Monday, October 3, 2016

Note to self......

Note to NOT drive Beluga when a high wind advisory has been posted.

We left Chatfield State Park this morning about 10 a.m. with Trinidad State Park as our destination for the night.    It was windy but nothing Dave couldn't handle.

Lewis is finally getting the hang of NOT peeing into the wind

The further south we drove, the stronger the sustained winds became.   To say nothing about the gusts - oh the gusts.  

Its been a nasty day of driving.   We're in for the night, safe and sound, at Lathrop State Park, near Walsenburg Colorado, just west of I-25.

Our day began to go pear shaped as we passed through Pueblo.   I could see a huge wildfire starting to our west near Beulah.

as of this writing, the fire has consumed over 3000 acres

  Dave and Beluga were fighting sustained winds of at least 40 mph with higher gusts slamming into our front passenger corner every few minutes.    I could see it was a real struggle.

bang bang bang bang bang bang bang.....what was that?  The sharp sounds were coming from the driver's front corner, there was no where to pull off the busy highway to check it out.    We had to drive a few miles with the sound urging us to stop.

Once we could safely pull over Dave discovered that two of the snaps holding the bra in place had come loose and were banging and flapping on Beluga's nose.
Lovely chunks of paint were dug away each time the snap hit the front cap.   Grrr.      Dave managed to get the bra off and stow in a compartment without it flying away to Kansas and we continued on our way.

Dave wrestles the bra

Then the bedroom awning began to unroll, fly up over Beluga's roof and then slam back down again.    I could see it in my mirror.   We could hear it.

As I watched the awning bubble up,
I could see smoke from the fire behind Beluga

 After a few miles we exited the highway in the middle of absolutely no where.

   To make a long, scary story short, Dave dug the ladder out of the Jeep, set it up alongside Beluga and carefully climbed up with 3 bungies to try to strap the awning down.    My heart was in my mouth because the wind was blowing so hard that it took quite a while to just push Beluga's door open to get outside, much less stand on a ladder on the shoulder of the road.    I could just see him and the ladder crashing over any minute.   (I still took pictures, don't judge me)

gust kept trying to snatch Dave's shirt away

After about half an hour of effort the awning was tentatively secured and we were on our way once more.      Pop!   A particularly strong gust hit us and we heard the bungies give up and fly off the awning.    And we were back at square one.

Do we turn around and head back to Colorado City?   The fire was growing stronger in the wind just west of us.     Do we push on to Trinidad (where we had a reservation) about 30 miles away?     The decision was made to try and make it to Lathrop State Park in Walsenburg, only about 10 miles ahead.    We hoped the awning would arrive with us.

I opened the Ipad to find directions to the park.   It was on the dashboard when another vicious gust hit us and it flew off, hitting Dave's beautiful new stool on its way to its final destination, the bottom of the stair well.   That could have just been the last straw, it really could have, but the thing landed unharmed,  still broadcasting directions.

So....tonight we're tucked into a nice site, snuggled behind some junipers and out of the wind.    Bellies filled with a good stiff G&T and yummy left over pizza, we're heading to bed.    Tomorrow is another day.


  1. Scary, scary but I'm glad your ok! Lewis must have been pretty terrified as well, poor boy. We had our big awning unwrap once in high winds. That's kept us off the road in windy conditions since then.


  2. Well, after this story, I am definitely ready for a B A day! Kudos to Dave for safely pushing the three of you to a secure place for the night. Hope you wake to a quiet, sunny morning. You deserve it.

  3. Now that's a travel day from hell!

  4. We've only done this traveling in the wind once. It sounded much like your adventure. NOT fun!! It is so crazy dangerous to be making these fixes on the side of the road, but what else can be done! Why are we always in the middle of nowhere!! So glad you made it to safety:) Stay put til the wind calms down!

    Poor Lew! I hope you don't show this photo to the ladies:)

  5. My heart was thumping as I was reading your scary drive. Poor Beluga and all if its passengers but kudos to Dave who brave the wind just to temp hold things together. How scary.
    Glad all of you are safe. Whew!
    We have not driven in wind and we will learn from your experience.

  6. What an awful adventure. I am so glad you are all safe and Beluga still had her awning. We always strap the big awning, but never the small window awnings...lesson learned!

  7. That sounds like a terrifying travel day! So glad you're safe now. A stiff G & T was definitely in order.

  8. Oh man!! This is the travel day from hell. So glad it's long behind you now and hopefully you were still able to get to Trinidad - such a beautiful area. Can't believe got up on that ladder! Hope the little stool survived as well as the IPad.

  9. Oh man!! This is the travel day from hell. So glad it's long behind you now and hopefully you were still able to get to Trinidad - such a beautiful area. Can't believe got up on that ladder! Hope the little stool survived as well as the IPad.

  10. Definitely the travel day from hell - I'm so glad it's behind you now. Can't believe Dave got up on that ladder! Hope your little stool survived with the IPad. Trinidad is such a pretty area, hope you were able to make it there.