The drive from Willow River to Interstate state park was about as uneventful as a 30 mile drive can be. I do have to say, however, that Wisconsin campers like to stay on as long as they can and this is the second time in a row that in a nearly empty park we had to wait several hours for the people inhabiting our reserved campsite to leave. It’s not normally a problem — you can usually find a spot long enough for a 40 foot class A to park while waiting but this time it was a bit harder. There aren’t a lot of sites in this park long enough for us — so we looked around until we found one long enough and then backed in for the short wait.
We are usually lucky about not breaking camp or setting up camp or even driving in the rain. Today that was not the case. It started raining as we were filling our fresh-water tank and it’s still raining — after the drive, after the wait, and it looks like it will still be raining well past midday tomorrow. So, we just hunker down and enjoy the rain. We need it — the grass had been still green, but not vivid green. We did take a walk in the morning drizzle (before the heavier rain began) and it was delightful.
Walking in the rain always reminds me of this wonderful Jimmie Buffett song.
Summer is definitely on the decline. The air smells of autumn, the forecast temps are dipping lower, the plants are showing their age, and the bird sounds are beginning to reflect the beginnings of migration time.
When we were here 2 years ago the St Croix River was too low to do the full tourists river tour — so we’re considering that for later in our stay. I suspect we’ll try to do a driving through Northern Wisconsin. We really have a lot to learn about this part of the state.
This is the first time something has happened to me like this. Since we arrived here I keep looking out the lounge window expecting that I’m going to see the woody scene that we’ve been viewing for the past two weeks at Willow River SP. It’s odd because that’s not something I do normally — have residual memory glimpses of places left behind.
I don’t know what you do when you arrive at a new place to camp (or even at a revisited place to camp). What we almost always do is set up camp and then take a short drive around the local area. The back roads if we are at some distance from the nearest town, or into the nearest town to see what goods and services might be there — or might have changed since our last visit.
For example, my GPS thinks there are suddenly TWO Walmart stores right next to each other on the map. I suspect that Walmart may have built a new store and abandoned the old one in the two years since we’ve been here.
Because of the heavy rain yesterday we didn’t take our usual drive-around. Maybe that’s why my brain hasn’t put us into the new park yet, and why I keep thinking I’m somewhere other than where I am. Geographic disorientation like that isn’t common for me.
Waking up Wondering
The one thing I really love about RV’ing is that I (at least — it’s not true of Peggy) wake up every morning content in knowing where I am. I have spent so many nights in hotels where the walls are in the ‘wrong’ place (for my brain) and the bathroom is in the wrong direction (to find in the dark without opening my eyes). Every morning…. heck every night (when my bladder forces me to get up) I always know where I am: I’m home. I rarely think about where on the planet I am. In my weird brain that info just sort of makes itself known as I start moving around. When I was younger that was not the case — and evidently it still isn’t the case for Peggy. She wakes up wanting to know where she is on the planet — and I guess the fact that we sleep in the same bed on the same side of the bed every night doesn’t ‘cut it’ for her.
But it is something that I think is an issue for some of us as we age. Fighting off a sense of disorientation that comes with hardened arteries, slower senses, and all of that. To be completely honest, when we first started RV’ing I was more concerned about being able to travel without having to worry about bed bugs and taking roaches home from strange hotels in my suitcase. I’ve never been a fan of all the lugging and toting that went with travel by car. But, I hate bugs even more than I dislike lugging and toting and there was so much in the media around the time we were making retirement decisions that my rational self gave in to my media-affected-disorder and thought a lot about bed bugs.
But now, after 3 1/2 years on the road and 4 years retired I have to say that one of the greatest joys in life is being able to lay down in the same bed every night. Peggy has always had problems sleeping; my son-in-law is convinced I can sleep anywhere at any time — but what he doesn’t know is that while falling asleep is simple, staying asleep is not so much. The fact that we can reliably walk 20 feet to a comfortable ‘haven’ — a place designed for sleeping — that is pure heaven.
We talk sometimes about whether this year or next year or in an emergency we should take a trip in the car and I have to say that I have lost most of my interest in doing that. The non-rational part of me says, “Hotels are too expensive” — without thinking that if it costs me $0.50 per mile in fuel then getting to a motel at whatever cost it might be is NOT going to be cheaper than driving. Actually it’s not that expensive but for general purposes I like to use that number as it’s nice and round and easy to figure. Still and all my wacky brain thinks it’s easier to stay in the RV than it is to find a safe place to park it and then drive to where-ever and return again to the coach.
I wonder some times what weird factors played in other RV’ers minds when they were deciding to go RV’ing. And whether the reality of life on the road came as a surprise to them?
Well, thanks for stopping by, and I’ll talk with you again tomorrow.