To think we had several years to prepare for our retirement travel adventure, and I forgot to pack the N95 face masks. Social distancing, shelter in place, home isolation, self-quarantine, droplet transmission, combined with DIY paper towel face masks are now every day buzz words on a global scale. Global.
I get it, this is serious, and we are doing our part to social distance. But where? The National Parks campgrounds along with most states’ parks are closed, and it now seems private campgrounds are not accepting new RV’ers in order to keep their current residents protected. Being transient and not having a solid foundation home makes life a bit more challenging. Not to mention being counted in the 2020 census. Along with forgetting to pack a bunch of N95 masks, I never thought about how people are counted at RV Parks, campgrounds, and other transitory locations? No online, easy to fill out form process for us. Not my circus, not my monkeys. It seems that census takers will visit each transitory location at a scheduled time between April 9 and May 4, 2020, to conduct interviews with individuals in occupied units using a paper questionnaire. I wonder how that will play out?
Previously, before the Covid-19 pandemic I had complained how the national and state camping reservation system made it more difficult to find a camp spot. Camping will remain a popular family activity, and I hope to see its return soon. Here’s the thing. There are some camp spots open, but we have to work harder to find them. Now the reservation process is our friend. For the rest of 2020 we will not move from a location unless we have a confirmed spot to land.
One item on my short bucket list is to walk among the giant sequoias, and towering redwoods. We were headed towards California but have stalled out, and are now plugged into a nice RV Park at Apache Junction, AZ. Our first five day’s here were pretty grand. Cable TV, internet, a swimming pool suitable for swimming laps, a very large hot tub, and a fantastic activities center. Now everything is shut down including the office. We are in a RV Park that is not accepting new transients. The office staff has been replaced by voice mail. Currently the cable TV, and internet is still turned on. We see rigs leaving, but none are arriving.
People are dealing with loss of income, some testing positive for Coronavirus, some being gravely ill including those dying in isolation, alone, saying goodbyes on an i-pad. How selfish is it to reflect on our adventures?
Church’s may be empty this Easter Sunday. But, so is the grave.
I’m switching gears now. Going back in time, to a time when I was cavalier about COVID-19, and having the mindset, “Hey it’s another round of flu. Been there, done that.”
Carlsbad Caverns was awesome. For more than forty years and visiting cave’s with Deb she would say, “Wait till you see Carlsbad.” “Woooeeeeee whooo hoo,” after our self-guided tour of Carlsbad Caverns I don’t see any point to enter another cave. Our senior national park pass paid off big time. I really liked being able to walk the trail at our own pace, we were surprised by not having to be with a guide. Although, we should have rented audio devices for a more enhanced experience.
Just outside the natural entrance is a viewing station to watch the bats enter the cave in the morning, and leaving in the evening. I hear its spectacular. We may have to go back during the summer of 2021, yes Carlsbad Cavern in now closed.
The city of Carlsbad, NM, was our first experience in a, “Man Camp” environment. There (is/was/a/had) great deal of oil production in the area, and most RV campgrounds that use to accommodate vacationers were expanding their facilities, and opening them to oil field workers who rent by the month. Deb had called every RV campground listed online, only to hear once again, there was no room for another thirty-foot travel trailer. Eventually we stopped at one that was not advertised. We paid $60 per day to stay at a place that offered no extra amenities. Just water, electric, and sewer. No toilets, showers, pools, or internet. Simply an allocated spot on a gravel parking lot.
I spoke with the guy we were parked next to. His job was x-raying welds on the pipeline. He had been there quite a while and described how three years ago a company came in and leveled the area, installed rows of electric wire, water and sewer plumbing, and the place has been full ever since. His wife didn’t like it there, kids were running and playing, and diesel trucks were coming and going at all hours of the day. There was only an 800 number to call for service. Oh, and even then, before the COVID-19 outbreak the local Walmart was short of inventory. Two days in Carlsbad was enough for us.