I was awakened at 3:00 a.m. to the cracking sound of thunder and pouring rain. Now I love a good thunder storm when I'm home. I also think rain on my Minnie rooftop is the coziest sound ever. But sitting alone deep in the forest of tall Ponderosa Pines listening to lightning strike after lightning strike around me was a bit disconcerting. I jumped up to roll down my antenna, and Hanna jumped up to tell me she was awakened by the storm, too. I did something I have never, ever done. I took her into bed with me.
The storm calmed a bit over the next hour, but the rain continued to pour. About 5:00, I fell fitfully asleep and slept about an hour. I finally got up to turn up the furnace and make coffee. It was so wet outside, Hanna had to wait to go out until about 8:00, when she and I made a run for a spot fit for her to add to the numerous puddles, and quickly climbed back in the RV.
My plan for that day had been to drive to Blue Ridge Ranger Station and spend a night next to Richard and Dianna's rig before heading back to Mesa on Sunday. But in text conversations with them, I discovered it was very wet and muddy there and the Doppler radar showed promise of continuing stormy weather in the Coconino Forest. We all agreed it was probably wisest for me to head straight down I-17 toward home.
Around 11:00, I caught a break in the weather, and got on the road. After longing for home for the past week, and realizing this was my last morning to break camp and head to my brick house, I had a moment of regret that I wasn't just off to find my next campground. Then I remembered, I could go again whenever I wanted to ... I'm RETIRED!! And that bolstered my resolve to head home. I had no problems and reached the outskirts of metropolitan Phoenix about 1:30. The last 30 miles through town were some of the busiest traffic I had experienced the whole seven weeks of my travels, and I was glad to turn onto my street and see my house ahead. Hanna was very glad to be home, but looked at me expectantly as if to ask when our next journey begins.
I unloaded my leftover food, my clothes (and mountain of laundry!) and a few electronics from Minnie, and then took a long (water gluttony) shower. Hanna's shower will wait until tomorrow.