Sunday, May 25, 2008

We have touchdown! Touchdown! Tornado is on the ground!

Friday - We strolled into Grand Lake and wandered around the town. Nothing much to report. A nice mountain town that caters for tourists. Abi picked up a couple of rings and a fantastic comforter (quilt for us brits). It's got bears, elk, moose and trees - looks a lot better than it sounds. After a few coffees and lunch we headed back to the park. We called Safeway to see if they'd found my sunglasses but no luck!!!! Some little oik has probably picked them up. Then it was dinner, a movie and early to bed as we had a lot of driving to do on Saturday.

Saturday morning we left the park at 8:45 hoping to head across the Rockies to Estes Park, up I25 to Wyoming and then north east towards Custer, South Dakota. It all went pear shaped about 2 minutes into the trip as the pass was closed. So we had to take a detour around the Rockies - which is pretty easy but makes a 7 hour journey more like 10 hours. Still we picked up some time and took I80 east as we crossed the state line into Wyoming. This is where our problems began - to cut a long story short I had an accident swerving to avoid a deer - I dented the bumper, ripped the cover of one of the storage compartments and cracked the body work. Problem is I now have a $750 insurance excess to pay as you can bet your bottom dollar that the rental company will charge me as much as possible. Still the RV is drivable - all lights are in one piece and we are fine.

From I80 (east) we took I25 north and entered the plains of Wyoming. A bit like Lincolnshire - flat and very open and the wind was going across the highway at a high rate of knots. As the RV appears to have been modeled on a house brick we were all over the place. And that's how it was for over 200 miles - fighting against the wind and trying to keep it in a straight line. Bloody hard work.

Approaching Newcastle, WY we were driving paralell to a hugh storm cloud. We stopped to take photos and then it started to rain. We got back in the cab and within seconds the heavans opened. I couldn't see a thing, the RV was weaving all over the road and sweat was pouring down my face. All I could think of was Helen Hunt in Twister (see video below). Rain was being forced in under the slide out and the bed above the cab. The cars in front of us slowed and put their hazards on. I didn't want to stop but we slowed down to 30 mph. After about 20 minutes we came out the other side much to our relief. We stopped in Newcastle for a coffee and then continued on to Custer (nothing to do with the Little Big Horn). We are safely camped at Beaver Lake Campground just outside Custer National Park and Mount Rushmore. The park has tame bunnies running around so Abi's a happy camper!!!

Note to parents: Everything is OK - the accident was very minor and the only damage done will be to my credit card. Really bad mobile phone reception so unable to text. Take care and we'll be back in one piece in a couple of weeks x!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear about the RV - glad you are still able to travel. We thought we had a bad storm here until we saw your Blog. The camp site looks lovely - hope it is as good whilst you are there.