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  • Writer's pictureRobert Gidley

Blizzards and missing RV Parks

Mar 20, 2023 (Mon)

8:00 am Fillmore, UT

After a couple of days in real beds, we didn’t sleep so well in Harvey—the bed is kind of like a fraternity house sofa made large and lumpier. If we’re really tired, we can sleep in it, but sometimes the unevenness gets to us.

The weather report is all full of Winter Storm Warnings, with one expected to hit Salt Lake City this afternoon. We figure as long as we can’t sleep, we might as well eat a quick breakfast, pack up Harvey and hit the road.

Gini likes to be comfortable as she wakes up

8:10 am Fillmore UT

Today’s Harvey quirk: The turn signals only work if the lights are on (yesterday, they only worked when the lights were off). Maybe that 16 ounces of water has finally dried out?

We’re just happy that we don’t have to drive with the lights off today. We’re especially glad that the cruise control works, because on these Utah roads, it’s too easy to get going faster than allowed.

The view from last night’s KOA campground—lots of snow-covered peaks in the distance

12:00 pm Crossing into Idaho

We are making good time, although we’re having to contend with rain, and rain and snow mixed, and nothing at all (when Robert drives). Seems like whenever Gini drives, she gets the rotten weather.

Salt Lake City was so uneventful, we blew right through it without realizing it. Did you know there’s a 10-lane freeway through Salt Lake City? (Sometimes, it’s a 12-lane freeway.) This compares to an eight-lane freeway (sometimes four) through Seattle. Wonder where all the Salt Lakeans (Salt Lakites?) are going to in such a hurry.

Lots of snow on the ground—right up to the road!

2:00 pm

We’ve seen a lot of clusters of services along freeways in our travels. You know, where there’s two or three gas stations, and some fast food places, and maybe a gun shop or two (at least in Arizona). We just thought of them as “places to get gas” (both kinds).

Idaho labels them: Interstate Oasis. We see signs that say, “Interstate Oasis in two miles.” The thing about an oasis is that it’s surrounded by desert and unlivable land. We think Idaho needs to raise its opinion of itself. The rest of the land isn’t that bad, Idaho!

We got gas from a dinosaur!

3:30 pm North of Burley, ID

We are now driving in near-blizzard conditions. Ice is accumulating on the windshield and visibility is down to the car in front of us. We have no idea how big this storm is, or how long it’s going to last. For a few minutes, we think we’ll blow through it, but it just keeps getting worse.

We decide to bail and head to the closest city, which is Burley, ID.

4:00 pm Burley, ID

The internet assures us there’s an RV park in Burley, ID and gives us directions. Sure enough, there’s a fancy digital sign proclaiming the existence of this RV “Resort,” so we turn in and immediately confront a big field of dirt and a dirt road.

There are two dead-looking restaurants and way over to the side is a handful of derelict RV’s. If this is an RV park, we’re not sure we want to stay here, because we’d like to wake up with all our kidneys intact.

Turns out this is the only RV park in town—and it’s not really an RV Park.

4:30 pm Burley, ID

But hey, there’s some BLM land just down the road, although we’re a little nervous about it. After all, if the storm resumes, we could be stuck in a pile of mud, or covered in 10 inches of snow. Still, it’s free, so we ask Siri to take us there.

Siri starts to guide us there and then says, “Never mind!” and bails. Just gives up and then claims that “the server isn’t reachable.”

5:00 pm Burley, ID

Screw it. Where’s a hotel? Oh look, it’s a Hampton Inn, like we stayed at in Kingman. They probably have the Bob Ross channel. And a swimming pool and hot tub.

But holy cow—this wind is Mach One blowing off the river (the Snake River! Which our room overlooks) and practically blows us off our feet. Also cold.

Robert now has on long pants, shoes, wooly coat, and a toque to keep his head warm. He’s using the computer as ballast to keep from being blown away.

View of the Snake River from our hotel room

Progress on our goal

Well, it looks like the storm has blown over, as it’s now nice and sunny. There’s some snow predicted for the middle of the night, but probably not much.

We’re about 10 hours from home, so two good five-hour days should get us home on Wednesday—a whole day ahead of the plan and two days before our Grandaughter Zahara’s Concert at the Moore Theater.

We’re feeling good about our prospects.


Monday Travel

Gini & Robert

Harvey Staff

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