Sunday, October 20, 2013

Destination: Pahrump, NV - Trials and Tribulations

Original Route

I figured this would be just like any of the other traveling have done so far, a simple jaunt through Death Valley, with enough time to make it to the destination and relax a little before getting back to work.

I was sadly mistaken.  This is my original route, notice how it's fairly straight and it looks very simple.  This route was only scheduled to take me approximately 3 1/2 hours. Travel in the RV is always a little slower than that so estimated about four hours.  Had a big surprise ahead..

Modified Route
This is my modified route. Right at the point on CA-178 where had to deviate, the road was closed.  Instead of turning around and going back to find another route, was able to pull up a stand-alone GPS app called NavFree USA. Am so happy followed my intuition and installed this, along with Washington state, Oregon, California, and Nevada maps.  Really saved my bacon, up to a point.  Granted, could've backtracked, but what fun is there to that?

"Good" piece of road
There isn't a lot of deviation so figured it would only set me back 30 minutes or so.  Boy was I mistaken.  Did make it finally but this added at least another 1 1/2 hours.  Call me bullheaded in a way, but was already committed and refused to turn around unless there was truly an impassable road, then would've had no choice.

Radar Station
Immediately after turning down the side road could notice how unimproved it was.  On this section of "good" road was only able to do 15 mph max.  Turns out, most of the roads in the detour only could do 8-12 mph, and in some cases that was too fast still.

The road did deteriorate even more to where it was basically a one lane road of hard packed sand interspersed with rocks and gravel in places, with dips and windblown soft sand.  At no point did I feel the need to turn around, or unhook scooter to scout ahead.  There were a couple instances where could feel the RV, instead of coasting along fine, it actually had to work a little.  This is in areas where there was soft sand on top of the "road".

The road closure sign said it was closed due to flooding, but alas, everything was parched and lifeless it seemed.

Going up up and away
After getting back onto the main road, everything went according to plan.  One reason why it generally takes longer than what GPS mentions is because of hills, and more hills, and more hills.  In this case, we went up to either 3000 or 4000 feet.  It was quite nice going up, but top speed in some areas was about 20 mph, due to steepness of grade.  Kept eye on traffic behind and pulled over where possible.

Interior Dust
As got to location after sun went down, but before got truly dark, couldn't take pictures of all the dust..  Wonderful dust, from my "off roading adventure" in the RV.  It is EVERYWHERE.  Am sure will have to clean the air filter.

These pictures don't do the layers of dust justice, it was really think in some places and very fine.

Surprisingly not everywhere.....

Sunset pictures on day of Travel

One strange occurrence happened, not really strange but was odd.  When got to the first paved road stopped the RV to clean off the rear view camera.  Prior to this didn't see anyone behind me and had a little doubt whether more roads were blocked off.

Turns out there was this elderly couple, in a pickup truck, with a dirt bike on the back.  Said they were going riding off someplace.  Thing is, which is always possible, didn't really see dust and dirt on their pickup (with a dirt bike in back).  I need some of that dust repellant they used.

Got a feeling that I knew them from someplace, almost like they were my grandparents on my dad's side, which never knew.  Probably the desert heat made me feel like that.

Saw same truck/dirt bike next day leaving Pahrump being pulled by an RV.

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