Wednesday, February 8, 2023


Editor’s Roadside Journal: Day 32 of Self-Isolation

By Chuck Woodbury

APRIL 10, 2020. 3 p.m., Pacific time

We are still in Kingman, Arizona, probably staying through May. Mohave County only has 28 cases (Friday) of COVID-19. So it’s a safe place to be compared to home in Seattle. The days pass quickly, but increasingly I yearn for a return to normal.

The park where I live (for now). Photo taken from my front door.

Our RV park is very quiet. Hardly anyone ever wears a face mask. About the only time you see anyone outside their RVs is when they walk their dogs. On pleasant evenings they sit outside under their awnings. But the nights have been chilly lately so not much of that going on. If a crowd gathers it’s usually just a few people, and everyone keeps their distance.

Interstate 40 is a few hundreds yards away. There’s some traffic noise, but I hardly notice it. I take a few minutes now and then to watch the traffic pass. It’s mostly 18-wheeler trucks. I’d guess that for every car that passes there are five trucks. Amazon Prime trucks are the most common. An RV almost never goes by.

Our RV park is just off Route 66. It has a half dozen spaces for transient RVers. Most that arrive leave early the next morning — snowbirds on their way to their traditional homes to the north. Nobody is “camping.”

Gail and I are doing fine in our close quarters. We’re both easy-going and roll with the punches. I’m fortunate to be with someone who doesn’t get upset that I squeeze the toothpaste from the top of the tube, not the bottom, or that I sometimes leave my dirty dishes in the sink. She’s Felix and I’m Oscar, for sure. But we respect each other’s quirks. This is a good thing when you spend your days and nights sharing about 300 square feet of space. is hanging in there. Our staff appreciates that we have jobs when so many others do not. We’re putting in more hours than usual. Hey, we’re all stuck at home (or in our RVs), where we work normally, so it’s easy to put in some extra time. We know that things could fall apart without warning if the economy gets really bad. So we do our best to ensure that doesn’t happen.

Archie likes to stay close. What a little pal!

My little dog Archie is great comfort. We adopted him a year ago from a shelter in California. He’s my buddy. I often write while sitting on the couch, my computer on my lap. Archie joins me, snuggling up next to me. I haven’t had a dog for more 12 years. I forgot what great pals they can be.

Gail and I hardly ever go out with the car. We order our groceries online from a Smith’s supermarket, which delivers them promptly, and Amazon brings other essentials. I have never especially enjoyed grocery shopping, so this works for me, and Gail, too. Our toilet paper supply is adequate, so no problem in that department.

We take walks around the adjacent residential neighborhoods. There is seldom anyone else around. Gail found an old wagon road that we can walk to from our park. Again, we seldom encounter another person, only a few rabbits, which provide high entertainment for Archie. Life seems normal at these times.

Gas is $1.81 a gallon here and headed down. But we hardly every drive, so it’s no big deal. Like most other places, restaurants and non-essential businesses are closed. The few times we’ve ventured out there was hardly any traffic. Nobody is “getting their kicks on Route 66” right now.

Gail owned a hairstyling salon for 18 years. So, lucky me, I have a hairstylist on board. Normally she cuts my hair every few weeks. But lately, I have said, “What the heck” and just let it grow. It’s longer than it’s ever been in my life. I look like, forgive my language, hell! I don’t even shave every day. Gail wants me to grow a beard. But I tell her I look terrible with a beard (based on experience), so not going there…. Besides, it would be white, which would make me look like Santa Claus. If times were different maybe I’d just go ahead and do it and get a job as Santa for Christmas. But, really, what parent will let their young child sit on some stranger’s lap next Christmas? Lots of Santas, I think, will be out of a job. But, then, maybe the coronavirus crisis will be behind us by then – I hope so.

Thanks to those of you who have contributed to and/or continue to support as voluntary subscribers, or members. Your support helps ensure we can continue to concentrate on bringing you quality information without stressing over how to pay our bills.

See you here next week. Be safe!


P.S. Please tell us how your life is going these days. Click here to submit and include a photo if you have one. Keep it under 600 words if possible. Hope to hear from you. We’ll post some of these stories.


