Day 1: BRUTAL TRAFFIC ON THE I-15
It was Friday morning and I had to take another one of my forced vacations due to the new Sick Leave policy at work, which cut my maximum vacation hours. But that was ok in this case since I intended to hike the Subway in the Kolob Terrace section of Zion National Park.
But Julie first had to get her pupils dilated so we drove all the way to Torrance to get that done before we headed back out to Springdale, Utah.
It was finally about 10am when Julie and I got out of the Los Angeles area, but we were already met with traffic as we headed north on the I-15. This was not a good sign.
Julie had her sunglasses on and the bright day really irritated her treated eyes. She was literally blind.
Anyhow, the pocket of slowing started to dissipate as we entered the Victorville area. But there was still a heavy volume of traffic throughout the drive at least out to Barstow.
When we headed deep into the Mojave Desert, we got to a point where the traffic was at a standstill. I swore it must have lasted about 30 minutes where no one moved. I even stopped to get out of the car and everyone around us stopped their engines.
I always hated driving on the I-15 because we had to deal with Vegas traffic. All this sluggish driving and now this parking lot situation near Baker was just ridiculous.
When Julie and I started seeing some vehicles off the freeway driving further north, it gave me the idea to perhaps follow suit. After all, I remembered there was some road that went parallel with the I-15 that eventually led towards Barstow. Perhaps this was the road I should take.
So with that, we started the car, crossed the center divider and headed south on the I-15 towards the next exit. Then, we proceeded onto that road that paralleled the I-15 north, but we were met with an ominous sign that stated, “Unmaintained Road. San Bernardino County is not responsible for any damage to your vehicle.”
With hordes of cars following me, I couldn’t stop them so I had no choice but to move forward.
Soon, we went through a wash and it was there that I heard and felt the underside of the car scrape the ground.
There were a few more washes to negotiate, and each time was worrisome. To make matters worse, the traffic on the I-15 started moving again.
Talk about Murphy’s Law!
After what seemed like an eternity, we saw the source of the huge traffic jam. There was a car that was on fire. Anyways, we finally got to the next freeway on ramp as we were following the high clearance truck in front of us. And with that, this bit of drama ended and we were back on the I-15 north. Still, I couldn’t help but wonder what kind of damage I did to the car.
The traffic remained sluggish even as we crossed the State Line and got closer to Vegas. It wasn’t until we got past Las Vegas that the traffic finally start to let up. By then, it was about 6pm!
Now, we were going at a pretty good clip. I still had to watch out for cops, but at least we finally started making good time even though the day started to get dimmer as the sun was setting.
Finally at about 8pm, Julie and I arrived at the Watchman Campground and pitched our tent. We booked an electric site, which had a weather-shielded plug in case we wanted to charge our camera batteries or use some other electrical item. How convenient! It was too bad we didn’t make that much use of it though since we really didn’t need it on this trip.
And with that, the day mercifully ended. By now, Julie’s eyes were pretty much back to normal and at least we slept pretty well under the clear starry night sky.
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