Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things that escape those who only dream at night. - Edgar Allan Poe

Why does it have to rain sooooooo much? Why, AZ

whysign

The rain hammered us all night long. I woke up a number of times, and imagined the pool growing around us, and up the side of our trailer. “By now it’s probably at the second step.” my imagination needled me.

Then the next wake-up, “Probably at the top step now.” I assuaged my fears, thinking as long as it wasn’t rushing in through the door, we were still okay. I figured, if I could just sleep, I could ignore the dangerous situation we might be in until we needed to evacuate – at least I’d be well rested.

hillside

My bigger worry was that a river would be running underneath us and it would eat away at the dirt under one or more of our supports and we’d all of a sudden fall down into the mud. I know Harold told me that wasn’t going to happen, but how did he really know that? I don’t think he has the imagination I do and it’s not like he’s lived out here.

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I noticed, the night before, that our spot was just dirt, that there wasn’t much gravel like the other spots. I have memories of boondocking out at Stave Lake when I was nine months pregnant and being shin deep in muck because the rain just wouldn’t stop coming, and that was in BC where rain is a regular thing. The ground swallows it up, knows what to do with it. Out here, the ground is dry and cracked, and the rain cascades over it, causing flash floods to go careening through areas and take out roads.

campsite

I’d been pretty sure the ground we were parked on last night was just dirt, but now I could see that there was gravel too. The rain had washed away the layer of dirt covering the pebbles. Perhaps they might just be prepared for these torrential downpours here.The next morning the rain let up. I opened the door, fully expecting to see a huge lake of water surrounding us – at the very least we’d be in the middle of a mud pit. The skies were very overcast and there was a rolling fog around us, so we couldn’t see very far into the distance, but to my amazement, there were just normal size puddles around us.

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After breakfast and a walk out in the desert with the dogs, we got in the truck and headed down to Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. I hoped that the day would clear up. That’s what you hear about the desert – it rains really hard but only for a short period. It was foggy but dry right up to the immigration checkpoint. We stopped just past there to get a photo of the Monument entrance sign, and it was still fine.

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A couple of miles down the road, the rain started again. With every mile we drove south, the rain got worse. We were only a few miles south of the checkpoint, when the rain started really hammering us. The windshield wipers could barely keep up.

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Ahead of us, a bank at the side of the road broke open, and a river cascaded across the road where a truck was driving down into a dip. We drove through one, and then another, and it looked like it was only getting worse.

flashflood

I started thinking about the dogs, whom we’d left behind in the trailer. What if we got cut off from them and couldn’t get back today? What if we got sucked down into one of those rivers taking over the road and we wrecked our truck? Funny, I wasn’t really thinking it might be dangerous to us. I was thinking about it being an inconvenience – probably because I could see other vehicles continuing south through the rivers.

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I’ve since learned that Arizona has a stupid motorist law for people who put themselves in jeopardy by doing stupid things like trying to drive through flash floods. Basicly, they charge you for the cost of your rescue. Seems fair. I wish they’d do that with the stupid hikers we have in Vancouver who don’t follow any of the requirements and end up lost and costing a small fortune for search & rescue to come find them.

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We turned around and headed back. The immigration checkpoint was being hit with the same rain now, as the storm seemed to be heading north. The official just waved us through from the dryness of his car. There were no others I could see. I guess they were all taking cover in the trailer.

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Our campground in Why was still dry. The storm was still south of us. So we decided to drive up to Ajo, properly pronounced “Ah-ho”, however I prefer to call it “Ay-ho” just because I’m still the same immature 10 year old who loves a chance to get a punny swear in.

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“We’re going to Ay-ho!”
“Do you think they call themselves Ay-ho’s?”
“We’re in Ay-ho!”
“Go ask that guy where 
Ay-ho is Harold!”
“No.”
“Oh stop being such an 
Ay-ho!”

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Pretty much every business in “Ay-ho” sells the car insurance you need to have to drive in Mexico. We stopped in to buy some, which cost us $30 for one day. I checked AAA and they charge the same amount. By the day is the big rip-off. You can get six months for just under $300 and a year for just over $300.

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Mexico doesn’t allow out of country insurance coverage. The insurance companies in Canada and the US just resell policies from Mexican companies. I read that if we are to get in an accident, we probably shouldn’t get police involved and expect to use our insurance. It’s more to protect the Mexicans from us. I don’t know the truth of this, but I do know I’ve read a lot about not ever getting involved with the police for any reason.

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The rain caught up to us again while in the grocery store. It was a fairly small store and I didn’t expect it to have much, but I was shocked at the items they had in there. It was better stocked than many of the stores in bigger towns in AZ. They had great vegan options and gourmet options. It seems so out of place with how the town looks. I was suitably impressed and we spent quite a bit of time in there, wandering the aisles and oohing at what we found.

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By the time we got back to the trailer, the storm was raging around us again. We holed up inside, prepared to weather it out with our computers and more blackberry jalapeno margaritas.

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Overnight spot: Coyote Howls West RV Park
Price: $20.00/night
Includes: electricity, water and sewers
Garbage: On-site gbage
Cell & Wifi: Verizon – 3-4 bars of 4G LTE.
Antenna tv reception: Nothing at all. Go out and enjoy the beautiful desert.
Cheaper alternative: Coyote Howls East RV Park
Price: $9.00/night
Includes: no hookups, but has restrooms, showers, dump station, and water faucets
Garbage: On-site garbage
Cell & Wifi: Verizon – 3-4 bars of 4G LTE.
Antenna tv reception: Nothing at all. Go out and enjoy the beautiful desert.

Cheapest alternative:
Gunsight Wash BLM
Price: $0.00/night
Includes: nothing, find your own place to park and camp
Cell & Wifi: Verizon – 3-4 bars of 4G LTE.
Antenna tv reception: Nothing at all. Go out and enjoy the beautiful desert.

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2 Comments

  1. I just love how the desert blooms after the rain.

    I think your paranoia was in line for flash floods on the roads but a bit over the top for your trailer floating away from the campground 🙂

  2. Well, middle of the night thoughts are quite different than wide awake thoughts. The middle of the night ones are those most people never utter out loud or in text. You just think them and move on. It's not like I was freaking out or anything.

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