Monday, March 05, 2012

 Can you hear me now?

So much for making an early start. It was nearly ten o'clock Friday morning when we finally left Deming, New Mexico. We drove to Tonopah, Arizona and pulled into Saddle Mountain RV Park, where we have stayed before. I remembered it as a pleasant, clean place with all the amenities. Well, it was still clean, as far as I could tell in the dark, but this time I think we caught them off guard.

The night before, we had paid $20 to stay at the Hitchin' Post, an unassuming little place in the middle of Deming, where we had electricity, cable tv, free wi-fi, and the best water I'd tasted in a long time. Now we paid $30 to stay at Saddle Mountain, where we did have electricity, but that was about it. The office was closed when we got there (I think it was about 7 p.m.) and I was just pulling an envelope out of the night check-in box when a man pulled up on an ATV and said he would guide us to our space. Okay. We followed him around in circles for a few minutes and pulled into the space he indicated. He took off to show someone else in, and I finished filling in the registration and putting $30 in the envelope, figuring our guide would come back to pick it up. Nope. And there was no way I was going to go wandering off into the night, looking for the office, so I just hung onto the envelope until morning. Meanwhile, R hooked up the electricity and water. He called me to come outside and help him locate the tv cable. I tried, but there was no cable. Our neighbour (who was from Vernon, B.C.) told us that you could pick up tv, but only by antenna. Fine. Our tv antenna blew off in a Texas windstorm, several years ago. I checked on the wi-fi situation -- it was pay-as-you-go, and I've decided not to do that anymore, since I'm getting really antsy about putting credit card information online.

Anyway...we decided to have dinner, play cards for a while and then go to sleep. I turned on the faucet, but no water came out. We went outside to make sure that we had turned on the tap out there, and we found our neighbour outside, also checking his water tap. The water had been shut off.  So we went back inside and turned on our pump, used our own water supply to do the dishes. The water did come back on, a while later, but we were already playing cards by then.

In the morning, we stopped by the (still closed) office and dropped our payment in the slot. Apart from our Canadian neighbour and the stranger on the ATV (Who was that masked man?) we hadn't spoken to a soul.

Never mind. We were on our way to Beatty and a hot mineral bath. I don't remember how long we drove on Saturday -- I do remember being delighted to arrive at Bailey's Mineral Hot Springs RV Park. We've stayed there often enough now, that we have the location saved in Maggie's memory. The owner (whose name I can never remember) told me that he's jumped on the modern technology bandwagon, and sure enough, I see that he now has a website -- but I still couldn't get the wi-fi to work. I turned on my computer and went online, then decided to go have a quick dip in the bath. When I got back, the wi-fi was gone, and I couldn't find it again. My computer said there were no wi-fi networks within range, and it just kept saying that. I hadn't moved. I don't think the office had moved. It's a mystery.

So we played cards again (R won) and we went to bed. I set the alarm for 7 a.m. and planned to have another dip in the hot spring before we left. But we both woke up at about 6:30, and by the time we were ready to leave, the padlocks were still on the springs, nobody else was up, and we decided to skip the bath and be on our way. It was just before 8 a.m.

We drove through some spectacular scenery, and I tried to get some pictures, but they really don't do the landscape justice. I was sad, because we were leaving the desert behind. (I did take a few photos, but the connection here is weak, and I can't get what photos I have to upload. Maybe when we get home I'll be able to post them.)

At 8 p.m., (YES, THAT'S TWELVE HOURS LATER!) we pulled into the Alamo RV Park in Cottonwood California, just south of Redding. We had spent the day just trying to get below 5,000 feet and stay there, but the Turtle seemed to have developed an affinity for heights. She kept climbing and climbing, sometimes over 6,000 feet, and wouldn't listen to our complaints until, finally, when we had driven through Lassen National park and darkness had overtaken us, she turned her nose downward and began a precipitous descent to about 200 feet at Red Bluff, CA. Unfortunately, we missed seeing the sign for the RV park that was just the other side of the I-5 entrance ramp, so we kept going to Cottonwood and passed out here at the Alamo.

 Now, says R, we have broken the back of the journey (Why do people say that?) and we can relax. We'll be leaving here in an hour or so, but there's no hurry. I am Turtle. See me smile.

No comments: