Nowhere to go, sort of…


Being settled in for a long stay has interesting side effects.  Well… Perhaps I should have said it can have interesting side effects depending on the traveler!  For us, when we settle into a place like Highland Ridge, where we know we are going to be there for the next 5 or more months, it feels odd.  We’re accustomed to moving. When we get to a place knowing we’re going to be here for a while, the adrenalin stops rushing.  Our body slows down. Initially, we kind of collapse into a heap after our journey. In a couple days we rouse from our slump but there’s this underlying reality: we needn’t go anywhere…. for a long time.  As fulltime RV’ers…. it feels kinda of funny. Yet, I’m looking forward to having nowhere to go!

“Too often. . .
I would hear men boast of
the miles covered that day,
rarely of what they had seen.”
– Louis L’Amour

I can’t believe I’m actually saying that.  I’m not sure I’ve ever really felt that way before.  Did we chase around too much in Florida?  (possibly) Are we tired of RV’ing? (I don’t think so) Perhaps it’s just that we really like the atmosphere & quiet of this place.

Phil came over today and got our electrical and Internet problems sorted.  He’s an interesting guy.  One of those guys who likes to keep you just a little bit off balance.  When we were here last time he was staying in Hudson for the 6 months of the camping season after which he goes back North to the reservation where his wife lives year round.  I couldn’t do that.  Peg & I have been away from each other for months at a time over our marriage but never for more than 2 months. I would find that very difficult to do.

I never appreciated how much the U.S. Government uses seasonal help.  The Forest Service in Oregon grew their staff by 20%-30% during the summer,  The staff here at the CORPS campground is 5X larger in the summer than year round.  As a lifelong taxpayer I never appreciated that working for Uncle Sam could be such a sporadic employment.

20160501100226331Brad, our boss, stopped off late in the day to deliver the golf cart and some tools.  We chatted about the changes.  The entire CORPS is changing how THEY handle reservations (these changes mostly don’t affect the public — they are internal changes), and I found out that the campground I referred to the other day that is reservation only is a result of those changes. The CORPS would like to encourage reservations and simultaneously discourage the handling of cash.  They’ll still accept cash but they want to reduce the issue of on-site security for their employees.
charles-kuralt-journalist-thanks-to-the-interstate-highway-system-itWe learned that this campground is now a 24-hour-advance reservation campground.  It used to be you could not make a reservation for less than 48 hours in advance.  That means that now we can no longer accept walk-ins who want to stay for more than one night and pay for that all at once.  It could work out that the site the take for one night might be full the next night and they might need to move to a different site.  It’s something we can handle easily enough here but I’m sure there will be questions and confused campers who way, “But we always did it this way,” whether or not they ever did it that way. Peggy’s getting a bit nervous about her part of handling the reservation notification;  she did that last time we were here and never had a problem — I’m sure she’ll do fine this year.

The fact that we drove 4 days of Interstate kind of bothered me. I don’t like to spend that much time on the Interstate — it’s hard to see very much — in fact it’s a good way to see nothing at all. However, the sections of the trip that we did by Interstate were all familiar highway and I’m not sure we would have stopped to gawk had we taken the back roads. I guess I’m all for simplifying or expediting for good reasons. Over half of the route was spent on U.S., State, and county highways — and most of those roads were lovely.  And uncrowded.

20160501100229332We took a month to get from Milwaukee to Ocala. The trip back home took 1 month less three days.  We made 7 stops in those 27 days. That’s 1800 miles for the entire trip or an average of 250 miles for every driving day, only 66 miles per day for the entire trip.  We saw four brand new campgrounds — new to us, that is.  We stayed at two campgrounds that we had visited before. All in all I’m happy with the trip. The travel days were fuller than usual for the individual travel days but we had plenty of time at each stop to snoop around.

Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll be here tomorrow to chat.

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2 Comments

    1. I hear you.
      After the Forest Service we got very picky about how MUCH work we wanted to do. No one there asked as much of us as we asked of ourselves, but that doesn’t mean that we didn’t learn an important lesson for ourselves about what we wanted out of retirement, and out of volunteering. Even this gig we’re at now — they approached us when we were just visiting as campers and because we really liked being here we agreed.
      I wrote a blog that hasnt posted yet about not knowing if —when the summer is said and done — we will have enjoyed the regularity and duties as much by the end as we are at the beginning.
      I don’t know if we will but I’m not going to second guess the decision to be here. And we are happy as clams right now. I think changing up your / our routine is good. We volunteered, and then we didn’t …. now we’re trying it again.
      I draw a line between volunteering and workamping. Not sure if it’s a legitimate line or not. We have only ever worked for government entities. We have not workamped for a private profit-making entity. The reasons are legion.

      Liked by 1 person

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