It was pouring rain when we picked up the new RV. Absolutely dumping. Then our first day on the road we had wind gusts up to 20 mph – great if you’re sailing, not great if you’re driving a diesel pusher with the Cd (aerodynamic drag coefficient) of the Sears Tower. Jim jumped into a trial-by-fire driver education (we both are astonished that no special license is required to drive this thing!), hop in the seat – this is the brake, this is the gas, this is the shifter, enjoy. Oh, and make sure you have the slides in and the auto-levelers up, enjoy.
Intersections, fuel stops, toll booths…and no trees or stop signs were taken out. Whew! I knew from taking sailing lessons with Jim that he would figure things out quickly and he has.
It took two full days and two half days to cover the nearly 1,900 mile stretch between St. Louis and San Diego, but we comforted ourselves with the idea that we will probably (hopefully) never have to put that many miles on at once again. The rest should be short, half day hops to a new site as we wander in a seemingly erratic pattern across the US.
We both agree that driving in the RV is like being in a time warp. Two hours can go by * like that. Our sleep the first night was only marginal at a rest area near Mount Vernon, MO. The diesel tractor trailers running next to us weren’t a bother since it was a constant noise, but traffic whizzing by on the freeway was another story. The next two nights we played it “safe” and stayed at truck stops – Santa Rosa, NM then near Powell, AZ (just shy of the California border). We still had big diesels purring next to us all night long, but it was a nice distance off the interstate so we didn’t get the erratic car noise. Despite the massive size, our 41’ RV sure looks miniature when nuzzled in next to all those 60’+ big rigs. Size DOES matter. One of the many benefits of being early risers, the sunrise was absolutely gorgeous the final morning – pink and purple layers over a sea of diesel trucks. I really felt miniature as I stepped out to make a morning run up to the facilities.
We got into a rhythm of makeshift dinner after a long day of driving, off to bed early, up early, instant oatmeal, coffee, on the road as the sun came up. This is part of what we do really well together. It’s all unfamiliar and unknown to both of us, but we jump in, figure it out and roll with the punches, usually with some humor thrown in.
Once we got on a straight stretch, Jim decided that it was my turn behind the wheel. I wanted to do it to give him a break, and I knew he wouldn’t have me do it if he didn’t have confidence that I could handle it. After a quick tutorial I pull out on I-40, kept it between the white solid line and the white dotted line…passed a underpowered camper (buwhahaha I have 500hp and 1550ft/lbs connected to my right foot), through some road construction, until a larger town approached and I thought we should switch back due to the traffic ingress and egress. Jim estimated that I had been driving 45 minutes and I agreed – maybe an hour. Woah! Two hours gone * like that.
I like this RV Time Warp.
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