am. At 2:34 am, the winds started. It was all on from there. Lars got up around 5:30, and we had to get up then. The fold out platform of our tent, where the ladder attaches was being blown upwards. It was getting to be a serious struggle, with both of us sitting on the platform, and it was still being blown upwards.

That’s more than 300lbs of us, being pushed around by the wind. All we could do was try. We got out, and tried to close to the tent, but the wind was impossible, and impossibly cold. We moved the truck, so the wind was at the back of the tent. We did close it eventually, and were so cold from the effort. We sat in the truck, warming up; then, got going, slowly, after a morning shower, food, and hooking up the trailer. One of our gear casualties was our storage bin. We neglected to close the latch, and it was also straight on to the gusts. It got blown open, and the lid was torn off. We did locate it, and will have to secure with bungees or straps. It was unbelievable, how hard the elements were that morning.

It’s ironic, as the day before, the day was glorious, sunny, warm, and no wind to speak of.

We met another little creepy crawly creature; a black tarantula.

I hope the theme abates, wind and tarantulas, it’s a newness I can do without.

Here’s a little clip of our tent during one windstorm. This was nothing compared to the morning storm in this write up.

Another tarantula sighting. So glad we are sleeping on top of the truck.

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