RV Travels: Weekly Wanderings #55 – On the Road/Portland
It's been a tough week. If I had to label the mood, it'd be dispirited.
Our frozen misadventures continued (having started last week) and I'm not talking the Disney movie kind. We only stayed in West Wendover two nights instead of three. The Bonneville Salt Flats in the winter are a bust. Or at least, this winter.
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The second night in our RV park, ours because we were the only ones there, the pipes froze again. It got down to minus seven. After thawing out a few hours we continued our run north stopping outside Boise, Idaho.
There was not only snow and ice on the ground (not the road, thank goodness) the entire way but also long bouts of fog. There were a few areas where the wind was blowing on the road. It was so bitterly cold while driving that our pipes froze again…while driving!
One of the downsides to a diesel pusher is that the engine is in the back, so there's nothing producing heat in the front. Plus you have a big ass windshield that lets in the cold air. So we've been freezing our tushies off. My driving outfit is thermal underwear with fleece sweatpants. A shirt covered by a flannel top. Plus, my down vest. Two pairs of socks. A scarf, a ski hat, and gloves. All to drive on the INSIDE of a vehicle!
When we got to the RV resort (one we had stayed at last June on our way from Phoenix to Dayville after out Portuguese river cruise), we were pleased to see that they had cleared the lanes between site rows. However, the individual sites had not been cleared so once again we parked on snow and ice. The conditions were better than our previous two locations, but not by much.
(Unfortunately, the snow cleared from the lanes was piled up at the intersections. And then transformed into piles of iced snow. The piles of snow reduced the turning space we had so that when we were turning to exit we scratched our wetbay panel. And now we'll need paint repair.)
Once in our spot, it took three hours to defrost and getting running water. We're getting good at working around the no water situation, but it's not something I'm interested in perfecting! Sunday we treated ourselves to a run to Trader Joe's in Boise.
Everyone we spoke to in Ely, in Wendover, and in Caldwell said it was an exceptionally cold and snowy year – ugh. Had to be our year! Our RV salesperson may have been a little crazy, but everything he said about RVing has been true. And one of the things he said was “RVs and snow don't mix!”
What we did notice driving through Nevada and Idaho is that the casino parking lots were pristinely clean. No sloppy cleanup jobs leaving piles of snow or ice. So we ditched our plans for Baker City and La Grande and instead headed to Wildhorse Casino in Pendleton. Thank goodness, because as we drove past these two towns where we had thought to make reservations, they were still buried in snow.
As we wound our way out of the Blue Mountains, we began to see less and less snow. On the final curve, we got a good view of Pendleton and rejoiced. No snow!
The roads were clear, the casino was clear, the RV park behind the casino was clear. Finally! We had hot showers, strong wifi, and hope.
Then we woke up to this:
We had seen there might be snow, but the forecast was not definitive.
But snow it did. All day. In the afternoon, Mr. Misadventures spent two hours cleaning the snow off the top of our slideouts so we could put them in. We spent the rest of the day “walking like an Egyptian” (the hubby's label) and climbing over things to get anywhere.
It stopped snowing sometime in the night. We reviewed the weather and webcams and realized we only had a small window to get to Portland. More snow was coming to Pendleton and a new snowstorm was set to hit Portland.
On Wednesday we waited until 9 to try to hit the road, but when Mr. Misadventures drove the Jeep to check out the highway, there was black ice everywhere so we waited a few more hours. We checked the road again at 11 and decided it was time to go.
Our last run. Portland on the horizon just 200 miles away. Once we got about 30 miles out of Pendleton the roads were spotless. We hit some winds in the Mt. Hood area but made it without incident otherwise. A big sigh of relief could probably be heard for miles.
Well, that's it.
The last Weekly Wanderings post. After 55 weeks on the road, we are staying put in our new hometown of Portland for a bit. That's not to say there won't be any RV stories. We'll be living it in for the next 6-12 months and taking it on short trips. I’ve also got several posts on the burner, trip highlights and things I learned on the road.
Wendover KOA, West Wendover, Nevada.
Wildhorse Casino RV Park, Pendleton, Oregon.
Columbia River RV Park, Portland, Oregon.
That was my week, how about yours?
You were lucky to get through the Columbia Gorge when you did. My sister who lives in Hermiston went to Salem for Christmas. She had to stay in Salem for a month until the ice cleared from the Gorge.
Enjoy your new hometown.
@Julie, I know! We had a small window and we made it!
What a way to end the journey! I am one of those people who start shivering when the temps hit the mid-60s, so I would be a human popsicle in -7! You’re so close to Portland and all those new adventures–here’s to a great (warmer) start to this new chapter!
@Natalie, thanks! I say you have to have week’s like the last one in order to enjoy the rest 😉
I’m sorry you had a rough last week, but how exciting that you’re finally in Portland!!!
@Kristin, I made it! Now to work!
OMG, Andi! That sounds like an absolute nightmare to me because I just cannot take the cold anymore! I actually left Michigan at 21 and moved to CA because of this! So glad you made it safely to Portland, but that cold and snow could NOT have been fun in the RV! I cannot believe you’ve been on the road for a year already! Seems like you just took off! Glad you’ve settled for a while (I love Portland!) Enjoy the stationary life for the time being!
@Christina, yep, there’s cold and then there’s COLD! I don’t mind a little bit I don’t know if I could do a whole winter like that!
Ouch cold and miserable.. lots of snow :[