By Chuck Woodbury
Hello from along Route 66 in Kingman, Arizona.
Gail and I are still in Arizona. We’re here for two more weeks. We’re not sure where we will head after that. Right now there’s no room for us in our current park after April 21. We’re hopeful something will open up.
Thanks to those of you who have offered us a place to stay on your property or even in your homes. I haven’t yet thanked all of you personally, but I will. There is simply so much going on and I get overwhelmed with things to do. I think sometimes that I will burn out, but I feel compelled to do whatever I can to help in some way. I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t have RVtravel.com. I think some people who are not accustomed to working at home (or out of their RV like me), must be going stir crazy.
I’ve personally been spending about half of each weekday putting together our daily coronavirus update — how the pandemic is affecting RVers. Please sign up for our RV Daily Tips Newsletter, where in each issue we provide a link to the update. There’s important news every day — more public parks closing, more national parks closing (Yellowstone, Yosemite and Grand Canyon are just a few now closed). And most all RV production has stopped. The RV industry is in for big trouble in the next year. Big, big trouble.
Our little RV park is quiet. People keep to themselves, although they pause to talk when walking by, usually with their dogs. One of our neighbors stopped by to visit the other day. He brought a lawn chair and kept his distance. It was “wine” night for Gail and me, and the evening air was gloriously warm. We talked for an hour or two, and it was refreshing to visit with another human being.
Gail and I are very lucky that we get along so well. I can’t imagine how horrible it must be to be cooped up with a spouse or partner you don’t get along with. That’s a little bit of Hell on Earth, I think. I am so fortunate.
I suggest if you are alone, you might want to head over to your local animal shelter. Adopt a dog or cat. It will add a great deal to your life.
My staff is working hard, really hard. We are fully aware that at this point we are lucky to have jobs and incomes. So many others don’t and won’t in the days and weeks ahead. I feel so sorry for them. I sometimes feel guilty that we are doing okay when others are worried sick about feeding their families, much less paying their rent, and in the case of RVers, their monthly RV payments.
Gail and I are content in our 32-foot motorhome. It’s nothing fancy (a 2011 Winnebago Adventurer) but it is as much a home to us as our permanent home back in Seattle — located dead center of the coronavirus outbreak there. We’re not going home anytime soon. We’re in Mohave County, Arizona, which has very few cases of COVID-19.
I KEEP THINKING that it was only four months ago that we left our Northwest home for what we thought would be a couple of months on the road. Then two months later, we heard the word coronavirus for the first time. But life went on normally. But the news gradually got worse. And now here we are, forced to stay in our homes to await whatever is ahead. In my opinion, it will get worse for the next month or two, maybe longer, heaven forbid. Whoever we are, wherever we are, we must fight, in some cases for our survival.
Is this is just a bad dream, and I am going to wake up? I wish, but when I pinch myself, it hurts. It’s no dream. It’s real, and even when the disease is conquered, our lives will be very different from before. Good? Bad? I don’t know. Who does?
I now have four friends infected with the virus. One has died, two are in the hospital on respirators and the other has recovered. My good buddy Gary Bunzer, the RV Doctor, is fighting for his life in the hospital. I am updating his condition often as I know many of you know Gary or have read his RV columns in RVtravel.com or elsewhere for years.
Here, sheltered, in our quiet RV park, it’s hard to imagine the chaos going on in the world around us. Gail and I live normally. We walks with our little furry pal Archie, whose only worry is whether he will one day catch one of the wild rabbits we stumble upon.
The other day, for the first time ever, we ordered groceries from a local supermarket here in Kingman. We placed the order and then were given a date and time two days later to pick it up. On our way there, I suddenly realized that things were not normal. Almost every store along our three-mile drive was closed. There was hardly any traffic. At the store, the grocery clerks who loaded up our car wore masks. I got nervous. This is all real, not a bad dream. It hit me.
That trip to the grocery store: When we returned home and unpacked, about 20 percent of our order was not filled — no pasta, no rice, no toilet paper (figured that). And other stuff. Gail and I are okay, we’ll get by. But not being able to just buy what we wanted was another reminder of our suddenly upside-down world.
Gail is off on a hike with Archie now, late Friday afternoon, along an old wagon road within easy walking distance from our park. Gail took the photo above yesterday. It’s very pretty around here. She’s a little afraid of coming upon a rattlesnake, but I don’t think they are out yet, a bit too cold up here at 3,300 feet. I haven’t even seen a single lizard yet.
I’m finishing up the newsletter now, so must stop. I just had to get some of my thoughts out.
I hope you are doing okay. Feel free to write something that we can post. Tell us about your situation. Unload if you want. Others will be interested. We’re all in this together.
Stay safe. Wash your hands. Get some fresh air when you can. Smile when possible. Say your prayers. Be kind to all.