Roughing It In Wellton
Just before leaving Pioche, Nevada, I double-checked the mileage of the planned run to Parker, Arizona and wondered what I’d been thinking. Way too long, so I cranked the first leg back to Searchlight, Nevada for a more manageable trip of 234 miles, which would take 4 hours of drive time. I have to say, that southern leg of Route 93 is beauticious drive, and I was passing one “scenic trail” and state park after another before hitting Las Vegas. Also, some lakes for fishing. The state parks didn’t tempt me much, but the lakes and “high clearance” trails did. I’ll have to come back this way once I shed the mighty Defiant.
Searchlight is a sparse little mini-village, consisting mostly of very small casinos, a couple of gas stations, and a McDonalds fast food joint. I looked at one truck parking lot and it had an unexpected slope to deal with. Option #2 was a simple, wide-open gravel lot that was huge and lumpy in spots, but very workable if you stayed in those right spots. No one else was there through sunset, though a 40′ motorhome with toad pulled in, in the dark. Guess where they chose to park? Yep, alongside and about 8′ away. Circle the wagons, pioneers. I could hear the wife cooing baby-talk to what I presumed was a mutt, but the mutt was thankfully silent the entire time. Just watch for poop bombs during the morning walkaround for departure.
From there, the run to Wellton, Arizona, my final stop, was some 247 miles, with forecast temps in the 90s for a few days. That was 4-1/2 hours of predicted drive time. Apart from a passing dually pickup truck driver blasting past when a motorcyclist was nearly up in the approaching lane, it was uneventful. Rolling pavement area, in a no-passing zone. Being the macho type, he stayed in it rather than back down, so once I determined that he preferred to do a head-on with a biker rather than admit an error and get back, I hit the binders firmly to rush him up front, but an honest 16,000 pounds can only slow so quickly. The biker had to hit his brakes as well, and was nearly stopped near the shoulder as the pickup finally scooted back over and past him at somewhere not much over 70. His truck lacked the power to climb rapidly up past my 60. While the motorcycle driver offered the bird to the offending party, I noticed a full-dress big motorcycle strapped down in his pickup’s bed. Now and then, the Darwin Effect reverses.
I reached Pioneer RV Park in Wellton at about 1:30 local time, the distance east from Yuma being about 18 miles. Interstate 8 gets real interesting briefly in that span, winding up, down and around some hills at a 45 MPH limit, and that’s just after the check station where military men with dogs check for drugs and illegals smuggled in. They know how to read faces, so if you have that Gomer Pyle look as I do, they just wave you past. They did sideline a Greyhound bus in front of me, but that’s probably normal procedure, to check luggage bays.
The decadence of the Pioneer facility was more posh than I expected, disappointment being more the norm when trying to pre-evaluate places online. Got my own mailbox in a mailroom, a $1.50 laundromat, rec hall with stage, amps, long tables, card tables, two – count ’em, two – free pool tables and WiFi, a rather fancy-looking ce-ment pond with showers, and a gathering area near some polished shuffleboards, with very plush upholstered outdoor chairs. My site has water, sewer, power, and more cable channels than you can shake a stick at. Of course, most of those channels are useless pap, but just keep surfing. By the time I got the hookups going, got the panels out of the trailer and up to get them out of the way, straightened an electric quirk out in the Defiant, redistributed the innards so I could sit down and try to re-hydrate, got the windows and vents wide-open, and auto-programmed the TV for whatever was available, I stumbled on a NASCAR race where retiring driver Jeff Gordon had just won Martinsville, and they were two minutes from signing off. Dang.
I took it easy today, and will begin a chain of events tomorrow, when the heat should revert to the more seasonal 70s for awhile. The key event will be checking out the nature of that WiFi signal in the “library”. I gots an operating system update to do for the laptop that measures some 6GB(!), not including some program updates that should be sizable. Any WiFi signal for that kind of update needs to be reasonably fast, but mostly steady. A wobbly signal can leave you without an operable device, and power outlets are needed since the download and installation may take a good long while. There also seems to be a slight chance that I may be able to use my Hawking directional antenna to pull a usable signal all the way from the library to the trailer. Maybe. Casual use only, of course. Pictures later, but hey, it’s just an RV park, albeit an unexpectedly comfortable one.