Editor’s journal, May 8, 2020

17

By Chuck Woodbury
EDITOR
It’s been another week of hanging out in an RV park in Kingman, Arizona, as time marches on. One day blends into another. We watch the death tolls mount on our TV and computers, wondering what’s ahead for all of us.

Our little adopted terrier, Archie, keeps us entertained. He’s two years old and likes to play. We throw his ball from one end of the motorhome to the other giving him just enough room to sprint after it and then sprint back. It’s not his only exercise, but it’s not bad when we’re stuck inside for hours on end. What a fun little buddy he is! Dogs are such wonderful creatures. I had not had one for about 15 years until Archie, and I had forgotten how quickly they steal your heart.

Speaking of Archie, I have to tell you a funny story. About three weeks ago, before the state locked up some of its public places, Gail took Archie to Kingman Dog Park. Archie thoroughly enjoys smelling all the dog pee and poop there, always making a few contributions before he leaves — his duty as a dog.

The full moon rising over the mountains the other evening was spectacular.

This time, as he and Gail were leaving, a guy in a pickup rolled down his window and yelled “Hi, Archie!” He was an RV Travel reader and recognized Archie and Gail, and put the pieces together. How about that?

GAIL AND I TAKE WALKS around the neighborhood almost every evening except when wine beckons, when we sit outside in the warm summer-like evenings and talk about whatever we normally talk about, plus whatever the wine brings out. People walk by and some stop to talk. We know our neighbors on both sides now. We keep our distance, but normal talk from six to eight feet away works fine. Our neighbors in the driver’s side of our RV are here on a temporary assignment. He repairs wind machines. He was working 7 days a week, but parts for the giant windmills are in short supply, so he’s been cut back to five days.

They have a small daughter, perhaps five, who plays with a friend in the park. Gail decided today to make yarn dolls for them. I don’t know the young girls at all, due to my near total self-isolation. I love little girls (I guess from being the father of a daughter), so I feel disappointed I can’t be sort of a temporary “uncle” to them, as I might in other times.

We walked into historic Kingman the other evening. It’s less than a mile away. There was nobody around, all businesses locked up. A very appealing brew-pub was closed; I thought on such a warm evening it would be packed in other times.

Downtown historic Kingman, a block off Route 66.

I felt very sorry for all the mom-and-pop businesses, which I know are struggling to stay alive in normal times in the small town, bypassed years ago by I-40. Route 66 ran right through town in its heyday. I don’t know when this pandemic is over that any of those stores will come back, so sad. . .

I loved the motto of the Have a Great Hair Day Salon, “Get Your Clips on Route 66.”

Route 66 is still popular with road trip fans — these days those from Europe, China and Japan. But not right now. The stretch east of where I am living is the largest uninterrupted section of the Mother Road in the country. I was through three years ago and sad to see that many of the small businesses still open ten years ago were closed, finally done in by the Interstate.

One thing that Gail and I do often is star gaze. I was puzzled the other night as I looked into the southwest sky. I could swear that a star was blinking red, white and green. Maybe it was a satellite. Maybe it was a helicopter hovering in place miles away. But probably it was just my imagination.

I got out my binoculars. Sure enough the light was blinking the three colors. What the heck?

Well, Gail hopped right on her iPhone and did a little searching. And low and behold it was a star and it was, indeed, flashing colors. Its name is Sirius, the Dog Star. It’s the only star that is bright enough here on Earth that its light gets refracted into a tiny, tiny “rainbow” in a way that we can see. It’s roughly 8.5 light years away, making it one of the closest stars to us. How about that? How could I have missed knowing that after 40 years of star gazing?

So, confusion remedied.

Gail is so strong that she can hold up giant boulders!

We took two hikes this past week, one close by in the desert, the other 12 miles into the mountains, in the pines at more than 6,000 feet. When we left our motorhome the temperature was 95. Within a half hour it had dropped to 81. We paid $10 to enter Hualapai Mountain Park. Dry camping is available for $20 a night, but I don’t think I would try it in an RV longer than 24 feet. There are several rock cabins from the 1930s that looked totally wonderful. I bet some families have stayed in them for generations. We hiked for about a mile beneath the tall pines and by giant granite boulders.

* * *
Okay, it’s Friday night, so I’d better wrap up. Tomorrow’s newsletter is almost complete. I finished my part at about 4 p.m., and now Diane McGovern will take over, adding content, proofing for typos and fixing goofs that the rest of us made along the way.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend wherever you are. Please be safe. One day, this crisis will end. And then we can again go about our normal play and appreciate it more than ever.