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Al Lefeusch
2 years ago

I’ve been hunkered down at an event park on Vancouver Island since February and will stay until at least July 1. As one who prefers to social distance, this has been very easy for me! Although, I’d prefer not to have a pandemic be the reason for my peace and quiet. 🙂

2 years ago

At home, not too different except no meals in restaurants and no visiting friends or relatives My father-in-law has an apartment in our house, and had a small stroke so we have caregivers coming in to help care for him. Will leave for a work assignment later this week, hoping I won’t get stopped anywhere but the caregiver’s agency is asking for a two week quarantine in the motorhome in our driveway when I return to protect their personnel as well as my father-in-law in case I get exposed while travelling.

John Koenig
2 years ago

For this Covid19 nightmare to be TRULY over, I expect people will need to “socially isolate” for MANY months more. I really don’t see a “return to normalcy” anytime soon (probably six months and it could EASILY go longer). Since I doubt that many people will act responsibly for that long a period, I expect a “boomerang effect” and a “second Covid19 wave” where “the curve” will head back up. What I wonder about is how long the “normal” food supply chain will operate. So far, it has been quite reliable but, that could quickly change. If it does change for the worse, then all bets are off re a “civil society”; things could easily devolve into chaos. I’m holed up about 40 miles from a population center and, although NOT a “prepper”, I am ready to be self sufficient for several months should everything “go south”. These opinions are based on what I see the few times I do venture into populated areas where many (most?) people are NOT following simple requests like wearing a mask / bandana to protect others. SO many people are either lazy, stupid or, the ever popular “all of the above” and, they simply will NOT accept that they ARE part of the problem instead of being part of the solution. Once (if?) we get out of this problem, will the world have the intestinal fortitude to see that this does NOT happen again? I doubt it. We desperately need to have manufacturing capability here in the U.S. at least for basic needs such as medicines, personal protective equipment and other items. Without that, we will always be at the mercy of China and other countries who’s quality standards are simply substandard. We MUST be willing to pay more for quality on critical items. Many lives depend on it.

2 years ago
Reply to  John Koenig

John, I totally agree with bring manufacturing back the USA. Back when our clothing manufacturing was run out of business because we could buy a shirt from India or China because it was $2.00 cheaper is when all this began. I don’t think I could find a shirt made in the USA anymore. Think of all of those USA clothing manufactures that could have immediately started making masks. THAT is when our governments let us down. That is when decent tariffs should have been enacted, to keep manufactures in this country. So short sighted. Heck, I figured that out when I was just a kid.

Paul S Goldberg
2 years ago

Living quietly with my wife in our 36′ DP on our site in Jojoba Hills SKP Resort. Of course all our amenities are closed and the board has chosen to keep our empty spaces empty rather than let renters enter the park. We are a +55 resort with our share of frail and at risk members. We keep occupied with social gathering and meeting on zoom. We have as many as 150 join our sessions which i help host. It keeps us current with what’s happening locally. We even broadcast the Zoom meetings on our in park channel for those who cannot join on their computer or tablet. Seeing what others are having to do we feel spoiled and very lucky to have what we have. We even have a patch of desert with trails within our fence. Getting deliveries from groceries is not available since we are 17 miles from the closest, beyond their delivery range. There are a couple of local markets that have produce and minimal basics. We had planned to be here until April 26 in any event so being here now is not yet an interruption of anything we had thought we had planned – Alaska anyone?

2 years ago

We’ve been at the Thousand Trails Park in Mt. Vernon WA for the past month. Getting updates on our summer gig in Yellowstone. It still looks like the plan is to head out around April 20. We’ll self-quarantine for 14 days when we arrive. Things will get back to ‘the new normal” soon!

2 years ago

How about a readers poll? Should Chuck grow a beard? I think you’d look great. After it’s grown,it’s easy to remove if it’s that bad.
What are we doing? Sitting around,reading and watch my rear getting fatter from sitting around. We are in a 55+ resort were they have shut down ALL activities. Course they didn’t refund any fees that were required for those activities.Blessed we can do nothing.Really feel sorry for those who’s jobs are gone and may never return.

Dick and Sandy near Buffalo, NY
2 years ago

We had been grounded in our Motor Home at the Lazy Days RV Resort on Seffner, Fl just east of Tampa, FL since mid March. All the activities at the RV Resort were terminated, the summing pool, the Gym/Workout building, the on site Restaurant went to take-out only no weekly out door movies, no group camp fires. Our Tampa Moose Lodge closed, no more Cruise Nights and Car Shows, no more going out to restaurants, no more visiting with our many friends and relatives.

More and more campgrounds were closing, the rules from the Governor kept changing as to what was restricted and what was not. On April 5th we derided it was time to make our break and attempt to a 1300 mile drive to our home just outside Buffalo, NY.

