Dear RV Shrink:
I found last week’s column very interesting. As new full-timers, we think we messed up. As the dominoes fall with this pandemic, we are constantly surprised how much it is impacting our lives. We have already been asked to leave two parks. We are now looking into your idea of federal land use. Can we be thrown out of these areas too? —Concerned in Central Arizona
Like you, we are taking it a day at a time. At this point we are in an Arizona State Park. They have not closed down, like neighboring states have, and we are hoping they do not. It really makes no sense to close state parks in areas flooded with snowbirds. I would assume the government wants to keep citizens safe. Throwing them out of safe harbors makes no sense at all, but many states have done just that.
But this is not just a state and federal response. We are members of the Escapees RV Club. We thought if all Arizona State Parks closed, and we were asked to leave here, we could go to an Escapee Park. We were just informed that our membership means nothing in that regard. They have built a moat around their parks and raised the drawbridge. They are not allowing any outsiders to enter the park, unless you own a space in the park or are members that are already there.
This is my mindset. I am more than happy to do my part, just don’t ask me to do something stupid. As a taxpayer I consider myself a property owner. If I have no other choice I will squat on federal land as long as it takes. If someone wants to move me I will gladly listen, as long as they have a new plan. I like what Woody Guthrie said, “This land is your land, this land is my land….”
By the time you read this column, we could all be mandated by the federal government to “shelter in place.” Knowing they are seriously considering these measures, I want to make sure I have access to a safe harbor. You should be doing the same.
At this point in the great unknown, plan for the worst case scenario. You are self-contained so make sure your rig is locked and loaded. Think about where you will find water and whatever utilities you require, and hunker down for awhile. This too shall pass. We will all have stories to tell. When the going gets tough, the tough get going. Life is an adventure and this is just another chapter. Think positive and act rationally. It’s not the end of the world, but it most likely will be a tectonic shift.
If it actually comes down to these extreme measures, you will not be alone. We are all in the same boat. Boondocking areas may be very crowded. RVers are known to circle the wagons (but, of course, with the added requirement of social distancing – 6 ft. apart) and help one another. Did I mention I have a motorhome full of vodka? But with social distancing I’m not sharing.
—Keep Smilin’, Richard Mallery a.k.a. Dr. R.V. Shrink
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