After a day of rain, the sun is shining once again and the wind is blowing. I have been thinking about the wind. A gentle breeze is delightful. A 20-40 mph gust is another story, especially when I am driving a high clearance vehicle. There was one moment last summer as I was driving toward Little Rock when a gust crossed the highway ahead of a thunderstorm. It was strong and every driver slowed down. Soon the others were back up to speed but I crept along in the slow lane until I was sure I was OK.
It is not unusual when the Santa Ana winds blow in southern California that the freeways east of San Diego are closed to high clearance vehicles. I once found myself stuck in Julian (4000 ft) with a tour group that was planning to see the desert wildflowers. The wind was blowing so strong that even my driver was nervous. We could not get off the hill and spent a pleasant day in this wonderful town in the hills. my guests were not totally happy yet they understood and went off to explore. The Santa Ana winds can gust up to 70 mph.
I know that the mid-westerners in this group understand windy conditions with tornadoes. I know that I planned alternate routes when I traveled last summer. I decided before I left that I was not going anywhere near bad weather. The problem with tornadoes is that they don’t always announce themselves. I made sure to keep track of the weather. Fortunately I did not have to change my plans.
What does one do when you are driving a high clearance vehicle like my Roadtrek SS Agile when the winds pick up? I have decided there are a few options for me.
1. If the wind is super strong and I am camping, I am staying put. There is no where that is so important for me to get to, that I cannot wait a day.
2. If I am driving and I find I am “white knuckling it”, it might be time to pull over and stop, of course, when it is convenient and safe to do so. I have found some great little towns and coffee houses using this technique.
3. Slow down. I found that when the winds were blowing if I slowed down it was easier to drive and heck I am on holiday so, what’s the hurry?
4. Keep an eye to the horizon. If it looks like “weather” turn on the radio and catch the latest news.
5. When camping I try to find a place that has a natural windbreak (trees, rocks).
I admit, I am someone who loves the wind. I have done some foolish things in wind when I was younger (we won’t go into that here). I respect nature and now that I drive my RT, I pay more attention to keeping myself and my vehicle safe and continue to enjoy the small RV lifestyle.
What do you do when the wind blows?