Sunday, March 8, 2009
Whew - Driving Winnie Sure is Fun?!
I woke and began my check list to 'unhook' Winnie from a campsite and prepare for my first day of driving. Thanks to Al, who helped me put together a list of what I had to do to 'decamp'- making sure my hoses were detached, TV antenna down, steps in, all those little things that you don't want to leave up, down or connected when you pull out of your campsite, all went well and I was on I-10 heading East by 8:30 a.m.
What's it like driving a big, square box down the highway? Hard! There have been wind advisories in the southwest for several days and though it has died down enough to drive, big semis make their own wind. The first time one of these big rigs went screaming past me (did I mention I am driving at the very staid and easy pace of 55 mph on an interstate who's speed limit is 75?) I screamed and grabbed the wheel so hard my knuckles turned white.
I held on to the wheel for dear life most of the day, and pulled into the first rest stop I found, just to breathe and stop my knees from shaking. Got a lot of chuckles from RVers parked next to me when I explained why I was just standing next to the door and taking deep breaths. They assured me that I would be up and running with the big boys with a day or two - NOT! I also filled the gas tank - all 55 gallons worth. Sure hope as I cross the country the price of gas will drop from the $1.89 a gallon I paid.
I stopped at almost every rest stop along the way and you will see from the pictures that Winnie and I have been traveling across the a little bit of Arizona and into New Mexico - all desert, sage brush, flat and brown except for some amazing rock formations. Winnie, and even the big rigs, were dwarfed by these huge, red rocks. I kept expecting to see Indians or John Wayne come riding into view.
Made it all the way to Demming, NM for the night. All of 187 miles from Tucson. Al had suggested this RV park. When I questioned why I should stop after such a short drive, he just laughed and said - you'll be ready! And was he right. The stress just wears you out and I was so happy to see the exit for Roadrunner RV Park. Of course, had completely forgotten that though Arizona never changes it's time, New Mexico 'sprang back' last night and I had lost an hour when I crossed the state line.
So here I am, all snug and plugged in, watching 60 Minutes, having a nice glass of wine, getting ready to install my new printer and thinking about what to eat for dinner. Tomorrow I'm going to hope to go about 300 miles - which at my great speed is only a 6-hour drive. But I look at this way - I'm not chugging through as much gas as those who are flying by me at 75!
Thanks for everyone who emailed me and said they were glad to be 'on the road' with me. I appreciate it and for those who asked, the Cruiser got traded in on Winnie. I just couldn't imagine towing a car behind the coach before I learned how to drive the coach.