Shake, Shake, Shake!

On December 30, just before noon, Ellen was working on the computer and Bob was in the shower when she felt a good shake. When you live in an RV, you feel a lot of shakin’ goin’ on –somebody getting up out of a chair can set things rockin’. A strong gust of wind can feel like a giant has given the RV a good shove in the side.

But this was different. She wondered what it could have been. Bob wondered the same thing. Then they saw the neighbors gathering outside.

A 5.9 earthquake had hit near Mexicali, about 20 miles east of us. Whoa!

But that was just the start.

On Easter Sunday, April 4, at about 3:40 pm Arizona time (!), Ellen was chopping fruit at the kitchen counter and Bob was reading on the sofa when we both felt the RV shudder. We looked at each other and Ellen said, “Earthquake!”

This time there was no mistake. We hurried outside where the neighbors were gathering in the middle of the street. We looked at the RV and saw it shaking. Our next-door neighbor John said that it was the worst one he’s felt in 23 years.

Of course, we never get photos of the most amazing things that happen to us, and this is one of them, so here’s a graphic illustration of the rig during the quake:

It’s hard to explain how it feels to anyone who hasn’t been in an earthquake, except that it’s sort of dizzying — you feel as though the earth is going to collapse beneath you, or that you’re about to fall over through no fault of your own. You want to hold on to something, but everything is shuddering around you, so nothing feels solid, especially the ground beneath your feet.

You don’t really want to stay in your RV, because it could easily get shaken off its front supports, and you don’t want to stand near it outside, either, because you don’t want to risk it falling on you. So you stand in the street with the neighbors, watching everything around you shake, rattle, but hopefully not roll!

We turned on the TV and went online when it was safe to go inside again, and found out the epicenter of this 7.2 quake was about 40 miles south of us, beyond San Luis Rio Colorado, Mexico.

For days afterwards, when we were sitting in the rig, we would feel some shuddering (from “trumblers” the local meteorologist called them). Immediately we’d look at each other to see if either of us was moving around. If we weren’t, we’d say, “Aftershock!”

Interstate 8 was closed for awhile for repairs, and some of the area roads toward El Centro, California, were affected as well.

No damages in our rig, and the only thing we heard from neighbors was that someone in one of the park models had some pictures come down off the wall.

Sometimes it really does pay to live on wheels!!

About Ellen

Fiction writer and photographer, I travel the country with my sweetheart of a husband as a "full-time RVer."
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