By Chuck Woodbury
Hello from along Route 66 in Kingman, Arizona.
Gail and I are still in Arizona. We’ll be here two weeks. We don’t know where we’re going next. At the moment there is no room for us in our current park after April 21st. We’re hopeful something’s going to 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 personally thanked you yet, but I will. There’s just so much going on and I get overwhelmed with things to do. I think sometimes I’ll burn out, but I feel compelled to do what I can to help in some way. I don’t know what I’d do if I didn’t have a planetcampers.com. I think some people who aren’t used to working from home (or from their RV like me) should go stir crazy.
I personally spend about half of each weekday putting together our daily coronavirus update – how the pandemic is affecting RVers. Sign up for our RV Daily Tips Newsletter, where in each issue we offer a link to the update. There’s important news every day – more public parks are closing, more national parks closing (Yellowstone, Yosemite and Grand Canyon are only a few now closed). And almost all RV production has stopped. The RV industry is in for major problems in the coming year. Big, big problems.
Our little camper park is quiet. People keep on themselves, although they pause to talk when walking by, usually with their dogs. One of our neighbors stopped by visiting the other day. He brought a garden chair and kept his distance. It was “wine” night for Gail and me, and the evening air was gloriously warm. We spoke for an hour or two, and it was refreshing to visit with another human being.
Gail and I are lucky we get along so well. I can’t imagine how awful it must be to be locked up with a spouse or partner you don’t get along with. That’s kind of hell on earth, I guess. I am so happy.
I suggest that if you’re alone, you might want to go to your local animal shelter. Adopt a dog or cat. It will add a lot to your life.
My staff works hard, very hard. We are well aware that we are currently lucky enough to have jobs and incomes. So many others do not and will not be in the days and weeks ahead. I feel so sorry for them. I sometimes feel guilty that we do well when others are worried about feeding their families, paying much less of their rent, and in the case of RVers, their monthly RV payments.
Gail and I are happy in our 32-foot camper. It’s nothing special (a 2011 Winnebago Adventurer), but it’s as much a home for us as our permanent home back in Seattle – located dead center of the coronavirus outbreak there. We’re not going home for a while. We’re in Mojave County, Arizona, which has very few cases of COVID-19.
I can’t stop thinking. that it was only four months ago that we left our northwest for what we thought would be on the road for a few months. Two months later, we first heard the word coronavirus. But life went on normal. But the news gradually got worse. And now here we are, forced to stay in our homes to wait and see what lies ahead. In my opinion, things will get worse for the next month or two, maybe longer, heaven forbid. Whoever we are, wherever we are, we have to fight, in some cases for our survival.
Is this just a bad dream, and I wake up? I’d like to, but if I pinch myself, it hurts. It’s not a dream. It is real, and even when the disease is overcome, our lives will be very different than before. Good? Bad? I do not know. Who is?
I now have four friends infected with the virus. One has died, two are in hospital on the airways and the other has recovered. My good friend Gary Bunzer, the RV Doctor, is fighting for his life in the hospital. I’m updating his condition often as I know many of you know Gary or have read his RV columns in planetcampers.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 walk with our little hairy friend Archie, whose only concern is whether he will one day catch one of the wild rabbits we encounter.
The other day, for the first time ever, we ordered groceries from a local supermarket here in Kingman. We placed the order and two days later got a date and time to pick it up. On our way there, I suddenly realized that things weren’t normal. Almost every store along our three mile drive was closed. There was hardly any traffic. In the store, the servants who loaded our car wore masks. I got nervous. This is all real, not a bad dream. It hit me.
That trip to the supermarket: When we returned home and unpacked, about 20 per cent of our order was not filled – no pasta, no rice, no toilet paper (thought). And other things. Gail and I are fine, we’ll figure it out. But not being able to just buy what we wanted was another reminder of our suddenly upside down world.
Gail is on a walk with Archie now, late Friday afternoon, along an old wagon road within walking distance of our park. Gail took the picture above yesterday. It’s very beautiful here. She’s a little scared to get on a rattlesnake, but I don’t think they’re out yet, a little too cold here at 3,300 feet. I haven’t seen a single lizard yet.
I’m the last of the newsletter now, so have to stop. I just had to get some of my mind out.
I hope you’re okay. Feel free to write something we can post. Tell us about your situation. Unload if you want. Others will be interested. We’re all in the lake.
Stay safe. Wash your hands. Get some fresh air when you. Smile where possible. Say your prayers. Be nice to everyone.