Unglamorous City Camping

I feel guilty about having written three whole posts about New Orleans and not complaining in any of them. Who is this person blogging and what’d she do with Shelly?

We did enjoy Nola, that’s not an exaggeration. If you’re reading this post before the previous positive ones, I recommend you scroll to those first. (They are here, here, and here.) As a side note, though, below are the bummeriest aspects of camping in New Orleans.

Banjo Hated It

Banjo’s usual routine is to pop out of the trailer and sit in the sun each morning. In most places we attach a tie-out line to something stable and sit out there with her. Not in the city, though.

We did have a little bit of grass at our campsite, but when the weather was good enough to be outside, we went out exploring without Banjo. She got her usual walks, but other than those she had to stay in the trailer for the full week, which meant she was pouting and forlorn and used puppy-dog eyes on us as often as she could.

The consequence to us came when she ate something on her walk that screwed up her stomach. She ended up with diarrhea (“dire rear” as a Terry Pratchett character says), and she’d whine at the door at 2 am, then 4 am. She’d keep us up listening for when she needed to go out, and then we had to navigate the key-coded gate out of the RV park and into the park next door where homeless folks were sleeping and others were arguing and basically you felt like you should leave them all to it and not be walking your leaking dog through at 3 am.

She just wasn’t getting any better, so we’ve taken her off dog food and put her on a rice and chicken diet (what a poor dog!), and I think she’s better now, if you were wondering.

We’re Still Cautious about Covid

No one wants to talk about this, and I don’t blame them. But “living with Covid” isn’t an option for us because we have to do the demanding job of hitching and towing the trailer when our campground reservations are up, whether one or both of us is sick or not. Believe me, towing the trailer in traffic around New Orleans was a challenge even for Tracy with all his faculties. Therefore, we’re still masking indoors for the most part.

So, how did we enjoy Nola if we’re not eating or drinking indoors? It wasn’t easy. We walked by a billion venues with live music we would have gone in. A billion! A million restaurants. A hundred bars. Tens of museums. Maybe it was a billion bars, I don’t know—we even had a favorite we’d walk by and imagine going in each night on our way back to the trailer.

We did eat outside a few times, and once in a restaurant courtyard, but it was way more crowded than the photos online showed—I couldn’t get to my seat without walking around and squeezing by several other diners. Mostly we got take-out. And we did hear bands that played outside. We went on two walking tours, and we biked around and got to know the neighborhoods as we wouldn’t have had we been drinking in French Quarter bars.

Still, take-out food that’s been in the bike basket for the last 20 minutes and is served on your own everyday plates is just not the same. Especially as you bike by a billion places you’d like to go in. A billion!

Weather, Injury, Yadda Yadda

A month ago I tweaked my knee while doing yoga, and it was in Nola, with all the walking and biking we did, where it started to swell and act all unhappy, like Banjo. So, Tracy took on most of my rounds of walking Banjo, and I tried to rest the knee between outings. Which is impossible in a trailer, where you have to climb on the sofa just to put away the mixing bowl. My knee is fine unless I pivot on it, and pivoting is basically all you do in an RV. Turn, turn, twist, shout. Damn.

What about coming back to Nola? I can’t foresee a near future when I’d be willing to be shoulder to shoulder with all the tourists who crowd into the bars here (when you’re breathing their air, you’re breathing in all they’ve picked up from everyone else they’ve been shoulder to shoulder with in all the other bars that night). I think my sense of being disgusted by strangers has simply been maxed out. Outside we will be for as long we’re traveling.

Perhaps on another visit we’d have more outside time with not as much rain. We went out in it some this time, but it was cold enough that being wet outside became unpleasant quickly.

Perhaps on another visit we’d time it so daylight would last longer and we could go hear music in the evening. As it was, we had to limit ourselves to bands playing outside and bands we could get to and from before serious dark set in, since we didn’t want to walk back through the neighborhood of the RV park, and we didn’t want to stay out as late as getting a cab would necessitate.

Really, we’re a couple (a threesome, come to think of it) of Goldilocks, demanding the exact right circumstances. Outside, daylight, within a walk or a bike ride. Not expensive. And New Orleans is all about the nighttime, the people, the hanging out while not being uptight. Which is hard to do when you’re us.

We did eat very good food and got a feel for many neighborhoods and learned about the history of the city and its architecture and people and culture and the impact of the environment and its politics. We just didn’t laissez les bon temps rouler.

2 thoughts to “Unglamorous City Camping”

  1. When I saw you were camping IN TOWN I wondered what that was like! I’m sorry for all you had to go through, particularly the nighttime walking in the sketchy areas. We definitely Ubered everywhere at night unless we were right in the quarter. Glad you enjoyed the visit, and got out safe and sound!