Leaving Las Vegas

Last Friday I experienced the worst weather I’ve encountered since hitting the road 2.5 years ago. There was a wind advisory for Vegas, but I had been through high winds before, up to 40-50 mph, so I thought I was prepared. Let’s see- some windows open to reduce side wall pressure- check. Straps to secure the bed end walls- check. Well, that’s about the extant of my wind prep.

So the afternoon brought the expected winds- 20-30 with gusts up to 50 out of the north. It lasted a few hours but I was unscathed. Still, it’s unnerving to be in a trailer during high winds. Gives new meaning to the phrase ‘Don’t come knockin’ when the trailers rockin”!

The winds subside so I take the opportunity to take the cat for a walk. We’re out for about 15 minutes when the temperature drops about 10 degrees, the skies darken, and the wind shifts almost 180 degrees and starts picking up. We hightail it back to the trailer just in time. Now the winds hit me broadside, 30-50 mph with gusts that hit 70! I actually feared that the trailer would be torn apart. And it lasted without let-up for nine hours.

After midnight, it died down so I was able to get some sleep. But I was awoken at 6:30 by the wind howling again. Another high wind storm that lasted about six hours.

There was some damage to the trailer, mostly minor except that one of the door hinges was bent. Now the door doesn’t close properly because it’s off kilter. It’s screwed to the wall frame but pop riveted to the door. I’m trying to devise a work- around because I’m getting a new trailer later this year.

So after that weekend, I was prepared to get moving. A couple of weeks ago, I had the brilliant idea of asking my summer employer wheather there was any work availabe before the restaurant openes. She said I could help get the park ready for the summer and could come by April 4. So that worked out.

On Tuesdfay, I spent the usual three hours getting packed and hitched, then drove six hours to the mountains of northern Arizona to Happy Jack. I got marginally set up and got some sleep, starting the next morning at the new job. Here’s a photo of the view from my site:

Happy Jack, Arizona
The restaurant doesn’t open until the middle of May. It will be open Friday dinner through Sunday breakfast. I’m to get about 28 hours a week and I asked to work outside the kitchen for additional hours (gotta pay for that new trailer, you know). So my first three days here was spent working in the office, learning the Campground Manager reservation software. It’s not an intuitive design, but I’m feeling pretty comfortable with it. I just don’t want to put too many hours into that job, though. I’d rather work outside for the additional hours, but we’ll see.

There is a Verizon tower on the property, so I get a great 4G LTE signal and I pick up NPR form Flagstff, 50 miles away. And there’s great mushroom picking in the national forest surrounding me, so I’m going to give that a try when the season arrives.

I’ll be doing some painting and staining this week, but don’t know my schedule yet. The plan is to update the blog once a week, since it doesn’t look like I’ll be getting overtime this summer, unlike the 50-60 hour weeks of last summer. But it does mean I’ll be able to spend more time hiking and photographing the area.


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