Borrego Springs, CA

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Got the crap scared out of me last night

In less than the blink of an eye, I went from deep sleep to total awareness last night at 3:17 a.m.  A wind blast hit the rig so strongly that I sat right up, and my hair was standing on end!  The two slides were moving in and out, and the sound was deafening.  I flew to the front of the rig to grab the keys to turn on the motor so I could pull in the slides.  I’ve never rearranged things so quickly to pull in the slides as I did last night.  Emma and I huddled together.  I thought the slide toppers were ripped off for sure.  That wind went on for what seemed like forever, and then the lightening, thunder and rain began.  We had a real windy downpour.

We survived with no damage to the rig, but I had to hunt for some of my outside furniture in the morning.  It seems everyone in the volunteer village has been up since the wee hours today.  I thought of going to the community building for safety, but wasn’t sure I’d be able to get the door on the rig open, and if I did I thought it might tear my arm out of its socket.  It was a scary four hours waiting for dawn.

_MG_5191By the afternoon, it had calmed down enough for me to give Roxanne and Annie a tour of the refuge.  We started out at the Skillern Tract.


Two locals set up fishing along the bayou.  There were about 2000 snow geese behind them honking away.  What a grand way to spend the afternoon.


Here’s a teenage snow goose going against the flow of the adults.  A rebel with a cause?


                            Found a pair of blue-winged teal in the marsh that had weathered the storm.


                                                         And a young white ibis on the overlook. 


The storm had stirred up a new hatch of thousands of insects, but at least they weren’t mosquitoes.  I hope my visitors enjoyed this quiet walk with nature along the trail.  We then headed to the main part of the refuge.

_MG_5199 _MG_5198

A slightly soggy adult red-tailed hawk was the highlight of the drive down those roads.  I was surprised to see it sit so still for us.  Guess it had a bad night too.  I just can’t imagine being out in the midst of that storm.

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy


  1. Sounds like a really scary night. Glad you made it through it safe and sound.

  2. Therein lies the problem with an RV..weather..Glad you and Emma are Ok, Whew!///Good job on the "heads up"..Sometimes those "safe" buildings, AKA shower houses, seem forever away...Stay safe...love your photos of the Hawk...

  3. Sounds pretty scary to me too.... Glad you are safe & sound!
    Have fun & Travel safe

  4. Thanks about my "eye."

    Do you remember the Brady Bunch? Jan Brady (the middle girl) was always jealous of Marcia because she got all the attention. A famous line was Marcia, Marcia, Marcia! So, when we see swamps, we say Marshy, Marshy, Marshy!

    See, I'm not so hard to understand ... HAR!

  5. Well, that was a rude awakening! Glad you are okay and no damage to the rig. Hope you are having a great time with the the folks from the Good Luck Duck. I bet they are fun to have around.

  6. I really hate being in the RV in a storm like that. I am scared spitless. So glad you made it without any damage to the rig, but your nerves may take a day or two to calm down. You should never have a dull moment with Roxanne and Annie around. Have a great time with them.

  7. Fabulous pictures of the hawk. Sounds like a really powerful storm. So glad you had no damaage. Those slide toppers are expensive to replace and easy to tear when a storm sneaks up like yours did. Hope you don't get sore laughing with those ducks.


  8. I've had a couple scares like that myself. It is always worse when the wind comes up in the middle of the night. Always more scary. We had an awning out once when we had a class A and I thought for sure we were going to roll over before we could get it down. We had a good rain with thunder and blitzen here near San Antonio but I woke up to bright sun and blue skies this morning. It was absolutely wonderful. I was beginning to think it was going to be cloudy and gray forever.


  9. Glad you're safe and the strong winds are gone. It is scary in an rv with such strong winds.
    Great hawk pics!!

  10. That hawk is looking right at you! I love his face. I think he disapproves of something, though.

  11. Hawk pictures are great.
    I have been in my rig in a storm like that to. Rocked pretty good that night. Glad all was well when it was over.

  12. Well, you had quite a night, Judy!

    It was so windy in Texas when I was there that we rocked and rolled for days. Poor Jack started to panic at one point and wanted out, but decided against it when I let him peek outside. It is scarier in the night because you can't see what is coming at you. After a few days, I decided the furthest I could get knocked over was a matter of feet and I swear one side of the trailer lifted up at one point. I felt it safer to stay put than to try to drive away from it, however.

    I also once was the only one camped in the campground at Coffee State Park GA in February when a tornado came through from Alabama (unusual time for a tornado-it destroyed a school in Alabama). The pups and I hid in the bathhouse all night. I had an aframe at the time and the wind opened it up and water poured in.

