Errand Day from the Road

I wrote this post the day before coming down with symptoms of Omicron, so I probably had it then and didn’t know it. Note that I wore an N95 mask each time I went inside a public place and never pulled it down. Oh, to have been so ignorant of oncoming Yuck!

Head to Town

We drive about a half hour from Imperial Dam LTVA into Yuma and the Foothills to run errands. Tracy’s been doing them all himself once a week for the last two weeks (none of them required two people), so this was the first time Banjo or I’d been away from the LTVA for about three weeks. It’s amazing how quickly I get used to not going anywhere, not doing anything, not seeing anything new other than hikes and bike rides on Mars, as we call it here. It’s like a long-term sensory break.

You’d think now that we’re out of the camping area, Banjo would be looking out the window the whole time, but I caught her in this rare pose only once. All other times she’s asleep in her bed. I’m kind of like her: let’s get traffic and crowds and to-do items over with and get back to Mars asap!


Tracy drops me and four loads of laundry at the laundromat. I navigate the machines, crowd, coins, carts. Mostly I stand outside with the timer on my watch telling me when to go back in to move the loads.

But man do we need laundry day; when I wash anything in a tub at the campsite, the water rinses brown brown brown with the dirt and dust that’s constantly blowing on us in the wind. I also need the WiFi at the laundromat; I update all my apps while I wait outside and do a bit of media downloading.

Tracy’s Errands

Meanwhile, Tracy hunts for the lowest price on diesel and propane and then picks up the grocery order. I wouldn’t trade him jobs. Driving that big truck around a town we don’t know, navigating in and out of small parking lots, trying to find stuff for the rig that’s out of stock everywhere—“life garbage,” as our nomad friend, Melanie, calls it.

Grab Take-out

While waiting for food to take back to the trailer, we get Banjo out of the truck so she can sniff around the parking lot.

I bet you have no idea how many chicken bones are in strip mall parking lots.

Get Water

We don’t drive back through the entrance to the camping area without filling up a container with water; fresh water is a constant need. When we fill up the tank in the trailer directly at the water station, we run the water through a giant, three-filter system that we haul around with us under the bed, but for just these plastic tanks in the back of the truck, we use a small, hand-held filter.

The water here is very hard; we probably should be using a portable softener, too. But there’s barely enough room in the truck bed with the propane tank and loads of laundry to fit two tanks of water as it is.

Home Sweet Home

Unpack Groceries

I organize it all on the table so I can figure out how to cram it into the small fridge and pantry.

Save those bags!

Unpack Laundry

Time to sort through loads of partially folded, partially dry sheets, dog bed, clothes clothes clothes.

Roll it all up and pack it all away, in the cabinet at my bedside and in the two shallow drawers under my side of the bed. I’m accumulating way too many clothes.

Reinstall Propane

This is Tracy’s job while I’m sorting and stashing groceries and laundry. Banjo lies back down in the sun as if she’s never left.


The trailer is stuffed full and I’m glad to be back.

That night I’d start with symptoms of being sick. I’m so glad Tracy and I both wore masks inside buildings that day (and every rare errand day). This is a controversy among a few of my friends, but I believe that yes, you can be infected without symptoms, but you may also be contagious and pass the virus on to many people, maybe someone who has an immuno-suppressed loved one at home who will get much sicker than the average bear.

Okay, lecture over. Thanks for coming along on errand day! Now we don’t need to leave Mars until groceries and propane start running out again.