Thursday, December 12, 2013

Catching Up

After a very pleasant time at our condo in Arizona we packed up last week and left on Saturday, December 7 about 8:45 a.m., driving north on Hwy 60.  We turned north on 72 to 95 north.  All this area was pretty typical desert, but with irrigated agricultural fields along the way also.

North of Parker on 95 the landscape was very different, very hilly along the Colorado River.  Nearing Lake Havasu City the hills were more like sandy mounds, covered with off road vehicle tracks.

We stopped in Lake Havasu City for a bathroom break and took some cold diet cokes into the car.  We drove north to I 40 and turned west.  The sky clouded over and the wind picked up.

At Barstow we switched to Hwy 58. That's a strange road, part of the route was good expressway, and part of the route was just two lane road.  Completely inadequate for the traffic is carries, especially considering that semis make up a huge proportion of that traffic.

At Mojave I suggested we stop for the night, even though it was only 3:30 PST (we had started in MST), but Jim preferred to put on some more miles.

Not too much farther along we encountered more heavy wind and this time combined with blowing snow, and the onset of darkness.  Pretty soon we were creeping long behind a semi at about 20 mph, with trouble lights blinking.  The road surface was polished ice and there were many vehicles in the ditches.  On the other side, the eastbound lanes there was a semi jackknifed across both lanes.  Behind that truck there was a solid two lanes of stalled traffic for a few miles (seemed like).

After a bit the truck we were following came to a stop, and the whole line of traffic also stopped.  We waited, turning the engine off to conserve gas as we were getting low.  After a bit some cars and pickups cautiously went around the stopped semis and after a while longer we decided to join them.  We found that a semi eastbound had spun out and come to a rest across the ditch between the eastbound and westbound lanes.  It was blocking the left lane of our west bound road, but, fortunately, the cab was at right angles to the trailer and car/pickup traffic was able to creep around and continue down the road. We formed a kind of convoy through the swirling snow, inching along with our trouble lights on until we came to the first exit for Tehachapi where we left the road and bought some gas.

By the time we headed back, the expressway was closed.  Traffic could exit but not enter.  We drove on into Tehachapi itself and were blessed to find a large, comfortable, warm room at Best Western Mountain Inn.

Five p.m. in the evening we were settled in and enjoyed a "light" supper of hot chocolate, crackers and cheese and settled down for the night, very thankful not to be spending it on the road or in the ditch!

No comments:

Post a Comment