May 4 - Blown into a Mountain Home

  • Move from Brigham City, UT. to Mountain Home, ID.
  • Route: I-84 all the way
  • Miles Today: 244
  • Total Spring12 bus-house miles :  2,059
  • Total Spring12 toad miles :  980
  • Tonight's camp: Mountain Home RV Park, Mountain Home, ID.  elevation 3,140
  • Weather: morning low: 55f  afternoon high?: 66f before dropping to 48f as cold front passed; Ran into wall of dust, water, ice, and wind near Glenn's Ferry, ID. as cold front and storms went through. Possible freeze tonight with snow.
  • Notables: 1. The power of storms  2. The comfort of finding refuge from the storm
  • Link to photo album for today.

(disclaimer: this is not the actual angry cloud... just a cheap
imitation ripped from the web)
Travels today were going along smoothly and without any concern. Dar drove most of the way. We had a few light showers as we neared the Utah-Idaho border, but it all dissipated quickly and the drive was mostly dry. We left Brigham City about 10am with the objective of making it as far as we could by late afternoon. There were no plans or reservations anywhere. It was fun carefree day of spontaneity and good times.

Until we changed drivers near Glenn's Ferry. I had no more than taken the helm and started rolling down the I-84 super-slab when the next thing I saw was an angry black wall of dust, rain, wind, and evil starring us in the face. What's this?

The weather folks had said things would be cooler than normal and "iffy" in the precipitation department for the next couple days... but no one said anything about this angry wall of blackness.

As I drove into the "wall", wind hit us on our nose... gusts of ?? 40mph... maybe 50mph???  Gusting. The bus-house shook, was blown this way... and then that way. I slowed to 30mph, switched on the 4 way flashers, and wondered how strong a gust it would take to knock a 30,000 pound motorhome off the highway. It felt we were just a plaything for the elements.

An exit.  I'm taking it, pull over on the ramp with the intention of waiting it out. The rain increases... big drops... then loaded with pellets of ice... then hard ice... hail. It smashes, loudly, into the roof, nose, and side of the bus-house. But then, after a couple minutes... it starts to subside.

Unable to identify the location or direction of the core of the storm, and since it seemed to be diminishing, I started out again... only to be hit with a second wave. This time I pulled over into the lee of a big hillside, behind a semi truck, and waited for that wave to pass. After a short while, it eased.

Starting out again we found the rain had eased but the wind was as relentless as ever. With the possible exception of an experience we had in New Mexico a few years ago, this was the strongest wind we've driven it. Barely maintaining the Interstate minimum speed of 45mph, we came up on the community of Mountain Home, ID. and took the exit. We found an RV park... a really nice RV park just a short distance from the highway, pulled in, and asked for mercy in finding a parking site for the night.

They did and that's where we are. Parked nose into the wind, plugged in for the night, and riding out the expected freezing temps and possible snow tonight. This is May isn't it?

Slightly Better than Most