We’re Going to Be Here for a While

Well, Virginia State Parks have closed their campgrounds, and this is the trend for sure across the nation. It makes sense for people who are vacationing, but there are a lot of full-time RVers (like us now) who need a place to ride out this first big wave of the virus.

Luckily this campground we’re in is part recreation venue, part trailer park for full-timers, so (knock on wood) they will stay open and respect our reservations we’ve made until May.

Also, as weekenders cancel their reservations, the spot we’re in that we like quite a bit (it’s somewhat private) is opening up for us. We’d thought we would have to move to other spots in the campground for weekends, which would mean repacking the trailer, disconnecting the hookups, and towing to the new spot, leveling, reconnecting, unpacking.

Now perhaps we can stay in place for a month, which is a big relief. It’ll be monotonous, but we can settle in to a routine without having to even think about when we empty tanks and how we’re going to store all this food for travel.

Daily Routine

Our routine here looks a lot like what we had going in the city. I wake up early and take Banjo for a walk: she likes a trail through the pines and another under the electric lines. I just have to watch for one deer hoof she keeps finding and not wanting to let go. “Virginia country dog returns to the country happily,” should be her tagline right now.

Tracy and I walk her in the afternoon (sometimes just Tracy while I work out), and then he walks her at night before bed when I’m already comatose.

Our pastime during this cold wet weather has been watching people drive up to the dumpsters and throw in their trash. Seriously, we get to see all their trucks and rigs when they’re towing, and we see the folks who are working on the campground, building a pavilion and expanding the campsites.

It’s amusing to see people get in their trucks with their trash and drive a few yards, then drive back to their trailers. We’re such walkers.

I think people here are as interested in us as we are in their trash habits. We’re the only Airstream on this vast campground, with several separate areas for big rigs, cabins, trailers for rent, etc. And we’re situated blatantly right by the dumpsters 🙂 so they slow down as they’re passing to peer over at us. They can’t see through the tinted windows, but they look at our setup as long as their creeping drive-by allows.

I think that’s what people do for fun in campgrounds: look at other people’s setups.

Last night we discovered what you guys probably already know about: bands who have had to cancel tours are streaming isolated shows in the evenings. You can see who is playing when here (although this might be a static list … somewhere there’s a link that updates daily).

Last night we watched a favorite guitarist from Minnesota: Charlie Parr. He and Paleface (below) tour for a living so are going to lose their entire income this season, and they’re not big bands with back-up funds. So we’re going to listen and donate as if we were seeing them.

What a treat. We see these bands only once a year when they come to DC, and now we get to see them streaming in the Airstream thanks to Tracy’s MiFi.

How Banjo’s Doing

Clearly she’s happy as a clam.

She’s happy to be with us, to be sniffing in the woods instead of the city sidewalks, and above all to be on the couch!

She has even stuck to her schedule of expecting to be fed and walked at her regular times.

And she had made three places for herself out of our way: under the kitchen table, on the sofa (of course), and in her round bed at the foot of our bed. More on that, below.

What’s Working and What Isn’t

So many of our little things we brought from home are making me happy. And that little lamp that turns on when it senses motion is wonderful when we walk into the pitch dark bathroom at night.

We can store laundry and winter coats in the shower, and fresh fruit is such a luxury that I love having it on display.

That spot on the couch is the favorite for all three of us; Tracy and I share well but Banjo is having to learn.

My magnetic bedside table is working great, although the million throw pillows I bought are about 9,999,995 too many.

Here is problem we are going to fix: there’s a flimsy accordion door that separates the bedroom from the rest of the trailer, and I like to close it when I get up really early in the morning so I feel like I’m not bothering Tracy (although he could sleep through anything).

The problem is that Banjo likes to sleep in her bed at the foot of our bed, right in the doorway. I can get her to move, but when we get back in the trailer after our walk, she wants to go tell Tracy about what he missed (she always does that), and that door is in the way again.

