Leaving Oliver Lee Memorial State Park, we headed down to I-10. This brought us to our first DHS inspection station.
Upon reaching Lordsburg we branched off onto US 70. US 70 is a two lane road which had very little traffic today. We like to avoid interstates as much as possible, as we prefer to travel the roads less travelled. We seem to see much more this way.
And this route was truly enjoyable, even though we did run into some rain.
And then snow.
But the beautiful scenery just kept coming
We even saw our first sagauro.
We use a Garmin Dezl 560 to direct us in our travels. It’s a GPS meant for truckers. We like this as it helps keep us on roads that we know we’ll fit on. One shortcoming of any GPS though is making sure that the roads they expect you to use are actually roads and that they actually go where the GPS thinks they go. Our practice when going to state parks is to check the directions on the state park’s website to ensure that we’re taking the proper route.
Once we got closer to Lost Dutchman, I had Mary pull up the directions from the website again. Not surprisingly, they differed from those that Garminita wished us to take. We do what the state park tells to do, turn here.
Garminita immediately started warning me,, Trucks are NOT allowed on this road. No problem… we’re not technically a truck. It’s just a residential road, nicely paved and more than wide enough for us and a few other cars at the same time. So… I’m going to ignore her. Here’s a hint, ignore a woman at your peril.
A few miles down came the roadsign,Pavement Ends. Well,ok. Garminita is now yelling at me… Turn here… turn around… you’re not allowed here…. This isn’t a good idea… So, I double check the directions (look, a guy who asks for directions), check the map on the GPS, the road goes through. This isn’t a problem, we’ll just go slow. I grew up in rural Texas and have nothing against driving down a dirt road. The road was now narrow enough that turning around would have been rather interesting and I’m not planning on backing this rig up for several miles. The road is fairly smooth, I’m going on my way. Garminita continues to berate me, but at least she has a nice Australian accent so I’m good.
Remember that rain we hit earlier in the day? We found out later that it had come through this area as well, dumping 1.5 inches. So, after a couple more miles, the dirt turned into mud. Still not bad, messy but not bad. Then… we headed downhill and it turned into goop. There was now not enough room to turn even the truck around, much less the Airstream. My other option is to back this rig up a muddy hill. That ain’t going to happen.
Well, I’m a country boy.
- 4×4 mode engaged. Check!
- Windows closed. Check!
- Mudding face on. Check!
- Garminita crowing, “I told you so!” ummmm… Check…..
I knew as long as I was able to keep going, I should make it through this section. If I stop, I’m sunk, literally…
So hit the gas, just not too much, and keep going. Over 19,000 lbs of Dodge and Airstream throwing mud everywhere. I just kept us going at about 10 mph, slogging through it while wondering:
- Would roadside assistance cover this?
- Would Mary make my death look accidental for insurance purposes or would it be quick and messy?
Oh look. Here comes a Jeep Wrangler heading the other way throwing up four rooster tails of mud. The look on his face was priceless. And no, I don’t have pictures of this feat. Mary was too busy clutching her seat while doing her best Ricky Ricardo imitation.
It was a gamble, one that could have cost us a fair amount in towing fees if I buried us, and certainly not something I would recommend anyone else try (nor would I want to do it again), but we made it through without any problems.
I’m not sure when I’ll be able to wash all this off, but at least the mud is red, so it fits the redneck in me.
After we arrived at the park, I took a closer look at the directions that Mary had pulled up from the state park. It turns out that they got the directions from Google Maps…. no better, and arguably worse than the GPS was giving us.
Some days you just can’t win.