We’re settled into a new site, about 30 miles from Highland Ridge. The “Not- Driving-a-Lot” aspect of this summer’s plans were very intentional. I can’t say we have accomplished as much as we thought we might — or even that we did the things that we thought we might, but that doesn’t mean we haven’t had fun: this is turning into a wonderful summer.
As an almost lifelong resident of Wisconsin I’m ashamed to say that my experience of Wisconsin State Parks has not been as diversified as I might like. When I was growing up we seemed to have a lot of places my parents revisited, and ten we did a lot of wide ranging national roadtrips. As a result there are still a lot of state parks we have never seen, as you can see above.
We have talked about camp hosting for Wisconsin State Parks but they don’t make the volunteering-process — you’re supposed to contact the park and find out if they need a volunteer/they do not participate with Volunteer.gov. I’m curious to see how much time we spend in Summer during future years; I have no feeling for what we might do once we get past our summer of ’16 volunteer gig at Highland Ridge.
We hope during the next two weeks to do some more exploring. We are on the doorstep of the St Croix National Park, we’re right across the river from the lovely riverside town of Stillwater MN, and there’s nothing wrong with Hudson WI for that matter — it’s lovely and old. I can’t call it quaint, there’s a little too much commercialization for me. But there will be more for us to see than we’ll have time for if I’m to finally get around to some of my projects before or after Kathryn comes to visit.
It’s back to the theme of change. A little while here, a little while there; sometimes quite a little while, other times not-so-much little while. But change is the name of the game. We don’t do the same thing every day — well, perhaps other than my writing. Some times we do two meals a day, other times four. We may be active for a couple days, and then we take a couple days off and relax. Naps are nice — sometimes we take them, other times not.
I guess repetition is my enemy. When I was working, by the time I had really, really learned a job I was ready to move on and learn something new. Peggy was understanding about that; I had several very different careers during my working years. In some ways I guess our RV’ing life is continuation of that.
We recently met a couple who say that whenever the stop their RV for an overnight they always stay for 1 week. I don’t think I’m ready for that kind of regularity. Some places aren’t worth a week. Others are worth 10 months or more. Sometimes a stop is nothing more than that — a data point on the way to someplace else that we really want to be.
Then there’s the weather. If you want to spend time outside and the temps are outside your comfort zone you don’t do as much. When we lived in sticks & bricks our jobs were in air conditioned offices and the clock dictated to us more than the forecast. Now, being outside as much as we are, we pay more attention to Mother Nature than we do to the alarm clock. And if you’re married to a fresh air maven like Peggy, it’s nice to be able to get out INTO it!
Flexibility is our friend. After lives that were choreographed months and years apart in a very rigid fashion, it’s lovely to be able to wake up in the morning, spend some time writing, make a meal, and then have someone say, “What will we do today?” And set off on something exciting or something relaxing for just that one day.
Even when we have a volunteer gig — and one where we seem (to others) to be going the same place and doing the same thing — we are learning new things than the ones that made us a living. I love learning. School — not so much. But learning — you betcha!
Our volunteer gigs have been different from how we made our living. That’s crucial. That makes it fun; that and the fact that we are meeting new people each day that we would never have met if we stayed at home is icing on the cake. In our old neighborhood where your next door neighbor may talk over the fence but the guy next to him wasn’t nearly as likely to do so, and the one next to him almost never even smiled when you greeted him.
It’s funny. In talking over the last few months of our 4th year of retirement and our 4th year as RV owners it seems we have no problem staying in one place for a long time if we have a gig — if we’re being helpful to others — but if we’re on our own in parks or RV resorts we’re usually ready to move on by 14 days. Next Spring we intend to try one month at a single resort — more about that closer to the time — after volunteering for 4 months I’m curious to see if the single month in a private campground is going to be welcome or whether we’ll be antsy to move on. We’ll see.
So, as we get settled in, it’s ‘life as usual’ — set up, settle in, settle down. Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll talk with you tomorrow.