Day 0 (Friday, April 30, 2021)
Maybe it HAD been a little optimistic to think we could leave after Kirk gets home from work on Friday evening, but having quite as many obstacles thrown our way as ended happening – never would have guessed THAT!
So what went wrong? Well … the trailer wasn’t quite packed yet (procrastination issues) and not washed yet (since it rained earlier this week), the truck wasn’t packed yet (since we didn’t even get it back from the body shop … paint job didn’t get done until after 5:30pm this evening) but what was the biggest issue holding back our departure? The broken water line in the backyard. Yup. Bubbled up Friday morning. Good thing Kirk is a handy man and this an issue that a few hours digging, probing, testing, a run to Lowe’s for a new valve (since the old one broke during the probing), more digging, sealing off the line, putting dirt back in place and testing one last time fixed. Phew.
So it’s almost 11pm, we’re ready to finally head out when Kirk realizes he still needs to check the tire pressure for truck and trailer – only to find the air compressor to fail as he attempts to fill the tires. Two gas stations later, it is 11:30pm – but still Friday, our intended departure date – as we finally roll out onto the freeway.
Day 1 (Saturday, May 01, 2021)
Well, we didn’t make it all too far last night. After a very long day, we were both way to exhausted to drive much further than Santa Nella, CA, just about an hour south of home along I-5. Goal was at least Bakersfield, CA, but we’ll just have to make up those miles today!
After a short sleep near Andersen’s Pea Soup place (that’s what this exit is famous for), we head back onto I-5 and head south to Bakersfield, CA, then east through the Mojave Desert to Barstow, CA and onto Needles, CA. After a last sticker shock on gas prices, we cross the border into Arizona continuing along I-40 east for what seems to be an endless day of driving.
Having a solid target in mind, we push on, trade of driving a couple of times and after almost running out of gas before stopping for dinner (and gas) in Williams, AZ make the last hour of today’s trek north into the Grand Canyon National Park. A lucky streak a few months ago scored us a site inside the park, at the Trailer Village RV Park, only a few minutes’ walk to the Canyon’s South Rim!
While 12 hours’ drive (according to Google Maps, more in real live with a trailer in tow) seems awfully boring, there were a few highlights along the way today – including: 1 saran-wrapped helicopter being transported north on I-5 near Harris Ranch, followed by 2 boats wrapped up the same way on a truck just shortly after; a large wind turbine blade (like the ones on the Altamont Pass), next to the railroad tracks near Needles, CA clearly fell off a train some time ago; and last but not least: a COVID-19 Testing shuttle bus getting loaded to being towed on I-40 near Seligman, AZ!
Of course, it is dark as we pull into our campsite C-11 just after 9pm, but we’re here … let the vacation begin!