We’ve ordered a curtain to hang there instead that will hang right above her, but we’ll see how that works.

And the mud! I made this huge mud mess yesterday when I was working out under the awning in the rain. I had a yoga mat (not my best one, duh) on top of this plastic rug, and still the red clay came through. Maybe we’ll rinse these rugs off today and let them dry so they’re clean when it starts raining again tomorrow.

The Worst

Oh, tiny fiddle fingers for us, please. We have a special popcorn popper we bought for travel that you put on the stove top. You turn the handle and it keeps the popcorn from burning. The popcorn turns out real well, and we don’t have to be plugged in to use it because the stove runs on propane.

Last night, after about 30 minutes of turning the cabinets inside out, we discovered I’d left the popcorn at home! I had the popper out and the oil and butter and salt and the computer all set to watch Charlie Parr and everything. Oh the horrors.

So now that my friend set us up with limes, if you visit, please bring popcorn kernels? We will love you forever. (Just kidding: everyone is at risk going to the grocery store. We will find popcorn one way or another.)

You guys stay safe—and help each other.

21 thoughts to “We’re Going to Be Here for a While”

    1. Thanks Mike! I’m enjoying posting positive stuff for everyone who’s seeing scary stuff in the news. Text or call when you can so we can catch up.

      1. I think I see a great book coming from this experience.
        Send me your address and we will ride by, stare, and maybe empty some trash!😉❤

        1. Ha! We’d love to watch you empty your trash, and then we could talk about it between ourselves 🙂 I think we already know the trash habits of everyone here so we could use something new.

  1. Stay positive, Shelley. I know that very few people have thought about the people who are on the road RVing. I would never have considered the obstacles you would face. Hang in there and hopefully there is popcorn in your near future:)

    1. Thanks, Cyndy! We belong to several groups of full-timers who post daily about how it’s going moving from one state to another (sometimes tricky, sometimes easy). Everyone appreciates that we should stay in place, but some campgrounds are closing and kicking people out. I think we’re safe here though. Thanks for the popcorn wishes 🙂

  2. I love your post. Banjo looks sooooo happy and I love seeing your outside set up. So soory about the popcorn. I feel your pain. In this new normal we are in now,forgetting to bring or buy something does feel more stressful.
    I have gotten tons of food at the store and am limiting shopping to every other week now.Yesterday, I discovered that I forgot garbage bags! Its funny the things that can slip your mind. Keep up the posts my friend. I love them.

    1. I would happily beam my extra garbage bags over to your house for your extra popcorn. Thanks for the kind words, BBF!

      1. Its such a weird world now, that I actually took garbage bags from our work supply, to avoid going into the store. If I see actual popping corn in my next shopping venture, I will get you some!

        1. You are so sweet. We’ve got a grocery list going and will get to a store eventually … that seems the safer route for everyone than you having to mail a package. Thank you, though!

  3. Keeping up as much as possible, Shelly. It is all at once awesome to see you on this adventure while it is daunting and mind-blowing to see you on this adventure with all else that’s happening. So much love your way! Thanks for keeping us posted! xo ~ tlc

  4. It’s unfortunate the craziness started just as you set out on your new life. You aren’t going to know what’s different because of COVID or what’s different because, well, y’all are living different. Boredom is part of every one’s day now, though for Dave and I, the days are pretty much the same as they have been for our retired life. Take away the occasional trip, estate sale, or movie or museum outing, and that’s our day. When we get by all this, then you can really enjoy what you’ve set out to do!
    Have fun, and stay safe! XO

  5. This sounds just wonderful to me. I’m so glad you both are out of DC. You are in a much better place. We will come up for a socially distant walk before you leave. Enjoy the peace!!

  6. I see that an elephant is lovingly peeking and not hidden below the million throw pillows :-p
    You made me laugh reading about those dumpsters guys looking at your Airstream setup, hahaha!
    So happy to read your adventures, Shelly and Tracy! Stay healthy!