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Jeanice Crowley
5 months ago

Love your newsletter and blog. We are in our 6th year of full time RVing. We have loved every minute of it – well, not so much right now. We, like you, are stationary in Tucson AZ. I cannot wait to look for the Dog Star tonight. There is a cool iPhone app that we use many nights to identify what is in the heavens above us. Thanks so much for the tip on Sirius!!

Claude Dentton
5 months ago

Hi all….. Sorry this is so long….
My wife and I decided at the end of last year that it was time to move into retirement living. We had been full and part time living in our motorhome for the 20 some odd years that was the one of the best time of our lives. We had sold our home in northern California and started full time RV living . All this time we relied a lot on RVT for information, ideas, tips , things to do and see, and to visit friends an family across the good old USA. We also did lot of shopping along the way. We shopped at Amazon & Walmart, and still do for most of our daily needs and those items that we still use.
So, with fear and trepidation we decided that the first thing we had to do was to see if we could sell our motorhome ourselves. We (and our daughter) put our motorhome, a 2005 Newmar Kountry Star, on their website and boy did they move. It sold within 30 days of listing at the time we thought it would be a while before we would have any action. This was at the end of camping & RVing season. We had several inquiries but nothing serious. But then a buyer (cash) came along the sale was completed.
Sorry for the long lead in, but it is very hard to condense that much time of our lives for what we enjoyed so much.
To finish, what it all comes to down to is that I am still reading the RVT online magazine and enjoying it, even though we are not in our motorhome reminiscing on what we enjoyed so much, And still using some of the tips and suggestions from RVT. Your tips do not only apply to RV related items.
Keep up the good work to all of the staff and the people that write articles for RVT; And for those who are still travelling or full timing, please support a good cause, especially during these worry some times. They keep us current on the virus.

Maybe we will see you down the road sometime.

Thank you to all,

Claude Denton
In God we trust

P.S. RVT is a daily read for me in my emails.

Admin
RV Staff (@rvstaff)
5 months ago
Reply to  Claude Dentton

Thank you for your very kind words, Claude, and for continuing to read our newsletters even though you’re no longer (at the moment, anyway) on the road. Take care, and stay healthy. 😀 –Diane at RVtravel.com

John Zurflueh
5 months ago

We, as a nation, must learn how to live and work with this menace. We cannot afford the financial devastation, but must take the minimal risk of everyone going to work and opening businesses. With some enormous proposals for more government stimulus (borrowing), there will be no country we’ll recognize to come back to.
I believe that our medical technology is second to none and will sooner, rather than later, aid in the stomping out of this virus.

Greg T
5 months ago
Reply to  John Zurflueh

Minimal risk?

WEB
5 months ago
Reply to  John Zurflueh

Here I was reading your post and I thought that politics was verboten… then I get to the last word… “virus”… Ooohhhhh, that was sneaky!

Jan Haag
5 months ago

Great Roadside Journal, Chuck! So good to know what you’re up to in the wilds of Kingman. Dick and I send love and best wishes as you two and Archie hunker down for the duration… whatever that amounts to. I do know about Sirius, but those colors can’t always be seen unless you’re in reallllly clear skies… which you must be. Lucky you! Sending love and virtual hugs.

Mark Evenson
5 months ago

Chuck, thanks for the update in your journal entry of May 8th. I was feeling about the same as you until I received an invitation today by Email to book a spot in an RV camp that we have used before. Totally surprised at the prospect ! I called and found that even tho there will be no pool, store, golf or other amenities, there will be full hookups in the gold county of the Western Sierras. Ya we will have to wear masks if closer than 6ft and mind our Ps & Qs, but I reserved 4 nights. This is a sign of things to come, I Hope.
Stay safe and please keep writting. Hopefully we will all be camping soon in one form or another.

Patsy Perkins
5 months ago

We decided to leave our rock and stick home this morning , get in our motor home and drive to the Texas hill country. My husband has ants in his pants. The RV resort in Kerrvile , Buckhorn Lake Resort is open and very few cases of the virus are in this beautiful rural part of Texas. We have dinner plans tonight at 1011 Bistro restaurant on the Guadalupe River and plan to sit outside, if not to chilly. Mother’s day we are going to the Wild Seed Farm in Fredericksburg and they have a wine tasing going on, you can bring the dogs to walk the wild flower trails. We have plans to go to Grapecreek winery for appetizers and wine in the evening. Texas has specific guidelines that the business are following and we good with this. Getting out and getting fresh air in wide open spaces and trying to have some normalcy in our life’s is what we want. Most places are saying that face mask are optional. The RV resort did tell my husband that they have people that don’t want to leave, I do believe they have a two month limit, but people in Texas are usually very “ southern “ friendly and allowing them to stay as long as the want. Looking forward to have a fun Mother’s Day weekend, I’m a mother to 4 Dalmatians. And , yes we do have face mask just in case we feel the need to put it on. I would love to show pictures of this RV resort for folks that have never been to Texas or never to the hill country.

