Monday, March 21, 2011

TODAY’S WINDSTORM GOES INTO OUR BOOKS AS…..THE WORST WINDS EVER!!

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INDIAN HORSES CROSSING A HILL BEHIND OUR RIG

Sunday’s winds subsided enough in the night to allow us some sleep but at first light they picked up again dropping the temperatures.  Cloudy with a few sunny breaks & we had to dress warmly to ward off the chilly winds.  Local weather advisory was out for 50 mph winds this afternoon & little did we know they were bearing down on us like a speeding freight train at that very moment.

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3 DOGS HARASSING THE HORSES

Figured we would drive into the little town of Chinle which is just outside the campground, grab a bite to eat, get a few groceries & hit the canyon’s north side driving tour.  We did grab a bite but we never did make it to the grocery store.

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THUNDERBIRD LODGE WHERE WE ARE GETTING OUR WIFI SIGNAL  

While eating we were suddenly hit with huge wind gusts turning the view outside into an instant brown sand storm.  We see these kinds of things in winter back home & call them white outs due to blowing snow.  Without further ado we quickly headed for the Jeep & raced back to the campsite expecting to see our satellite dish on the ground & both slide awnings torn to bits.

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RACING BACK TO THE RIG TO GET THE SLIDES IN

The tiny awning was billowing like I’ve never seen it before.  We got out of the Jeep OK but when I opened rig’s door the wind caught it throwing me backwards into Kelly behind me who was hanging on to her cup of coffee.  Lid flew off the cup spraying coffee all over Kelly.  Managed to hang onto the door long enough while she squeezed inside, raced back to the bedroom, hit the switch & retracted the slide before the awning ripped off.  I remained outside for a minute before trying to get myself in.  Took me 2 tries to get & hold the door open long enough to duck inside.  I knew if the wind blew the door out of my hands it would dash it against the side of the rig & smash the glass out of it.

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STRUGGLING AGAINST THE WIND TO GET THE LMB OFF THE DISH…WIND GUSTS WERE TOO BAD TO GET THE DISH OFF THE TRIPOD

I have blogged about bad winds many times before & we have been in some very nasty ones but this wind today goes into our books as the worst wind we have ever experienced.  Anybody caught out on the highway today with an RV is going to be in some very major trouble.  We are so fortunate to have got in here & set up at this campground when we did yesterday.  We hear Flagstaff was hit hard today & we had just past through there Saturday afternoon.  We sure dodged a nasty weather bullet there.  They had blowing winds & driving snow. 

The campground we are in sits below a bluff & is a bit protected area but if it’s this bad here it must be a total nightmare for people on the road.  I just have a feeling there is going to be plenty of wind damage when this finally lets up.  Our Motor Home has never rocked side to side this bad before.  At one point I did manage to get outside & take the electronic part of the satellite dish off but about 5 minutes later the wind gusts had twisted the tripod legs bending the dish down at an awkward angle.  Twenty minutes later another wind gust totally flattened the dish snapping off one of the tripod legs completely.  That’s the end of our Canadian Star Choice satellite TV for this trip:((  Am I complaining about all this?  Nope, just stating the facts.  I would sooner be right here in the  middle of a big darn old dusty wind storm any day as opposed to sitting at home during a big old miserable snow storm!!  And, would you believe that due to the high winds & blowing sand plus a small opening in our poor fitting kitchen window we now have sand dunes on our kitchen counter top!!

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THIS COLORFUL RIGGED ROLLED INTO THE CAMPSITE AFTER THE WINDS DIED DOWN

I remember a saying from the old wild west gunfighter days that went something like, ‘no matter how fast you think you are, there is always somebody faster!!’  Same thing applies to bad days.  No matter how bad your day is or was there is probably someone somewhere who has had a more badder one.  (ya ya I know about the grammar) Thought we had a bad one a couple days ago until I read SASSY'S ON DA ROAD.  And then, if Sassy’s day wasn’t bad enough, I read Malone’s post at THE MOHO & OTHER TRAVELING TALES.  The post is entitled….’Vandalized!!’

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ANOTHER GERMAN VEHICLE PULLS IN

We pretty much remained trapped in the rig for the entire day.  Kelly read for awhile & I sat here with the computer on my lap dozing off about 6 dozen times only to be awakened by the severe rocking of the wind battered coach every few minutes.

I wrote the above paragraphs this afternoon while the wind was beating us up.  It is now after supper, much colder, raining a bit & the wind has diminished.  I brought the broken tripod in as soon as it did & with a couple sticks for splints & about 6.4 miles of duct tape kind of made a shaky repair on the leg. 

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Took it outside & set it all up again & surprisingly enough we have TV tonight.  If it remains up for the night that will be a bonus & if my repair lasts any longer than that it will be a complete miracle.  And if it lasts a week that will be impossible!!  Actually the leg only has to last us a few days longer while we are here at Canyon de Chelly (d’ Shay) because once we hit the road for home we will not be in any one place long enough to ever set it up again.  This is the last planned stop of our trip this winter.  No idea how long we will be here but it will be pedal to the metal once we leave Canyon de Chelly for home.

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I KNOW IT ISN’T TOO PRETTY BUT AT LEAST WE GOT TV TONIGHT & I’LL BE ABLE TO WATCH ‘CORNER GAS:))’

GROANER’S CORNER:((  A duck walks into a pharmacy, and asks for Chapstick. The cashier says, "Cash or check?" and the duck says, "Just put it on my bill."

