Sunday, February 27, 2011

Mixed Bag

ok, it wasn’t the trip from hell, but it certainly wasn’t made in heaven either.  we are a little out of practice in motorhome traveling – it’s been a while – and we forgot a few things – like the coleman lantern.  and salad dressing.  and the gps.  and underwear (that wasn’t me!)  and even tho we have been to the salton sea a number of times, some areas can be tricky.  especially with no gps.  so we got lost.  more than once. ok, more than twice.  not scary nail-biting where-the-hell-are-we type of lost.  more like that-must’ve-been-the-wrong-turn,  now-we-have-to-go-all-the-way-back-at-$3.69/gallon-type-lost.  oh, yea – we get about 8 miles/gallon in this thing.

first night out, we set up at obsidian butte, a beautiful right-on-the-water bird-filled remote area that we had tried last year, only to be driven out in the middle of the night by howling gale-force winds.  can you say deja-vu??  although it was fine when we arrived, once again we had to negotiate the narrow rutted road out in the dark, opting to spend the night with the truckers in back of the motel 8 in the nearest town.  fun

Obsidian Butte

second night, we were safely ensconced in a fenced area bordering the bombay beach american legion hall where we like to hang out and have food and drink with the locals before retiring to our rig.  in the morning, i get up and slide open the gate so we can escape.  except this time it was locked.  yep, we were locked in with no cell service and no idea when anyone would show up.  a couple of hours into this adventure, while i was building an escape route for myself to climb over the fence, out of old tables and chairs from behind the building (bummed that i didn’t photograph this!) we were able to yell at a dog-walker, who promptly called for help and got the gate open.

Live music at American Legion Hall

the third night?  well, that one found us at home in our own bed.  no, that wasn’t the plan, but we were following the weather reports, which were becoming increasingly imminent and ominous with each rendition.  flash floods. wind advisories.  snow down to 1,000 ft. elevation. record-breaking cold temperatures.  not a picnic in a motorhome, so we packed up and played it safe. 

Leaving the sunny desert

and heading into the storm...

as with most things in life, there are pros and cons.  i have chosen here to share the downside of our little adventure, but i’ve left out a few things.  like the austere and ethereal beauty of this absolutely unique area.  or the fun of the spaghetti dinner with live music at the american legion. or the constant presence of the birds with their haunting calls.  or the hundreds of new photos.  no, it wasn’t the way we planned, but would we do it again??  we’re already planning a follow-up trip.  this time we will make a few changes!


  1. Fantastic images. And - it sounds as if there were some parts that were worthwhile and fun!!!

  2. thank you for sharing your story and your photos.....pros and cons!!

    things don't ever go exactly as we plan, do they??!! always a little element of surprise!!!

    i hope your next trip has more pros than cons!!

    and don't forget the undies!!!! ; )


  3. I think this is was traveling is about as well - that you deal with the not so nice things and make the best of it. We often had to change plans - and afterwards it's always a good story. Our most beloved travel memories are those that were completely unplanned.

  4. Yeah Patty. Imagine the best. Great photos, which you would not have had you not been there ... and I would not be able to see ....

  5. i love going on your trips with you.
    i love that you sat at the legion with
    the locals. and i am giggling at
    your chevy chase vacation story.
    i know it is a bummer that you had to come
    back early, but sometimes that is just
    just part of the story.

    you can even make a legion gate award worthy.


  6. Oh! patty...sorry your trip didn't quite turn out the way you thought...but some of the best memories are made from the unexpected! I love your pics but the getting stuck for 3 hours...not so much! No worries about us meeting up...I am taking a class with Holly so (with everything else)...things are super hectic. am totally loving it and am learning tons already! Will chat can just give me a call when you get back. xxx

  7. oh yeah...always getting dates mixed up!

  8. your photos and accompaning story about the salton sea adventure are abosolutely amazing!!!
    did you bring underware for the second go-around?



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