    Another time I was on Skidaway Island. The skies turned green, the sirens went off, and the rangers were warning people to take cover. I managed to get both dogs to the men's room which is where we stayed until danger had passed. I still laugh at a young man who came out of a stall and said to me, "Just so you know, I put the seat down for you."

  13. all is calm and all is bright in the morning!..great photos of your tour!!..glad there was no damage done to the rig!

  14. So the wind nearly blows your Adventurer away, yet all the birds are there the next morning without so much as a ruffled feather.

    What do birds know that we RVers don't?

  15. Glad there weren't any damages to your RV & ya'll too of course. My overhead cab flooded
    :-((( Now I have worse problems. This sucks, last nights storm brought water inside..

  16. So glad it was not more serious. That was an extremely scary night.

    We are watching news from Christchurch, New Zealand, where we have family. Fortunately everyone seems to be safe but they had several big earthquakes again this afternoon. Everyone is wondering when it will finish. 15 months and more than 9300 quakes. Many of them insignificant but at least 5 have caused serious damage.

    Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year with no rocking from wind or anything else.

    Anne and John New Zealand.

  17. Wow, glad you are ok. Slides going in and out, that would be so scary.

  18. Glad to hear you survived the rude awakening without any damage; as others have said, so scary when storms sneak up on us in the dead of night.

  19. Holy cow! Glad you survived without any serious damage. Your nerves will settled down in a day or two. Great photos, as usual, especially of that hawk. About that young snow goose--kinda sounds like a typical teenager regardless of species.

  20. scary start to the day but some great birds and wonderful photos.


  21. I noticed the weather forecast yesterday showing you were going to be in a tornado watch area, so I was a bit concerned about about you. Glad to hear you all survived the storms okay. Those winter cold fronts bringing tornados are the main reason we did't like living in south Georgia... too scary.

    Do you have a weather radio? I always prefer to know ahead of time.

  22. Sure can identify with thinking everything is going to be torn right off the rig. More than once I have stepped out of the rig expecting to see the vent covers and solar panels ripped off. Nice detail, lighting, and composition in the bird photos:))

  23. Gracious. I am often amazed when in heavy winds that the slide toppers do not rip, etc. So far no damage. But I can imagine how you felt. Scary.

    Love the Snow Geese. We have lots in this area during this time of year. Some even winter over. Saw a large gathering yesterday in a corn field. Must have been thousands.

  24. Glad you and Emma came away with only rattled nerves. Quick thinking on the slides, now you'll just have to put straps on smaller stuff so if you have to move stuff again in a hurry Emma can grab the straps and full stuff out of the way for you !
    When we had cornfields behind us we had a ton of redtail hawks,..good mouse hunting after harvest. One time one was hauling tail down our driveway, ahead of him was a squirrel beating feet as fast as he could, squirrel ran up a tree next to our out building jumped onto the roof of the building and you could see a visible sigh of relief...whew I made it...silly squirrel....he learned real quick hawks can fly
    at any height...and the race was on again.
    Merry Christmas to you and Emma

  25. As full-timer we can control a lot of things but weather is not one of them. Did you ever find out how strong the winds were. We have been in winds as high as 70 mph and would not want anything stronger. Glad you made it through safe.

  26. That is SO scary! Glad you are ok and the rig is ok....May you have a much less eventful Christmas holiday! Merry Christmas to you and Emma! PS. do you have a storm radio? We have one but never have it out and on, how dumb is THAT? I think we'll get it back out when we get into more unpredictable climates after hearing your story!

  27. Whew - glad you were able to hold on tight. Love the pictures.

    Your story reminded me of the sub-tropical system that rolled over us when we were tent-camping in the Everglades over one New Year's eve. By morning, everything was soaked with salt water and about 10 yards or more from where it was located pre-storm, including the tent with us in it!

    Be safe and be well.

  28. TORNADO WATCH??? Holy guacamole, I'm glad I didn't know that. Or something. And, Paul and Marti, a couple of Ducks were very, very ruffled.

  29. I'm so glad to hear you came through safely. The adrenaline charge will eventually fade. :)

    We check the weather report at least once a day and turn our weather radio on when things look like they might get scary. But we still got caught in 70 mph winds at Q. That's when we had the 24' motorhome. Every time the wind changed direction we turned the rig trying to keep it facing into the wind. I NEVER want to do that again!

  30. Sure can understand your anxiety over the wind and storm. We had to replace a slide topper last season due to strong winds in the night before I could bring our slide in. Your Red-Tailed Hawk photos are wonderful! He/She is a magnificent creature!


  31. So glad that you and the rig are safe. That is one of the things that scares me about this lifestyle. Hope that you have a Merry Christmas.