TheWildWaynes’ Adventure begins with a trip to the Big Bend of the Colorado River Campground in Nevada. My wife, four year old son, two year old daughter and myself have been hunkered down in Escondido, CA for a year and a half, waiting for the right time to launch our adventure. The time has come! Let’s roll!
We sold our two houses and bought a twenty year old 32 foot Lakota 5th wheel trailer we named Lorain. I flew to Texas and brought home Lorain’s other half. Ferdinand, a 2014 Ram Laramie Longhorn 3500 Dually with the 6.7 liter Cummins diesel engine.
We didn’t have much of a plan but were incredibly fortunate to have friends with a beautiful piece of property in Escondido, CA. They have a trailer parking spot with full hook ups. It makes a huge difference having a safe spot to park/live.
Shortly after we arrived to our friends’ home, COVID hit the world and we decided to dig in and wait it out a while. A year and a half later, it’s time to rock ‘n’ roll! Why wait any longer! First stop, The Big Bend of the Colorado River Campground in the southern tip of Nevada.
Just a little tidbit of information, we were fulltime RVers but we had only pulled Lorain twice. The first time was from where we picked her up on the other side of Fallbrook High School from our home in Fallbrook California, about a 7 minute drive plus an hour getting her into our backyard. The second time was moving Lorain about forty five minutes south to Escondido California plus an hour to back Lorain into her new home with a sweet view. We were 5th wheel towing rookies.
There was a challenge that came with hitching Ferdinand to Lorain to pull her out of her spot. Ferdinand would be backing up an incline to hitch up to a level king pin. With a little persuasion, the hitch signaled it had attached to the king pin with a loud Clunk! Right on! It was time to pull Lorain out of her spot.
Parked on top of a hill, we pulled Lorain out from under the huge old oak tree and around about a 225° turn. We parked hitched up ready to roll and plugged into a 20 amp outlet in the yard for the night. We were ready to go.
It was four in the morning and my wife and I were up getting dressed. We unplugged Lorain, buckled the kids into truck and woke up Ferdinand. Next, we made our grand voyage up the steep road leading out of the beautiful property we called home for a year and a half.
I have never heard Ferdinand make so much noise going up that road before. So that was scary. What happened to me during that climb was probably normal for most people in my situation, my hands expelled about ten gallons of sweat in about five seconds.
The back end of Lorain’s frame scraped on a dip in the road as we pulled her up the second little incline. No worries, just keep Ferdinand moving forward. We snaked our way along the single lane private drive around the avocado groves until we were released into the main road.
It was a pretty easy drive from there through the south end of Escondido to northbound Interstate 15 onramp. This onramp is a special one. Turning left through the intersection, down hill into a fish hook turn to the right, and then up another steep incline to merge onto the freeway pulling hard at about 30 mph.
We wound around the light tan colored desert mountains and came up to the right turn lane to turn into the Big Bend of the Colorado River Recreation area. Ferdinand down shifted several times fairly quickly slowing us down to a comfortable speed to make our turn. Right away, we drove up to the Ranger’s welcome station to pay our $30 fee and get our assigned camp spot.
I stepped out into the desert air from the cool air conditioned interior of Ferd and was surprised by the heat. 115° of desert heat hit me like a ton of bricks. The Ranger was very nice and gave us an easy pull through spot with a great view. We pulled away from the ranger’s station and wound around the campground until we arrived at our spot, site #17. A perfect fit.
Our spot came with full hook ups, a fire pit, a grill, a covered picnic table, and plenty of room to run around. We had a view of the desert facing the river and the distant homes on the other side of the river in Arizona.
We pulled into our spot around 10 o’clock in the morning. The sky was deep blue with plenty of clouds that looked as if they were painted into the deep blue sky. As the sun moved east and down behind the desert mountains, the clouds lit up bright yellow, orange, and red. The sky was absolutely gorgeous!
The next morning, the wind was blowing pretty hard and was mixed with marble size drops of rain. I jumped out of bed, put my cloths on, grabbed the GoPro, and ran outside. The desert was breath taking. Dark yellow and orange had the the desert glowing almost an eerie color. Don’t forget about the incredible smell of the freshly wet hot sand.
Later in the afternoon, we drove down to the river for a cool down dip in the lagoon of the big bend of the Colorado river. There was a good amount of parking at the river. We made our way from Ferdinand down to the swimming area. The water was cool but not too cold. The kids easily found their way into the slow flowing water in the swimming area of the river.
There were ski boats, speed boats, and wave runners skipping along the river past the lagoon. The lagoon was not very busy leaving us our own area to play. My son did running cannon balls into the water almost instantly. My daughter was a little more taken by the way the river water looked and felt. She eventually sat down with the water level at the top of her shoulders.
The sun was extremely hot, I’m talking your skin burn under your shirt hot. The river was definitely the right place to hang out in the afternoon.
We were not there for very long but we were fortunate enough to experience a couple desert storms. They came along with big wind, big rain drops, and beautiful skies.