We do not drive up the east coast, we drive what most call the back way north through Florida, through Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania and then the Western part of New York through Buffalo and to our home 20 miles from Niagara Falls.

Many of those states had driving restrictions. As a precaution we filled our 40 foot Class A DP (with car in tow) with two weeks of food and provisions just in case we got stopped (these days anything can happen). We stayed the night of the 5th at a Flying J in Resaca, GA, north of Atlanta. We stayed the night of the 6th in a campground north of Columbus, OH. They were not supposed to accept less than a two week stay but we have stayed there the past 11 years so they allowed it.

We got home on the 7th of April. We will stay grounded here at home until otherwise. We have yard work to take care of and I have two show cars to get ready for hopefully the up coming season. We are fortunate to have made it back home. I feel bad for those who have not made it back to their homes yet and those who are grounded in their RV’s. What about those who are finally home but have no jobs to go to.

There are many negatives that go with this situation. I hope that everyone can find some positives and we all can be better because of it.

HAPPY EASTER Be well, be safe.

2 years ago

Earlier in life I spent 20+ years in the military; USAF. I think I got so used to regimentation then that I am not terribly upset with what amounts to being quarantined now. Nancy, my wife, and I are comfortable in our 39′ fiver. And we have Rumor and Rory with us too. Our fur babies are retired racing Greyhounds and, like Archie, adopted, So, we are all retired. They are kinda big for the quarters we have. There is a center island in the kitchen so they have to walk past it to turn around and change direction. No problem. They sleep a lot. Me too.
We are way more fortunate than many RVers. While we do not have a house, just the RV, what we do have is a six acre plot of rural America in the middle of South Carolina. There used to be a mobile home here years ago so we have a well, septic tank and electricity. Several years ago I made two 50A fhu sites here. We’re on one and our son has his travel trailer parked on the other. Storage mostly; the poor kid lives in house a few miles away. There is a workshop here too. It gives us a place to tinker with whatever needs tinkering. This week I fixed a lawnmower so I could mow in the dog’s kennel.
So, for the duration, we have our own little private campground. All travel plans are cancelled until whenever. I was hoping to be visiting the grands in Massachusetts by now. Then eating lobster in Harrington, Maine (Sunset Point RV Park is a great campground). Then it was to be off to our granddaughter in Glasgow, Montana – with a myriad of wonderful things to see and visit on the way. All postponed for now. We’ll just have to bide our time until September when hopefully can go to our RV Club’s rally in Nebraska. The rest is reserved for 2021 travels, good Lord willing.

2 years ago

Hey Chuck and Gail, if you do get a chance, do go and see the Mohave Museum of History (including the great collection of electric cars) and around the corner from there (north on Route 66) is the Powerhouse visitor Center with a great museum upstairs, do, as they are both are great.

2 years ago

We started a 7 month trip from Olalla (near Gig Harbor WA) to Florida and then the Canadian Maritimes on Feb 28th in our 40′ Country Coach. You can imagine how well that went. We had a couple of mechanical issues that slowed us down some, but reached Mississippi by Mar 13th. But then we abandoned the plan when we learned that even the Military Base campgrounds (many of which were on our route) were closed to new campers, and the Canadian border was closing. So we started home on Mar 19th. Looking at the long-range forecast I chose the Northern Route, as it seemed Spring had arrived in Montana and the Dakotas. Hah!
After an uneventful slog up the Missouri River and a nice few days in the Black Hills, we got caught by a Blizzard in Wyoming. Had to hunker down for 4 nights while the temp dropped into single digits with snow, and our water pump froze, despite our heated water bay! The pump replacement and a couple more engine issues have cost us almost a week coming home. Why is it that the “check engine” light only appears on Fridays?? Caterpillar service is easy to find, but they don’t work on weekends!
Today we’re in the Spokane KOA – the BEST KOA we’ve ever been in! – and we stocked up on provisions at the local Costco yesterday. We’ll transition from isolating in the rig to home isolation when we get back to Olalla this afternoon. It’s been the Adventure from Hell, I can assure you.
Enjoy AZ while you can, Chuck.

Brian Stringer
2 years ago
Reply to  Don

Which koa in Spokane did you like?

2 years ago

We have a few small NRD campgrounds still open, but weather here in Nebraska is normal for spring. Few nice days then front comes through and nights in the low 20’s, not worth the effort to camp for a couple nights then have to rewinterize the rig. Most of the state this morning is under a winter storm watch or warning so home is home for now.

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