Hurricane in Utah

We’ve been on the road for a month. The weather has been beautiful, and every day that wasn’t a driving day has been action-packed. A couple days ago I said, “I wish we would have a rainy day so that I can justify sitting around to color or read a book.” I had no idea I had the gift of prophecy, because the next day a leftover hurricane socked in the state of Utah. As I was writing this paragraph, rain was pattering on the roof of the RV, the dogs were snoozing on the floor and Ben was pacing, looking for something to do. About an hour later there was a break in the clouds, so we headed over to visit Red Canyon. It was lovely and we hiked about a mile before we noticed ominous black clouds starting to obscure the tops of the nearby mountains. We turned back and by the time we got back to the visitor center the rain was pelting us. That night, the hurricane hit the hills big time and rain pounded the RV all night. It kept Ben awake all night poor guy. I vaguely remember hearing it and reflecting how nice it was to be rained upon and not have to worry about getting wet from above or below, so I snoozed away. Our last morning at Bryce Canyon was gray, cold and dreary. We left our flooded campsite and turned south to Page, Arizona and Lake Powell, just at the Utah/Arizona border.

It was a robustly breezy drive to Lake Powell, but nothing difficult. We stopped briefly in Kanab for a mechanical issue, and headed on. The Virgin River and Kanab Creek were both swollen with water and red as tomato juice with silt. Flash flood warnings were posted in both Bryce and Zion, and the streets of Kanab were covered with red mud from floods the night before.

It’s amazing what a difference 150 miles and 4000 feet in elevation can make in the weather. By the time we arrived at Lake Powell, the sun was shining and a nice warm breeze was blowing across the sparkling water. I sat outside in my lounge chair with a glass of wine, then made dinner. Later we strolled around the area admiring the lake. Then the hurricane caught up with us. At about 7:30 the wind picked up–a lot. We battened down our outside furniture and the mats. The wind started to tear at the awnings, which we raised. Within minutes the wind out of the west became fierce, throwing the coach from side to side in a very alarming way.  We closed the slides on the west side of the coach, which helped considerably, but the RV still shook and groaned. The wind howled around the campground until well after midnight. Henry curled up in my lap which made typing a little awkward, but he wouldn’t be put down. Even Ryder who s generally unflappable hid in his crate. I relented in the “no dogs in bed” rule and Henry spent the night with us, alternately shivering and snoring under the covers.

The next morning we awoke to sparkling blue skies. Fellow campers emerged from their tin and nylon sanctuaries to share stories about what blew down, bent or was whisked away in the storm last night; a bonding experience for all of us. Later that morning, we got a text from new friends Gary and Terry, who had stayed on at Bryce Canyon for a couple more days. They had freezing rating and snow overnight, and their coach was so frozen that they weren’t able to close up their slides to drive on. Timing is everything in the successful nomadic lifestyle.

Even nearby trees were hard to see in the campground.
Red Canyon Hoo Doo
At Red Canyon. A tiny patch of blue gave us hope!
Gray clouds close in on the mountains. Time to head for cover.
Twinkies. Fuel for the captain on a rainy drive to a sunnier climate.

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