Pandemic left us out of camping shape

  • The Epic Van at McDowell Mountain Regional Park, happy to be on the road again.

As we roll back out on the road this year, it’s clear we’ve lost some of our camping sea legs, so it’s good we’re out on a soft start visiting our camping buddies Jeff and Ann, who are camp hosting at McDowell Mountain Regional Park, a mere 45 minutes from my mother’s house, where we’ve spent copious amounts of time during the pandemic.

We’ve done several short trips and one or two long ones during the pandemic, but haven’t been out nearly as much as we’d like. This year, we’re planning loops to both the East and West coasts, with family reunions, hiking, biking and rafting along the way. We’re pretty pumped about it.

So, only 45 minutes away, we thought. A breeze. We’ll get up, do some last-minute errands, and roll in around noon. We arrived at 4:30 p.m.

First, we were getting our room, which becomes the guest room when we’re not there, back into guest shape with clean sheets and stuff stuffed into the closet.

Then I spent an hour madly searching for the cord bag for the Jackery battery, a vital piece of equipment that keeps our phones and iPads charged when we’re parked and not plugged in (most of the time). I looked through all the (limited) places it might be in the van, NOT in the wire shelves with the books and cans, where I ALWAYS keep it, NOT in the tiny closet with our clothes, cheese board and (new) mousetraps, an oddly satisfying juxtaposition, NOT under the bed in back, NOT ANYWHERE. Back to the bedroom, NOT in the closet or on the shelves in the closet, NOT on the bookshelf, NOT in the many stacks of books on my side of the bed, NOT in the many stacks of books on Tom’s side of the bed, NOT in any dresser drawers, NOT under the bed, NOT, alas, hanging from the ceiling. Finally, FINALLY, found it. On the shelf of my bedside table in plain sight. I say it’s because it’s black and was in a shadow, NOT because I’m blind or senile. Another hour of my life I won’t get back.

Then I had to run to my Periwinkle Polka Dot studio to drop off the last lot of Kantha quilts from India, freshly laundered the night before, so they’ll happily be waiting for me when I return.

Then we threw the rest of our clothes, the coffee fixings, and toiletries in the van and headed to the grocery store to stock up. No problem.

Last thing, propane.

Off we roll to our regular propane spot at the U-Haul on East Indian Shool Road. No can do. Someone stole the adapter for RVs. Later, we learned, it’s because they’re solid brass and worth something on the scavenging circuit. On to the next U-Haul. Out of propane. On to a third. Only the manager fills RVs and he’s not there. Onto a fourth, no connector. Finally, fifth one’s a charm.

When we FINALLY rolled into the park, Jeff and Ann were on duty at the kiosk, laughing at our tardy buts. We settled in before dark, had a margarita when Jeff and Ann got off duty and slept soundly in the dark, quiet hills, happy to be back in The Epic Van.

Like I said, good thing it was a soft launch to get us ready for the Death Valley trip that starts this weekend with camping buddies Keven and Georges. Stay tuned.

6 Comments

  1. Reply
    HLGoebel February 2, 2022

    Glad you hear you are back on the road. Always enjoy your posts and dream about our future!

  2. Reply
    David Stabler February 2, 2022

    Frustrations and hilarity! Glad you’re back on the road. Keep the reports and photos coming.

  3. Reply
    Jim February 2, 2022

    Still waiting for you to visit us in Jojoba Hills. Always welcome. We are half way between San Diego and Los Angeles.

  4. Reply
    Nancy Warfield February 3, 2022

    yay! you are on the road again!! looking forward to more adventure tales

  5. Reply
    Ann Forster February 3, 2022

    It’s so wonderful to have you visit! I’ve come to enjoy our time together more than you’ll ever know. Margaritas and chocolate and friendship- perfect.

  6. Reply
    Bundy February 13, 2022

    We have take offs like that too! Looking forward to hearing about your adventures with K & G, the Westerly one and the Easterly one. If you’re ever near Ontario let us know!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.