Thursday, January 12, 2017
With the holidays over and the dismal days of January upon us, our thoughts have turned to a sojourn to warmer parts. With this idea in mind, so begins year FIVE of this annual journey to the end of the world. Originally, we planned to leave on January 2, but we had a snow and ice storm that arrived on New Year’s Eve, coupled with news delivered a few days prior that one set of Dad’s renters would be moving out ON New Year’s Eve. This unfortunate turn of events dropped weather-related things down a couple of places on the list of worries, and we occupied our “free time” dealing with things related to the rental. There is nothing like cleaning and scrubbing to take your mind off everything else, and by “everything else” I mean things like putting away the holiday stuff and packing.
As we cleaned the aforementioned rental, we watched the weather reports. Actually, we became obsessed with the weather; specifically what was happening on all mountain passes on I-5 heading south. As a side note, some years ago I crossed the Siskiyou Pass at night, in a blinding snowstorm, with my head hanging out the window attempting to locate the edge of the road while the driver merrily barreled down the highway. I was younger then, and so was the driver, and we were in a car, not a motor home towing a car. This event was as wild as it sounds and is not a scenario I wish to repeat. Ever. With age, the will to survive exceeds the need for adventure, or something like that. So, decent weather on our trip south is somewhat of a high priority for me.
But, to our dismay, as one storm passed another one moved right in behind it. We had reports from family members of snow and ice in southern Oregon and northern California. There were “Severe Winter Weather Advisories,” and “Wind Warnings,” and “Flood Watches.” It was a becoming a weather apocalypse.
There were some in my little group that just wanted to GO, and thought we could “wait out the storm” in an RV park down the road. This wasn’t an idea I was in favor of, but after a week of more casual packing than serious preparations for a 2-month exile, it seemed like something needed to happen. This coincided with my discovery that I was “half-packed,” the most dangerous of all situations to be in. After two weeks of “casual packing” I was not so sure what I had packed and what hadn’t yet jumped aboard the dear old Hag. Sometimes this leads to leaving things behind; this time I do believe it may have contributed to a little over-packing. So. Much. Stuff. And, it’s everywhere. Not to worry, I am prepared for any sewing or crafting adventure that may (or may not) come my way. I haven’t totally lost my direction.
And so we began our little dance of “Yes, we’ll leave today,” followed by “No, not today, it’s snowing on the Siskiyou Pass.” After several days of going back and forth we seized a brief window between storms and made our exit. We left the farm Tuesday morning with little patches of snow on the ground, and headed into rain. Lots of rain. Night #1 was spent at Seven Feathers RV Park where good fortune occurred in the form of “Taco Tuesday” and not much else. Good luck did not extend to the casino activites.
The following day was the “day of big worry” for the Daisie group, as the next leg of the trip involved crossing the mountain passes. It is with a huge sigh of relief that I report: I-5 was wet, but not icy. Snow was on the side of the road, occasional snow fell, but this was not a big concern.
We arrived safely at our next stop on the “casino tour” and spent the night at Rolling Hills Casino RV Park. Again, our good luck only extended as far as the drive was concerned and the fact that the following day was half-price senior discount at the buffet. That is good enough for me.
It seems that our departure unleashed a snow event back home that some are referring to as “Snowlandia.” My dear daughter, Kailin, called me to say that the snow began falling Tuesday night and by Thursday morning 12-15 inches of snow blanketed the Portland area. For us Oregonians, who don’t salt the roads or have to have much driving experience in this sort of weather, our lives simply shut down. We go inside and drink, (mostly hot chocolate, but there’s a possibility I’m not quite up to date on these sorts of things) we binge watch trash TV, and marvel at the beauty, the silence, and the wonder of life brought to a standstill by the magnificent power of Mother Nature. This is not a bad thing. I strongly advocated for this departure from the norm as my kids were growing up, and I am happy to see that they have come to embrace this. They enjoyed their winter wonderland and sent me photos.
So, to you and yours in this weather filled season, I wish you peace and solace as we await the next storm. Whatever that may be.