When my mind is concentrating on relocating it often rests on getting an RV. Spending our days behind the wheel of the big bus, winding the back roads of the U.S. and Canada seeing new sights and exploring the world around us. Those of you who have read my blogs from time to time might remember I did just that in my twenties. My husband at the time and I lived like gypsies with two small children, camping out when and where we felt like it or stopping at country hotels and inns for a night of pampering and a shower. It was a glorious year for me, and though my children were two young to retain their experience, they thrived having their parents with them every day (most of the time) and experiencing whatever new adventures a turn in the next bend might bring.
About five years ago my son’s in-laws sold their home, stored most of their belongings and bought a large motor home. For four years they traveled, staying at K.O.A.’s and other R.V. parks along the way. Like anything, I suppose if you do it every day the originality eventually wears off as it did in their case. Last I heard they’d settled in a small home in Utah and use the RV for vacations or weekend trips these days.
I have rented RV’s from time to time, but must admit never desired ownership of one. Now, of course, the price of gas leaves that pleasure to those who can afford to fill up the tank. On one such trip we rented one of such size I half expected Willie Nelson to step out the front door. It was spring break, which allowed for the children to be absent from school. There were three couples and eight children. Thinking back we should have hired a driver for the kids and rented a second van to house them.
Our destination was Lake Havasu that trip. One of the wives parents had retired on the lake several years prior and extended an invitation for us to hook up outside their trailer and use their facilities if needed. My brother-in-law followed behind the RV in his truck, our boat in tow, so we’d be able to water ski and enjoy the amenities Lake Havasu had to offer.
It was hot the day we left. Hot, hot. I can remember the soles of my flip-flops sticking to the asphalt leaving patterned impressions where I walked. My husband was first man at the wheel. Men, it’s been said, revere their machinery. Seated high above the asphalt manning the wheel of this behemoth he transformed into Road Commando, Master of the Road and all who go there, issuing orders to his lessor beings as though storming the beach at Normandy.
About two and a half hours into a five-hour trip, we crossed the Mojave desert floor. Traffic slowed to a snail’s pace on an upgrade due to rubberneckers checking out several overheated cars by the side of the road. About half way up the grade our giant beast began to cough and wheeze. Then it jerked a few times and stopped entirely. Oh-oh. Now, need I say the ideal sightseeing spot on a brutally hot day might not be the Mojave desert. Traffic was stopped behind us and backing up. When traffic coming the opposite direction permitted they wove around us, some offering us a friendly hand gesture as they passed. Nice to find new friends when you’re in trouble.
My brother-in-law pulled over to help. The steaming engine was examined and much murmuring occurred. Vapor lock, it seemed, was the villain of the piece. Fortunately my brother-in-law had an excellent working knowledge of engines, or we’d probably still be standing there like pillars of salt our feet permanently glued to the roadway.
We cooled off while waiting for the engine to do the same by pouring water over our heads and putting bags of ice under our ball caps. Finally, the engine turned over again and somehow we coughed and spewed the rest of the way to our destination. Havasu itself was a zoo, with every kind of inmate imaginable. Young people ranging from pre-teens to college age monopolized the floating rafts and speeding boats passing by were packed like sardine cans with bikini clad or partially clad revelers. It became quickly obvious that water skiing would be at your own risk and blinders were going to be needed for our young men. On the beaches the over fifty crowd, the Speedo set, sat beneath colorful umbrellas and sipped iced drinks or a cool beer. Children laughed and played in the water close to shore and several lively games of volleyball were underway. If one was looking for a restful escape, Lake Havasu at spring break needs to entered at the bottom of your list of choices.
The first order of business was to hook up the RV. Coolers and the provided refrigerator were packed with five days worth of food that would spoil quickly in the 100+ heat. Sweating profusely the men struggled to get everything going outside while we went into the air-conditioned trailer and met our hosts and enjoyed an ice-cold glass of lemonade. Can’t remember when I enjoyed a lemonade more. Besides ourselves another sister and her family were staying in the trailer so with one bathroom in the trailer and one in the RV one was ill-advised to consume too much liquid at any given time. We were told that there were community toilets and showers a half a mile away but the thought of hiking in the heat made that sound less than desirable.
After about forty minutes the men came in ball caps turned to the back and exhausted. It seemed the hook up wouldn’t work with our RV. It was too old. To top that they couldn’t find a way to drain the toilet so in the heat the RV was beginning to get a bit ripe. All the food stored in the refrigerator would need to be removed and brought in the trailer. On opening their refrigerator we found room for one caper and possibly an olive, but not much else. The men were dispatched to get more coolers and the women emptied the RV and piled our gear on the floor.
It was a crazy week. We slept on the floor and took numbers for the bathroom. Everyone wore various shades of red by the second day in the sun. The road warrior sprained a groin muscle showing off on his ski and spent three days in bed. I nearly walked into a recently pregnant rattle snake and all her squirming offspring who are actually more lethal than their mother.
It was a beautiful spot flawed only by way too many people per square foot. In the end we were all happy to get out of the huffing RV and into our own beds and bathtubs. It was fun though and always an adventure to try something new. I do think of that experience every time I get a yearning for the open road. Keeps my thinking level.
These were surprisingly good. A bit hard to eat, but we managed nicely. My pic has more asparagus in it than you need to use, but it was for me and I love asparagus, so too much is perfect in my case. Got this recipe from my mother and slightly refined it so can’t take credit for it.
Mozzarella Asparagus Wraps
2/3 cup Italian salad dressing, divided
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
8 oz. fresh mozzarella sliced in 1/4″ slices
1 lb. fresh asparagus, trimmed
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
12 thin slices prosciutto (6 oz.)
1/2 jar sun dried tomatoes in oil
salt and pepper
4 8″ flour tortillas
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Parbroil asparagus spears covered in water splashed with lemon under bright green. Remove from water with slotted spoon and toss lightly with 2 Tbsp. olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and lemon pepper as desired. Cover cookie sheet with tin foil and spray with cooking spray. Roast 8 mins. or until crisp and tender. Remove from oven.
Meanwhile marinate mozzarella in 1/3 cup of Italian dressing. Allow to sit on counter until ready to use.
Brush the top of each flour tortilla with remaining 1/4 cup Italian dressing. Place 3 slices of marinated mozzarella in the center of each tortilla. Top with three slices of prosciutto for each tortilla. Place 1/4 of the asparagus slightly off center on top of prosciutto. Top with 1/4 of the sun dried tomatoes on each wrap. Roll like a cigar. Using the remaining dressing/mustard mixture as a substitute for butter or oil lightly brown wraps in hot skillet until golden brown and cheese slightly melts. Slice in half and serve hot.