Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Only a fool would be on this road under these conditions!

Sunday, May 21
Before the night was over, I was extremely sorry that I decided to move to Fenton Lake State Park instead of waiting until morning. First off, I got a fairly late start, stopped in Espanola to access Internet to pickup email and post to my blog. It was nearly 6 p.m. when I continued my drive.

Having to ask for directions in Los Alamos because the highway I needed was “missing” took precious time. By the time I turned onto NM road 126, the access to Fenton Lake, it was getting dark, and rain started. Next I saw a sign saying the dirt road was under construction and not recommended for things such as motorhomes. I waved down a vehicle that was coming from that road and was assured that I was near Fenton Lake, and the road was passable. I drove on.

Between the increasing darkness, the rain and all the heavy road-building equipment parked along the road, I did not see the park sign. By the time I realized I had passed it, there was no safe place to turn around on this narrow, wet, slippery, muddy road. I had no choice but to continue – very slowly. Not only was the road too narrow to turn around, there was no safe place to pull off the road. Being in the mountains, the road was very hilly and had hairpin curves. Most of the time I was only going 5 or less miles/hour. To keep myself as calm as possible, I was praying and singing hymns!

By 9 p.m., it was dark and still raining, and I was tired and stressed to the max. And I was scared. This made continuing on impossible to me. I had been sliding around on the road; usually there was a drop-off on one side and a muddy trench on the other. Even the muddy ruts made by other four-wheeled vehicles were a problem – my dual back wheels couldn’t simply stay in the ruts.

The road at this part was part of the intersection with Forest Road 20, so it was a bit wider. Not the best place to spend the night, but I had to. It was still raining. I parked, had a glass of wine, cheese and crackers, and tried to sleep. I did – sort of.

When morning came, I continued on my way. It has stopped raining, but the mountain road was still extremely slippery. More 5-mph driving. It took just over one hour to reach paved road. All I wanted was to go home; and that’s what I did. Needless to say, I was tired. And I was feeling blessed to be safely home. Thank you, Lord.

So my four-park adventure turned into just a three-park one.

My next trips will be via Amtrak on June 3 to the San Diego area for granddaughter Danielle Pray’s high school graduation, and then via airplane on June 25 to Indiana for granddaughter Melody Titcomb’s wedding to Derrick Cottrell. My next blog entries will have graduation and wedding photos.

Thanks for 'traveling' with me via this blog!