Denise Starzyk
5 months ago
Reply to  Patsy Perkins

Buckhorn is our favorite place. It was the first place we stayed when we got our coach and we try to go there at least once a year. I might add it’s our dog’s favorite place also. Enjoy your stay it sounds like you have great plans! Cheers!

Patsy Perkins
5 months ago
Reply to  Denise Starzyk

Thank you. They are full. We love this place huge lot sites and tons of green grass.

mdstudey
5 months ago

Well I think this has affected me in a negative way. I just sit in my chair playing a game or two and watching to much cable news. I have a ton of projects I could be working on, but just don’t have the desire to work on any of it. And it is something I have always enjoyed. I dream about being able to get back up in the mountains again to get a good old altitude/attitude adjustment and breathing some clean fresh air. I think I would really rather been stuck in my TT then my stick and bricks. So if everyone keep posting the good stuff, those of us in a rut might be able to pop our head out and get moving again. I am in the extremely high risk so must avoid the crowds, (I am also in Texas) just waiting to get out on the beach for a little sun time. Peace

Tommy Molnar
5 months ago
Reply to  mdstudey

If you quit watching the ‘news’, your life will improve immensely, mdstudey.

Ronald L. HardenSr
5 months ago

Goodness Chuck. Thanks for the memories. Jewell’s (my wife) folks moved to Kingman right after we got married in 1959 so we go a long way back with Kingman. Even to the point of when Hill Top was just desert. Jewell’s Dad was a fireman. Her Sis and husband still live there. Jewell and I taught school there for a short time. (Another good story to that). I was a music director at First Baptist Church during that time also. Golden Valley was not there at that time. We made the trip to Bullhead City many times just to swim in the River….. I wish we could talk with you and reminisce just to fill you in on some of the things that happened then. Take care. Ron ‘N’ Jewell Harden, Abilene Tx.

Montgomery Bonner
5 months ago

Chuck, stay tough. Yes, we hate being confined of sorts here too. We only get out for groceries and parts and pieces for yard projects.

Our favorite Restaurant Chain is going out of business, “Soup Plantation – or Sweet Tomatoes”, we have been going there 20 years, sad. The open buffet style of restaurant is going by the wayside. So expect, Golden Corral, and any other “open buffet style” to change or close.

I hate that we were attacked, and that is what I call it, attacked by a foreign power, the government in China knew about this possibly back into September, and said or did nothing. When Taiwan asked the WHO about human to human transmission, WHO responded like the puppet they are that no H to H transmission was being observed, but China knew it was, and did not report it.

President Trump was correct in cutting off funds for WHO, if it was me, we would leave the UN in total, our taxpayers pay more into the body, but never get anything out of it. Let leave it and see how long they survive without our money. Then we could as a nation decide which and where we put our military to help other nations out when necessary, it would be OUR decision, not some two bit dictator sitting in the Chair for his term. Ok, off soap box now. This whole business has me so mad, guess I can go do yardwork and sweat it out. Oh, it’s 42 degrees, not going to sweat much.

butch morgan
5 months ago

What I want to know is why people staying in have 67% of the virus numbers, They stay in like they are told! I heard that your immune system gets weaker cause you are not fighting the germs that the usually come in contact with,

Curt Passafume Jr
5 months ago

Thanks for a better view from your rig on this posit. In your lead article I was left with very little to be hopeful about. It seems to me you could use a bit more time outside of your confines where we all seem to develop circular thinking. The main difference is that you write about it and then send it our way to ponder. Get more fresh air, do some solid planning (it has NOT been cancelled) and give a few shout outs to my colleagues (healthcare workers on the front lines) who are putting themselves and their families in harm’s way every day they come to work. While I agree our “new normal” (have I told you I hate that phrase) is definitely changing….if we lose all hope of what we CAN be we will surely never strive to be what we SHOULD be. Fresh air, movement, change of scenery and of course wine has been helpful to us to gain perspective. I think it can help most of us as well. Enjoy AZ as it is 27 degrees this morning here in central PA. Our campground is 2/3 full and attitudes seem high. I was reminded of our best selves as two rigs pulled in last night with their little kiddos in tow. THAT is what we should be striving for….their best lives as well. Be safe. Be healthy. Be informed. Be a good citizen