4/9/2011 – Day Three – Lake Havasu City, Arizona

After a rain scattered night, we awoke to more sunshine with clouds around all the edges of the horizon.  We had coffee and breakfast, cleaned and stowed everything, and with the sun so bright we opened the trailer’s windows and sun roof to let the fresh air in.

Then, since we had heard there was a big hydrofoil boat race taking place on the lake, we walked about 1/2 a mile to the staging area.  It was filled with an amazing assortment of giant, powerful racing boats accompanied by huge semi-rigs emblazoned with the boat names and sponsor logos.  A large crane at the water’s edge systematically picked up each boat and gently placed in in the water by the dock.

Diana and I noticed a large storm to the west which was obviously dropping a lot of rain.   Then we got distracted with all the commotion of boats, people and cranes.  The race was scheduled to start at noon, but was delayed for some reason.  All the boats were far away across the lake and it was hard to tell when and if the race had started untill we heard the distant thunder of the racing machines at full throttle and saw the rooster tail sprays of water  behind them.

The race was scheduled to be 60 miles so we settled in to watch.  As the boats past by us on the first lap, a slight sprinkle of raindrops hit us and we walked away from the water’s edge and up under some small, covered picnic tables.  By the second lap, the rain was coming down more heavily, and before the third lap had finished, after a huge flash of lightning and clap of thunder, the race was stopped.

As we huddled under our small shelter, trying not to get wet, it slowly dawned on us that we had left the trailer completely unprotected from the weather, except for that big canopy overhead.  Did I mention that as the rain descended, the wind blew more and more stongly, with fairly intense gusts?  Well, it did.

At this point, had we decided to walk/run back to our campsite, we would have been drenched.  So we just stayed under the shelter, which we shared with several other people, all of us doing our best to stay relatively dry.  After more than 1/2 an hour, the rain slacked off, and we hustled our way back to camp.

As we crested a little hill and looked down on our camp we saw the mangled remains of our $236, almost new canopy, flipped upside down and broken over the picnic table beside our teardrop.  Pieces of aircraft grade aluminum were bent and twisted, some snapped in half, and the canopy itself was holding perhaps two or more gallons of water.

Our attention turned to the trailer itself.  The outside looked fine.  The gust of wind the presented the coup de grace to our canopy had evidently lifted it completely clear of the trailer itself.  The inside was another matter.

All of our bedding was soaking wet.  The sleeping bag, the blanket and sheets, even the memory foam mattress was wet.  Very wet.  EXTREMELY WET!

We ripped all the bedding off, rolled it up and threw it in the back of the Subaru.  Then we headed for the nearest laundromat where we spent the next couple of hours watching our bed clothes ride around and around, slowly getting dry.  After what seemed like forever, they were dry and we stopped at Chili’s on the way back to treat ourselves to a very delayed lunch/supper.

Getting back to camp, we reassembled our bed, and feeling very tired, went to sleep soon thereafter.

Lesson:  ALWAYS pay attention to the weather — especially in the desert when a freak Alaskan storm has been roaming around for the last several days.  When you see a storm that doesn’t look like it’s moving left or right, that probably means it is coming straight at you and you better make sure all your hatches are battened down.  Oh, and just because it is sunny in the morning, don’t leave all your windows open if you’re going to walk away.

Lesson learned…

Diana’s Remarks:  Just exactly how old and how experienced are we?  Evidently we are entering our second childhood.  A ranger told us later that every event but one had been  rained out at Lake Havasu this year.  But that is no excuse.  No dog ate our homework.

Poor Dead Canopy

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2 Responses to 4/9/2011 – Day Three – Lake Havasu City, Arizona

  1. Ken says:

    Hey Guys!

    Sorry to hear you’ve gotten off to a rocky start, it can only go up from here right!
    Hoping all will be dry for the rest of the trip. Look into next week possible weather
    here, check it out for where you’ll be.

    Missing you both but hope despite the weather you are having a good time.

    Love you,
    Ken & Corinne

  2. kit says:

    Ah-ha. The aforementioned adventures. 10:1 REI will let you return that canopy. In case you haven’t tried already.

    What am I missing about the trailer? Isn’t it weatherproof?

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