I must admit, I have struggled for a few days here. My mood has sometimes been as icy as some of the overnights we’ve had and I can’t blame much but myself. However, those who really know Rob, know that I have a mini challenge some days just dealing with him. After finding his wallet in the drawer that he had already looked in and discovering that he couldn’t remember the PIN for his card, for us to withdraw some much needed funds, I gave in and shouted at him that he’ll probably die doing this on his own because he won’t have anyone sorting out his s***!!! I come to realise that occasionally, I am not in the best of moods.
It started so well, and even though I had the heavy lack of enthusiasm, we seemed to settle in quick with the routine we had left just before Xmas. We were heading into quieter country and I felt that familiar feeling of comfort and relaxation whilst gazing out of Jenny’s windows or taking photos of alien looking plants and constant beautiful scenery. It almost feels like each stop is in competition with the last, to be the best stop of the trip. It really is stunning scenery that cannot have justice made by any camera. You often have to just not even try and actually just absorb the sight that nature has set out for you at that very moment and just wish those that matter to you could have been there to see it too. Some of the most mind blowing scenes have nearly always contained moutains, with those extra tall ones getting a dusting of snow on their tips. This has also meant that some of our off-road overnight stops have been really cold. We were aware of this before we left. Instead of buying cute outfits and shoes when I was at home, I was eyeing up gloves, thermals and fleece lined snow boots (whoot whoo). Still, cold is something this heat loving girl, is no friend of and it’s been a little uncomfortable. Getting into bed early seems to be the most effective way of staying warm (with my thermal jim jams on) We have stayed in RV parks more often this time, so that we can use the hook-up electric and get the heating on at tropical levels. I don’t get people that say they would rather be too cold than too hot? You’re just weird and I don’t trust you. I can not see how anyone thinks it’s more comfortable shivering uncontrollably than sweating a bit??? Weird and untrustworthy. Any way, it is cold from time to time but we’re coping (just) and it makes for a very different experience compared to back in Louisiana, where I was struggling to blink without sweating. The rain has been quite a pain though. It’s dropped buckets here and although it’s good for the usually very dry land, it’s not that great for some crazy fella that wants to run 35 miles or for the support crew that want to see rolls of mountains and blue sky; instead, it’s more a case of peering through thousands of rain drops, scattered across the screen and using your imagination as to what scene the bumbling cloud is keeping from you.
Weather aside, it was going quite well of course, until one of our tyres went flat. This oddly coincided with the appearance of a Roadrunner (once again) who had very quickly come to check out Jenny (did he burst our tyre?) He was very cute and pretty confident too but the distraction didn’t last long and we decided that we should perhaps stop gawping at the nosey bird and maybe sort out the tyre. I’ve been here before, twice in fact and I was most definitely pretty pissed about this, not so exciting, 3rd time. This led me to believe that we could maybe limp to a near by tyre shop and get a new one but experience doesn’t always pay off and we ended up on the side of the road, needing two new tyres. Four hours later and nearly $500 poorer, my mood had lifted slightly but only because we were moving on. Rob had pulled some pretty impressive milage on his solo mission that led us to an RV site and of course, heating (hoorah!)
Everything has been so up and down here through Death Valley, both moods and environment alike. Jenny’s (expensive) little tyres, climbing foot by foot to near 5000ft elevations with only minor grumbles, followed by a hasty retreat, as thick, cotton wool balls of snow started to fall. With sadness of not being able to stay and enjoy it and concerns of attempting the icy descent down in the rather heavy lady, hoping that Rob will be ok. Relief follows concern and then disappointment follows as you reach a point to rest at and are held captive by a downpour of heavy rain, or cruising along an open road to below sea level and feeling very vulnerable, whilst being surrounded by mountains, staring down at this tiny speck of a human being. Then finally, you get the opportunity to relax and enjoy the rest of your day, until the weather drops to around 6’c and you sit inside Jenny’s four (grossly uninsulated) walls, thinking to yourself, is it too early to put my jim jams on and head for bed