Friday, January 13, 2017
In case you were wondering, it is almost unimaginable how much rain has fallen in poor drought ridden California. As we made our way down I-5 towards Bakersfield there was standing water on either side of the highway. Fields that were previously bone dry were under 3+ feet of water. So much water, and it’s everywhere. Our hope is that the snow pack and rain will ease the drought cycle. California feeds us all and they need water to do it. Perhaps the flooding is a bit much for as we all know; water where it’s not wanted is never a good thing.
We spent the night at the Orange Grove RV Park and the oranges were as wonderful as always. Dad and I picked a couple of bags of the juicy delights and made it back inside the Hag before the rain started. We ate some for dinner because that’s what you do when presented with the world’s best oranges fresh from the tree. And we dined on them again the next morning with our complimentary donuts. The Orange Grove is really one of the highlights of the trip. We can’t get enough of those wonderful oranges.
As we set sail for our final destination, (the dear Fountain of Youth RV Park) once again the weather was the suspected crisis of the day. Snow was predicted on the Tehachapi’s, the final mountain pass of the trip. It didn’t actually snow as we went through, but it was cold, and then we had rain. It started raining in San Bernardino and continued for the entire days journey.
Perhaps the most “interesting” event was the drive on Highway 111. Rain had come to the desert on New Year’s Eve in the form of a storm that dumped 2” in 2 hours. (The stories vary on this point, but it was at least an inch of rain in an hour’s time.) The ground on either side of the highway was marked with opportunistic creeks and rivulets that occurred with this monsoon. Water had crossed the highway in multiple spots.
This highway follows the lay of the land, which would be up and down, not like hills and valleys, but more like something my dear civil engineer Father would have avoided AT ALL COSTS. Since half of the road lies in Riverside County and the other half in Imperial County, maybe the powers that be couldn’t agree on what to do. Or, maybe because it leads to the end of the world, they just didn’t care. In the best of weather, it makes for a challenging experience, but on this day it happened to be raining. Not necessarily a downpour, but more of a heavy steady rain. Every little “valley” on the road was filled with water. As luck would have it, we ended up right behind a semi truck, moving at top speed through these water filled troughs. The Hag and its driver were happy to follow behind. The thought was that, “If he could make it through then so could we.”
Even though the water appeared to be in the range of about 3”-6” in depth, it made quite a sound as we made our way through at 50 mph. Stella did not enjoy this and hunkered down on the floor and shook. I sat on the floor next to her, rubbing her ears in an attempt to assure her that all would eventually be fine. To comply with honesty in reporting, which I try to do, I’m pretty sure these calming techniques are as much for me as they are for her. It’s a job for both of us, and we understand and appreciate the significance of this task.
Having successfully skirted disaster once again, we reached FOY around 2:00 in the afternoon. The dear Hag saw us safely here, and will now take her respite in the sun. She wears her badge of courage in the form of a thin layer of dusty mud that coats her sides. Another bout of rain is predicted in the upcoming week, so maybe this will all take care of itself, as it should.