Update: once again, this is a retroactive post. I had opportunities to get this up, but was too busy driving or navigating to worry about it. Pretend this post appeared at 7am MST today.
Minnesota, North Dakota, and Montana have passed under the tires of the RV since my last post. We’re stopped at a Flying J for a gas / bathroom / stretch break (1 hr).
So. Let’s talk about the Rockies, shall we? I never thought they’d be easy, and indeed was more than somewhat concerned that we would be forced to fall out of the CCST. That said, there’s a difference between knowing a thing is going to be difficult and doing a thing that is difficult.
These goddamned things have their own time zone.
I already told you we’re in Idaho, so I guess the secret’s out that we made it. We lost sight of the caravan pretty early, radio contact not long after, and were without both for about an hour. One thing that did surprise me was that going up was the easy part – cruising down off the last part of the range was downright terrifying. Our visibility can’t have been more than 100 feet and felt more like thirty. Every curve was preceded by a sign denoting “45 MPH” with an accompanying image of a box truck tilted up on two wheels. It doesn’t take much imagination to see it rolling off the cliff the sign is buried in.
If my experience (the last half or so of the Rockies) is any indication, the RV handles a lot like one of those trucks. We had to bring it down to near 45 on most of those turns to avoid tipping over. Even then, I was taking advantage of the fact that nobody else wanted to cross the Rockies at 4 in the morning, and broadening my turns through both lanes.
I was constantly trying to balance speed with safety. Because I prioritized the latter, we didn’t catch up with the main group of the CCST for probably forty minutes after clearing the steepest part of the mountain range, during which time they were all graciously travelling about five under the speed limit, keeping an eye out for us.
We pulled into the Flying J in Post Falls, ID at around 6:30am and I thankfully handed off the reins to Robert.
Two more stops…