22 comments:

  1. I think the entire West was wind-blown. Ruidoso and Roswell in NM also had huge winds (up to 60 mph). That whole corridor is one wind tunnel when it gets going. Sorry 'bout the tripod and dish. This will be a winter to put in the record books.(We've also had 24 inches of rain here since December)

    Emjay

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  2. We have not had the pleasure yet of experiencing such a windstorm while in our RV. This may sound odd, but is there any chance of the wind actually tipping a stationery motor home over on its side? Sometimes you hear of 18 wheelers going over so what keeps the RV upright. Do I sound a little bit nervous here?

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  3. I've been in blowing sand, but never like that. I have to say I think I would prefer snow.

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  4. Good job on the splint, for somebody who always says he is not mechanically inclined, when your back is against the wall, remember to ask for a last cigarette, glad to hear you survived the wind with minimal damage, they sure can do some if the sneak up on you or your not able to get back to the campsite before they start.Hope that you don't have any more windstorms.Be safe out there, Sam & Donna...

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  5. Safe travels as you head for home. Hope the snow is gone when you arrive. It was gone here until yesterday when it snowed again but I don't think it will last long.

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  6. Yikes! Hope you get some good weather before you start the trek home.

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  7. Can't say that I miss those strong winds at all! Hope things calm enough for you to enjoy the canyon. :)

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  8. Yikes, those were the worst winds we have ever experienced and we too have sand dunes on every surface in the motorhome--I had one window open! Hope those winds are gone today! Looks like Mike Clark fix on the tripod.

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  9. Dave & ReneeTuesday, March 22, 2011

    Living in New Mexico for 30 years has taught us that's one place we DON'T want to be in the springtime. Crazy winds -- and boy, do they wear on you when they go on for days...

    Good job on the satellite take-down/fix. Lost a satellite a couple years ago just outside Albuq. Apparently just a teeny tiny dent in the outside rim is enough to bugger everything up.

    Lastly, I sure wish Corner Gas was carried by one of the US satellite networks again. LOVED that show!

    Renee

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  10. Well, gee, Al. Wind. Whew. I am a bit aghast at all that is going on over there in sunny? Arizona. Glad you got things back together as well as you did. Maybe you have that same good luck/bad luck/good luck thing we have going, and I wish for all of us that it continues! I got a bazillion hits yesterday, by the way. I like to think it's because of your mention, but I also think the vandalism thing pretty much scares anyone on the road in an RV.

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  11. What an experience you had. Now it looks like you are in competition with Red Green!!! Hope that was the last wind for this trip.

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  12. I notice you left the following quote out of this post:
    "The only thing better than right now will someday be the memories of right now...... AL." :-)

    Hope the rest of your trip is better,,,,sorry you will miss Gooseneck SP, maybe next year.

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  13. Our worst wind storm was in Quartzsite in 2010. 70 mph gusts and sustained of 50 to 60. With rain. So we didn't end up with sand inside but lots of rain. If we never do that again, I won't mind at all. I was really scared.

    Our sun is shining today so I hope yours is also. Love the tripod repair. Yea for duct tape.

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  14. Wow and WOW!! We have had some winds here, but nothing like that...so sorry about the tripod, but the fix looks like it is holding. I'll keep my fingers crossed on that one. Love the photo of the motormouse and the camera last post. You guys take care on your journey home...we will be thinking of you!

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  15. Hi Al: Looking at your repaired tripod, all I can say is that Rubgoldburg has nothing on you.

    John

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  16. Lets hope that you do not have to report breaking that wind record later.

    Duct tape can fix anything!

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  17. I read about the bad winds out West and thought about you two...I hate wind when in the RV..I am afraid we will end up like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz..circling around the skies in our camper, watching the cattle fly by...Glad you're OK...FYI...Bad snow due in Northern Wisconsin and Minnesota the next few days...Even suppose to snow here Thursday..JUST GREAT.

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  18. A beautiful warm sunny day would not be as precious if we didn't have a few rough windy ones to compare it to!

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  19. Gosh Al. Maybe it's time you two thought about moving from Ontario to the west coast of Canada. We don't get those awful Ontario snow storms, the awful heat and humidity of summer and the horrible winds you just lived through in northern Arizona. The west coast offers the most beautiful summers found anywhere in the world, temperate winters (yes, lots of cloud, sprinkles of rain and little sun, but very few stormy winds.

    Food for thought????

    All the best on your trip back home to Bayfield.

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  20. Hi Al

    Don't put the peddle to the metal right away. Drag your feet a little bit. We are getting freezing rain and snow is coming through the Windsor District. The weather the rest of this week is the pits. Bayfield is getting snow right now. Stay in the nicer weather even if it is a little windy. By next week the temps ar suppose to rise somewhat.
    Kathy & Rick Windsor,Canada

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  21. Al...

    I always thought you reminded me of Red, from the Red Green show, but now with that duct tape repair...well...I had to look twice.

    By the way, my favorite Red Green quote is "Now remember, this is only a temporary repair ..unless..of course, it works"

    Too funny !!

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  22. glad you survived the windstorm!..too bad about the tripod..but what a good fix with the '100 mile an hour tape'!!
    drive safely as you head north, slowly!!

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