…and what does that look like?
When I lived in Southern Maryland, my life was filled with creative people. Artists, photographers, poets, musicians, writers, and actors. Occasionally I got to play board games and cards. I taught. I learned. I built.
Now I live in a little travel trailer. A camper. Everything I own is here in this space. Oddly enough, its amazing how much room a small space makes in my life. Room for more free time. Room for creativity. It keeps my eyes open for adventure, for breath-taking moments and scenes. I encounter others like myself.
Wanderlust. I have it. I get restless after being stationary for a while. The artist in me yearns for, even craves, new scenes, new experiences, and most of all, my own kind. I’m not into physically challenging experiences. I did zip lining. Glass blowing. Scuba. Hiking in Hawaii. Skiing in Europe. But, at my age, I no longer have the strength to do those things. Its okay.
My Own Kind
Sometimes that would be other creative folks. Sometimes its for other people who live full time in an RV. If I’m lucky, its both together.
Two and a half years ago I visited a campground in the southwest. Its called the LoW Hi Ranch and the LoW stands for loners on wheels. Not all the guests are alone, but nearly all who stay more than a few days are exactly that, if you don’t count dogs and cats. I was there one night and I saw something great. The people were friendly and they cared about one another. Someone in the site next to me asked how long I’d be staying. “Just the one night,” I replied, but I wished it were longer.
It took a long time, a lot of patience and planning, but I’m at that campground once again and this time I get to stay longer. The first day I was hot and tired, after a very long journey to get here. The next few days I doubted my decision, because I felt like an outsider. Then I began attending some of the activities. First a social gathering in the “leisure room”. Then, while sitting outside in the late afternoon, when my camper casts a shadow long enough to keep me in shade, a woman near me said hello and stopped to talk. We ended up sitting together for a long while. Since then I’ve met more and more of the people here and I’m falling in love with this place. Without being perfect or having to prove myself worthy, I fit here. I’ve found my own kind.
Perhaps part of the greatness of the place is the compromising I’m having to do with myself. The pace is slower. For the first time in a long while, I’m not working at a part time or seasonal job. I have more time. However, I have less cell signal with my phone, which means I have less WiFi, as my hotspot device is cell-based. My television is a Roku TV and needs WiFi/Cell. Its a day of celebration when I can watch a portion of an episode of Star Trek Voyager (my favorite right now – I’m binge watching it). With more time on my hands and less of my usual things to do with that time, I’m finding myself looking around more, thinking more, reading, journaling, sketching, cooking. Imagine the possibilities of more time. The transition was painful at first, but each day is a little better. Some days are a lot better. Yesterday I helped with road clean up (the campground sponsors a two mile stretch of road), went out to breakfast with the others on the crew, took a nap, met a new fellow nomad, took another nap, played some Heroes of the Storm, and went out to dinner with two women from here. We had the best french onion soup on the planet. I tried a beer. Oddly enough, it was a local beer and was called Happy Camper, an IPA. When I returned to my camper, I sat basking in the moment, for it was a moment of appreciation and satisfaction.
Also, I’m in the middle of nowhere. I’m surrounded by desert and mountains that seem plopped down here like game pieces on a board. Between them, the land is flat as can be. Some vegetation I recognize, but others seem like other-worldly or other-dimensionly things. The sky seems so much bigger, the horizon being uninterrupted by hills and forests. The color of said sky seems bluer. Perhaps its due to the brownish gray land.
And then there’s Sophia
Sweet Sophia has adapted to this life of ours so well. She doth protest a smidge on travel days. A mew here, a yeow there. Overall, she handles it well. Life inside the RV is where she excels. Sophia is athletic. When we play, she can leap and spin better than a dolphin performing in a show. Okay. Kind of. She surprises me every day. There is a route she prefers to take. She leaps from the desk to the kitchen counter extension (a piece of counter top that folds up to add work space) to the bed. Another path is from the floor to the toilet to the top of her litter box, to the bathroom counter. If you blink, you might think she instantly ported herself from lowest to highest.
To aid Sophia’s gymnastic climbs, I made her a shelf. It allows her the best view of outdoors and maximum warming time in the sun.
Things to do
Mondays we have a potluck meal together. Tuesdays a group carpools about thirty miles south and crosses the border into Mexico to have lunch and do some shopping at a place called the Pink Store. Whew! What an adventure. Thursdays we have another carpool to a local restaurant (varies week to week which restaurant). This week it was to a really good place for delicious Mexican food. As mentioned earlier, on Saturday we had road pickup and that was actually a good experience. It was followed by breakfast at Denny’s. Many evenings each week, we have card games at the bunkhouse.
I think the bunkhouse is my favorite place at the campground. This small structure is called the bunkhouse because it was actually a bunkhouse in the town of Columbus. That’s the last town before the border of Mexico and its the place Poncho Villa and 600 of his troops attacked in 1916. The campground’s bunkhouse comes from that location and was brought here to be used as our library (which is quite nice – the best I’ve ever seen in a campground) and card playing location.
I guess that’s it for now. I just want to say that the wait was worth it. I’ve fallen in love with this campground and its wonderful people.