The Piper Predicament

We schedule all of our doctor, dentist, and vet visits in a single month so that we can travel most of the year. For very real reasons we decided we would move all of those to March instead of April this year. In hindsight, that was incredibly stupid.

Let me start at the beginning. With my new job, I wanted to remain in Arizona for one week longer than we originally planned. This meant major changes to our travel plans, which included two harder weekends of travel than we care for. As the launch date approached so did winter storm Piper. Cute little name for such a badass storm.

On the first weekend, we took US Route 101 and made it from Yuma to a small campground in Northern California. I was excited to find out it was behind the “Camping” sign above. I had driven past that sign a few times before and always wanted to check it out. If you haven’t had the opportunity to drive route 101 through California and Oregon, you should add it to your bucket list. An absolutely gorgeous scenic road.

I was excited. It was a nice older campground with big trees and a river. It was so amazing to be out of the desert and back into territory that makes my soul rejoice. And then Piper hit.

The temperatures stayed above freezing but we had a wintery mix coming down for more than a full day. Even knowing that we weren’t parked where a tree could hit us it was disturbing listening to branches and trunks break under the weight they were ill-accustomed to. Twice large trees came down close enough we could feel the ground shake under us. Also, many of our neighbors moved or abandoned their RV and fled.

All major roads around us closed, including 101, our route to the next destination in Oregon. Saturday morning we got up, packed, and discussed what to do. We decided we would travel as far as we could get and pull off wherever that might be.

Above is where that location was, just before the windy two-lane section of Redwoods on 101. We weren’t the only, or first, people to make that same decision. We sat in this line for a couple hours. We gave a guy some aluminum foil so he could make himself a quesadilla on his engine, equalized the tire pressure in the honda, reprogrammed the tire sensors, ate, and read books.

Finally, it opened up as one lane for about ten miles. We didn’t get to go through with the first group so about ninety minutes later we popped through the redwoods — admiring the way they propped up power lines just high enough for us to pass beneath — and continued our journey to a small casino outside Crescent City.

We hit one patch of black ice, and one small section of slushy snow, then tucked into a campsite just before the weather turned really bad again. We were exhausted, and grumpy and tried several campsites before we found one that we thought had enough internet for my work.

We thought wrong. The next morning I see dropping packets pretty frequently, and long enough interruptions to disconnect me from my work environment. I call in an early lunch and Kendra calls a nearby RV park where we land on the Siuslaw River for the week. That is pronounced sigh-you-slaw. It was inside the city of Florence which is adorable. It has been a wonderful place to sit out the nasty weather as Piper continued to pummel us.

So, yeah… in hindsight we should have waited one more month in the desert. Tomorrow we will land at our home base.

May peace find you.

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