Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Running From the Weather

On Saturday we started hearing all kinds of weather alerts.  Not only was the TV weather man talking about storms but our on-board weather station starting beeping periodically.  We listened to forecasts with severe weather warnings including high winds, hail and a possibility of tornadoes.  Oh Geez ---- just what we needed.


When you travel in an airplane all the planning is left up to someone else.  Bottom line – the pilot makes the final decision on whether he’s going to fly that airplane and take you from point A to point B.  When you’re in a vehicle, you make the final decisions.  Thus, you’re like the Scouts.  You’ve got to be prepared.

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About 7 weeks ago we crossed over the Texas state line.  Then, we were dodging ice storms.  While we’ve been in the state we’ve been dodging all kinds of wind.  Now it seemed we were going to continue dodging the weather as we were leaving.  What we needed was a little window of time.   I started charting expected winds and gusts from one little town to another.  Originally we weren’t leaving until Monday but as the forecast continued to change a little window opened up Sunday morning and we took it.  As we headed west we  encountered a little rain here and there.  The cloud covering changed from dark to light and back to dark again.  Our original destination was Iraan, Texas --- 200 miles west.   Another quick check on the winds through Fort Stockton indicated the ridge probably wouldn’t hit there until closer to 1 PM.  We could do it.   We hardly felt the wind until the last 20 miles of the trip and then we really felt those cross winds.  Boy!  Did we ever14apr_11 feel those cross winds.  

When we finally arrived at the Wal-mart in Fort Stockton we noticed many other trucks and RVs had also decided to call it an early day.  I did my obligatory shopping to pay for our site. As we sat in the lot, the winds ripped around us.   However, there was nothing to worry about.  The chance of hail and tornados was much farther to the east now.  What we didn’t expect was temperatures just above freezing overnight.   Sometimes being on the road isn’t fun at all.  This was one of those days. 

14apr_13The strongest winds were expected on Monday so we weren’t sure if we’d be there for one night or two.  Everything was subject to an updated weather report and we were certainly hoping there would be one. There usually is.  Sometimes it can go one way and other times the other way.

The strongest winds were still ahead of us and that was through Van Horn and the Guadalupe Mountains.  We had no intention of being on the road when the winds are straight line in the 40’s. 

Tuesday was the best day to get Van Horn behind us and that was the plan but in the meantime we were going to move on down the road to Balmorhea and pull into an RV park there with full hookups.  It makes it a much better day when it’s cold and windy outside if we can have hookups and be warm and toasty inside.  Even better than that was the price – $10 with Passport America.

Not only does the weather forecast change but it can vary a great deal from one weather site to another.  There are three I normally check when we’re in stormy weather.  Two of them were pretty similar and one was very different. 

Tuesday we were up and ready to hit the road again.  This time our destination was New Mexico --- about 275 miles.  We thought if we left Texas behind our luck with weather might change.  We’ll have to see about that. 



What we did notice is that winds were originally predicted to be fairly calm this morning through the Guadalupe Pass.  However, the temperatures not so much where we were or where we were going and I had already sent my winter clothes north with Terry!  It also looked like the prediction for calm winds early may have changed.

The one year we decided Florida was the place to spend the winter, we had terrible weather and even a hurricane.  We're thinking next year it's going to be Southern California and Arizona --  only!

We’d sure like to get our rigs cleaned.  We’re just about as dirty as we’ve ever been with the remnants of dust, dirt and rain around us. 

‘Tis life on the road.

The richer you get the more expensive happiness becomes.


  1. Safe travels to New Mexico.

    What time of the year were you in Florida where there was a hurricane? Hurricane season ends the end of November, but I do remember a bad year in 2004 or 2005 where we actually had a scare on New Years Day.

    We spend our winters in the Keys and the weather couldn't be much more perfect. You might want to give it a try again sometime.

    1. I think it was a November a few years back. It was forecast as a hurricane but believe it eventually was downgraded to tropical storm by the time it hit us. There were several others with us and some moved out in different directions.

  2. Which weather sites do you find most reliable? Safe travels!

    1. I'm beginning to think none of them are really reliable. I normally use weather.gov, weather.com and wunderground.com.

  3. Texas and New Mexico can be an iffy drive even at the best of times.
    We too enjoy Arizona much more than the coast and Florida.
    Travel safe and keep warm.

  4. Yep, comes with the territory...one of the reasons we stayed west for 2 years instead of venturing east. We, on the other hand have been quite lucky so far, we have been away from most of the really bad stuff but we have had our not so wonderful moments of 50m winds, ice storms, rain, rain and more rain but lucky we have not had to deal with the really severe stuff. Good luck and safe travels!

  5. Oh My - I think I would have hunkered down where I was until all possibility of wind was over !! It's pretty scary driving this monster rigs we have in winds.

  6. Please be safe. We've had some wind here but nothing that we couldn't have driven in if we had to. And it's definitely warm here.

  7. Never would have guessed there'd be an Iraan in Texas!

    Stay safe - sound like pretty scary weather in those parts.

  8. It is amazing how much weather impacts RV traveling. You'd think being south in winter and spring everything would be so perfect. Wind seems to be the bane of RV travel.

    We've had a few run ins with wind over the years. Once in 2002 in our little Class C, a side wind in OK blew our awning open. It was no fun wrestling it back to closed on the side of the road. We were lucky we had no damage, that day we saw several RVs with their awnings torn off.

    Our WB Adventurer was a handful in the wind. On our first trip to Q in 2006, we were booking home and I couldn't stop (had to get back for work) even though the winds were terrible. I was exhausted from fighting the wheel for hours on end.

    We are happy that our WB Journey is heavy and not as often affected too badly by winds, except for the mpg. We never expected that having a weather eye was so important. Of course, right now we're sitting in the Tornado Belt. :cO

  9. What is your destination. Going to be near Southern CA?

  10. These days you need to be a weather person to make sure you avoid the worst of the weather. As I recall Van Horn is a good place to get past:)

    1. You recall correctly. Van Horn is the place to get past.


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