Colleen’s travel journal–an entry

As I hunker down in New York City, Colleen Boe, a single woman from British Columbia, Canada, is back on the road. I met Colleen last winter in an RV park in southern California. As we are among very few solo female travelers, we immediately swapped notes and addresses. Here’s a recent entry from her travel journal as she heads south for the winter.

Colleen and her rig

I’ve been on the road for six days now, and it’s all coming back–as well as some lessons learned from last year: Pad the wall side of the bed (formerly the dinette) with blankets to keep out the cold. Blankets also come in handy as spares in the event of a really cold spell! Position the little $14 heater by the bathroom door, which I leave open so I don’t freeze my a__ off in the middle of the night. Cheap carpet runners on the floor so my feet don’t freeze when getting up. Go for the gusto and pay to have electrical hookups in cold weather! Do you get the feeling I’m travelling in chilly weather? Well, coming from British Columbia would explain part of it.

The first night on the road I did the smart thing and went to an RV park (Silver Ridge Ranch) in some little Washington town called Easton, up in the mountains. Twenty dollars for full hook-ups. Didn’t make it as far as I’d planned, but I was cold and tired and just wanted PLUG-INS! Bought some ready-made clam chowder and cornbread @ Safeway, and that was supper. Paris (the dog) is pretty tired… naps for her today. She sits behind the passenger seat so she can keep me in her sights in case I bail out. Customs guy was just as snippy as the one last year. He said, “I want to know how long YOU are going to be in MY country!!” Everyone else I met today was super friendly.

Funny thing….two different Safeway stores were advertising flu shots AND shingles vaccines! Must be an epidemic.

Warm and cozy last night, but I was out of propane in the morning. I guess the tank was lower than I thought. Oh well, this is the shake in shakedown. Luckily, there was a coffeeshop within walking distance. Cornbread and cheese for breakfast!

Wednesday afternoon–connected with friends in Pendleton after another lovely day of sunny driving. Arrived at the casino in a major windstorm and it hasn’t let up. B&L (the friends) can’t put their slides out. Surprisingly, Paris is quite calm. Guess she’s just glad to be inside. May be a sleepless night for me, though. The casino food was top rate as usual, and I overstuffed myself. (Burp.)

Sometime in the night the wind died down. Up and on the road in the morning. The snow that was forecast didn’t arrive, but by the time we reached Idaho, we’d travelled 300 miles under threatening skies and lots of wind. Nestled down in a nice little RV park near the Snake River in Glenn’s Ferry. Has all the amenities for $12 a night. Beautiful country and many historic places: Oregon Trail, Lewis & Clarke, Evil Knievel. Cheap fuel, cheap food, cheap liquor…..I love the USA!

I could stay a few days but my friends are pushing onward for Ely, Nevada, tomorrow– trying to outrun the snow. Last night I decided it was time to part company with B&L and do my own trip. I realized (again, since last year) that we have different travelling personalities. They wanna “get to the warm place” as quickly as possible, and I want to amble along, sightsee, stop and have a nap when required, and grab an RV park when I’ve had enough of driving–maybe having travelled only 200 miles.

I thought going through Utah looked more interesting (and slightly warmer) than going through Nevada on a long lonesome highway with almost no little towns to break up the monotony.

So tonight my friends are in Ely, Nevada, in the snow and temperatures of 15 degrees. I am in Brigham City with flurries forecast tomorrow. If it’s too nasty to travel I’ll stay here until spring!

This town, like most others, is in quite a slump. Housing prices are very low. I met a couple from California who are here to buy one. Meanwhile, the Mormons are building a new temple.

Saturday I awoke to blue skies and a couple of inches of snow on the ground.m.. Got on the road around 10a.m., and although the country had received a lovely dusting of snow, the roads were bare and dry. They must heat them or something.

Going through Salt Lake City  was just about as bad as driving through Los Angeles–some tall buildings in the distance, which I guess was the city, but all I saw were several lanes of freeway for many, many miles. And then, just when things were beginning to thin out, there was road construction for about 40 miles. Apparently, they’re putting in more lanes. The only good thing about that drive was the fact that S.L.C. is nestled at the bottom of the Wasatch Mountains, and they were “right there” covered in snow to the valley floor. Magnificent!

I exited the freeway (I-15) at Nephi, just south of Provo, and took the scenic route. Quaint little towns along the way and so many horses in Utah. Some of the horses are just on the range and look like they could use a little TLC. About two miles into my scenic drive I came across a very large dead buck (or maybe an elk….I looked away) with a huge rack. And it was right after a sign that warned of this road being a migratory crossing for the animals. What a waste. I love road trips but can’t stand the roadkill….even the rabbits and squirrels.

Tonight I am at a deserted KOA camp in Richfield, Utah. No staff here but very well-kept grounds, and you leave your $20 in an envelope. The only thing they don’t have is wi-fi, so I guess I’ll send this from somewhere tomorrow. I plan on continuing on the scenic route as the sights are beautiful and I have a feeling I’m just getting into them. There’s hardly any traffic at all. Of course the weather is the determining factor but I would really like to head south to Scottsdale through Flagstaff instead of Vegas. Weather report from B&L in Ely. This morning was 5 degrees!! It’s chilly here but not anywhere near that! Clocks go back tonite!

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2 Responses to Colleen’s travel journal–an entry

  1. David Grover 13 December, 2011 at 4:37 pm #

    Sounds like a great adventure out there on the road. Now I want to buy an RV too! 😀

    • Kate Convissor 13 December, 2011 at 7:33 pm #

      It’s a totally awesome adventure on the road. RVs come in all shapes and sizes, so think about it! They give you all sorts of flexibility, so you can stay comfortably in remote places for long periods of time.
      I started a sporadic series to encourage women to consider solo RVing. Here’s the first in the series with links to other helpful resources. Eventually, I plan to compile it all in Girlfriend Guides series. Here’s the link to the first one: