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Called An Audible

Now I know lots of folks don’t like sports metaphors but, like I have blogged about before, they simply work sometimes

For my escape out of Eugene and travel south, a sports metaphor seemed appropriate

As I blogged about previously, Brutus blew threw through with a vengeance over my intended route over to the very scenic Highway 395 – a journey that’s been on my bucket list but was very hopeful things would work out despite the weather.

I even added a day to my stay in Eugene just to allow some warmer temperatures and sun breaks – yup – some were forecast – to work some magic on the ice and snow that reportedly was down to the 2,000 foot elevations

So, during my additional day, I spent a lot of time checking out DOT sites and other sources for good intell for routes of travel and conditions

Best I could make out was my possible state highway routes over the passes were subject to some risk of “packed snow” or “icy patches

With the travel advisories still in place all I could hope for was sunny skies and warmer temps to break things up

Should have remembered the often stated notion – hope is not a strategy…

And, when the sunny AM skies didn’t materialize over Eugene and the trek down I-5 started in the rain I was not too optimistic but tried to be hopeful nonetheless

Decided to see what things looked like in Medford OR where the east versus south decision needed to be made

Summits at 2,000 feet on my route south were clear – a good sign – but I could see clearly the snow belt started at just below 4,000 feet in this part of the world– the elevations of the state roads over the mountains. And, as I passed over one summit at just over 2,000 feet I did see some snow flurries – and, during a refueling stop saw “snow showers” on the Weather Channel site over my route

So, called the audible – trashed the carefully documented planning of the last few days and decided to play it safe. I would head south instead on I-5 through California –

had let hope get the better of me and had no good plans in place but needed to play it safe –

had written in the last post … Fairly certain I’ll still get a good dose of 395 before I get down to the desert – my goal now for Thanksgiving

got a little ahead of myself I guess…

Now, I have to admit I hesitated for a minute. I have, however, learned the hard way – driving a high profile, 32,000 # beast can be problematic sometimes – learned that in the 5 inch per hour deluge with nearby tornadoes in Texas; learned it on the extremely high wind stretch of Interstate in Wyoming. So, didn’t need a lesson on snow and ice over mountain passes – no sir’ee 🙂

And, I was no sooner through Medford, OR when I was climbing a pass over 4,000 feet – and, yup – plenty of white stuff on the side of the road…and, tons of sand everywhere – signs of how heavily this Interstate pass has been carefully handled by Oregon DOT – probably explains why travel advisories were still up on the state routes – the services simply may not be as available on those routes as they are on the more heavily traveled interstates – so the audible call looked like the correct one.

However, I have to admit to some disappointment, even frustration, at the delays that cost me a run down 395.

I know some were self inflicted due to extended stays in places like the Grand Canyon, Ouray CO and elsewhere which put me at this place; while others were due to Mr Murphy who travels along with RV’ers sometimes and results in things like the repair/paint guy getting the flu and delaying me in Eugene

But, one simply has to go with the flow sometimes and enjoy what is offered up

Now that my decision was made I actually found I was relaxed while driving instead of looking tensely at the snow covered hills – they actually looked nice now and not a menace 🙂

“If things start happening, don’t worry, don’t stew, just go right along and you’ll start happening too.”
― Dr. Seuss

And, the run into this northern most stretch was actually quite nice – the scenery was simply stunning…and, uncharacteristically for CA roads, this stretch of I-5 is virtually flawless with only a couple of exceptions – even long sections of nice smooth new pavement

So, while I drive so as to make good time south, the Reluctant RV’er in Atlanta is recruited to map out some options – first stop Redding, CA

The Reluctant One had found a nice RV campground just off the interstate – after a long and stressful day behind the wheel, I decided to hold up in Redding and plot the next couple of days and more importantly let the last of the weather blow through– had very little idea what the audible would lead to

Of course, the decision to spend an extra 24 hours in Redding would result in a long haul trucker kind of day – 8-plus hours – something I don’t like to do but have done before and am OK with a long day behind the wheel – just to make time through to Bakersfield, CA which would put me in striking distance of the desert

remembered that other RV bloggers had passed this way too – checked a couple of sites – and Nina, at Wheeling It, who I have mentioned before and who generously shares RV campground reviews and info – once again was the source for my next stop…

When life deals you lemons you make lemonade – or – in this case orange juice –stopped overnight at Orange Grove RV Park based on Nina’s review – only stayed the night but could see this is a very good stopover for a California journey if one cannot run up the Eastern Sierra’s –

Got a good nights sleep and prepped for my last I-5 run – Like I have mentioned before, trying to keep it all in perspective…

Brutus was not going to completely alter my outlook on life

It will be a long 3 days of driving to make up lost time and to get to the desert to meet the Reluctant One for the often changed Thanksgiving holiday plans but sometimes you just have to call the audible and change things at the line of scrimmage

More as always to follow…take care…see you down the road….

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