Today we break camp at Santa Rosa and hit the road again.
The crew and I are up at dawn for a quick walk and breakfast. Once the Casita’s interior is secured, I back in the PTV hitch ball right under the hitch, no problem! It’s lined up perfectly. I crank the hitch down to the hitch ball that sits directly under it and . . . what’s this? It only goes so far. Huh? Something’s not right. I work the lever and it doesn’t feel right. Rather than fool around with it in ignorance . . .
Let’s go meet the neighbors!
A couple arrived during the night and they are camped right across the campground road. They have a trailer. Time to say hello and good morning! The guy sees the problem right away. The part of the lever that reaches in under the ball to secure it is getting in the way. Once it is repositioned, the hitch can be completed. I ask the man to watch me perform the rest of the connections, which he does, and I’m good to go.
Dump-de-dump-dump . . .
On the way out of the park I drive into the dump station. All goes well there, so we’re off to Storrie Lake! I take Interstate 40 west toward Albuquerque and then Hwy 84 north to Las Vegas. What an easy drive that is, even with some long, uphill grades. I hear a low, confident sound as the PTV smoothly shifts her gears. I feel the surge of power she needs to finish the climb. The gauges stay in their usual range, only a very temporary and hardly detectable rise in oil temperature. Good job, Perfect Tow Vehicle!
Las Vegas is a lively place!
It’s a sharp contrast to the sleepy town of Santa Rosa and the others we pass on the way here. I see an auto parts store in a strip mall with plenty of room to park. I stop and run in to get some valve caps for the tires. The PTV’s are cracked and she deserves a reward, don’t you think? The auto parts guy looks out the window. “I like your camper,” he says. I thank him and tell him I haven’t had it long, and that I’m on my way to Storrie Lake State Park.
“You only have about four more miles to go.”
As I exit the parking lot, I see a Walmart up ahead! Yes, yes, YES! This is so handy. Soon Storrie Lake appears. You can see it from the highway. My slow driving alerts the crew to begin their usual serenade. I stop and jump out to pick up the self-pay form.
I’m not going to sugar-coat this.
My first impression of Storrie Lake Park is yuck! First of all, no trees, which I knew about from online photos, but it still smacks you in the face as being . . . well . . . stark. I pass several ugly stucco structures obviously designed to allow people to sit at a picnic table without having their potato salad blown away. They look like bunkers on Normandy Beach. (Not that they stuck up like that at Normandy, I know. It’s the mood I’m trying to create here, okay?) I get to the electric section and bleah! (Bleah is not an actual sound. It represents any number of noises or colorful words one might express to indicate disappointment.)
Oh boy, let’s go camp in a gravel parking lot!
Isn’t that special? And what’s more, it’s extremely unlevel . . . something to add to our camping pleasure! And that highway noise? Nice touch, guys!
I look out the back window of the Casita and notice we’re practically up against the backstop of a ball field. Oooh! Maybe a Little League tournament is scheduled! Perhaps a night game! Wouldn’t that be grand!
Okay now. Take it easy. Remember The Lesson of Santa Rosa.
“What is easy to spurn may turn out to be quite charming, given time.” I set us up enough so we can go inside the Casita and cool down. Bridget and Spike are soon enjoying a good nap. I’ll wait for them to wake and then we’ll walk around the park.
No, we won’t walk around the park.
We’ll FLY around the park! I have never seen such wind in all of my life! This is Major Big Honking Wind. It’s the kind of wind that makes a wind sock blow straight out, which means: “Watch out for airborne motorhomes and other large objects that shouldn’t be blowing around.”
I’m not talking about a breeze.
I’m not talking about wind gusts. This is WIND! Unrelenting, merciless, drive-me-to-stuff-gravel-in-my-ears kind of wind. It’s I-didn’t-mean-to-kill-him-Officer kind of wind. I mean it’s really, really windy here at the windiest place I have ever been in my entire life! You don’t know wind until you’ve camped at Storrie Lake State Park!
So why did I sign up for two nights?
First of all, when I turn on my Verizon air card, three beautiful green bars show up, more bars than I’ve had since I don’t know when. It may take me less than two hours to post a blog with photos!
Secondly, I want to go to Walmart. I haven’t been to Walmart in a very long time. (That tiny Walmart on the way out of Texas doesn’t count.) I miss Walmart. Tomorrow morning while it’s still cool and, lest we forget, windy, I’ll have a wonderful time drifting around Walmart. The crew will be fine in the PTV if I go in the morning.
Here’s some quick photos I took before the crew and I had to duck inside. Look closely and you’ll see the wind sock a-blowing. [slideshow] rvsue