Monday, October 26, 2020

Breaking camp


As we unplugged and disconnected, cranked up and packed up, cleaned and stored our dishes preparing to leave our campsite in Silver Springs, I took stock of the items I needed to fix when we got home. I had already watched the videos about replacing the ruptured propane gas line and fixing the leaking water supply to the toilet. No big issues, the parts would be ready when we got there. Just things I would rather not do here.

I had to laugh as I tried to disconnect the external television coaxial cable connector on the rear of our trailer. It simply spun in my hand instead of disconnecting from the trailer. Aah, I thought, another test! How many more tests can I stand on this trip? The threat of rain had prompted our decision to leave early and of course it rained just before I put away the awning with its brand new pull-strap, which, by-the-way, was a one-minute fix.

We hoped to hike or bicycle several really nice trails the last day, but the weather forecast caused us to cut our stay short. We decided to slowly, comfortably head for home. Besides, the refrigerator light blew out as well.

Our evenings were probably the most telling about what we missed from our previous trips, even though we decided to keep the camper for another year, or at least until after the resolution of our COVID virus pandemic. But we still aren’t sure if we want to haul it across country for another three month sojourn.

We love the freedom of simply hooking up the trailer and taking our hotel room with us, but we don’t like being disconnected from the Internet for more than a couple of days. Don’t laugh. We have spent more time in Walmart stores from Blairsville, Georgia, to Painted Post, New York, looking for a WiFi signal than we care to admit. We’ve parked in McDonald’s parking lots all across Virginia, and local libraries throughout Pennsylvania to stay connected. Through the development of America’s Internet grid, we’ve owned two separate, independent, erratic, handheld hot-spots to keep us connected. Now that the hot-spot feature is built into our cell-phones, all we have to do is decide how much we are willing to pay for access to our sanity.

We don’t rely on local television and radio stations. We heard a young, enthusiastic weather forecaster in Asheville tell us not to worry about sun protection because it was going to be cloudy and yet another station fail to warn us we were about to have severe weather. Luckily our camping neighbors had a weather app on their smartphone that told everyone to take shelter.

We don’t often stream movies or shows on the road, but we like immediate access to the ‘Net when we want to satisfy our curiosities. We download books and articles, and I can research a subject for writing for hours. And of course, we constantly monitor our new household camera security system. That turned out to be the biggest data-hog we’ve ever encountered in the years we’ve been using the Internet.

Another reason we are not spending another night is because we blew up our data plan. Verizon has us on half-speed because we went over our data limit and staring at my phone waiting for the little wheel symbol to finally stop spinning is a maddening waste of time! I can’t even check our home security cameras. We obviously are out of practice allocating our Internet resources and need to rethink our data budget. There isn’t anything in the trailer or on our Kindles we haven’t already read. Broadcast radio is a wasteland and television isn’t much better. I am not hauling a trailer around the country to watch Frazier reruns.

There are no safety issues to keep us from enjoying our camper. I really don’t want to spend time shopping for parts and repairing things while I’m on the road unless I have to. Everything can be fixed in due time, even the lack of Internet. 

We’ll fix it after we get home.

And after I fix everything else…

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