In the past ten weeks, I have camped in twenty-two different places. (I think.)
One state park.
One Harvest Hosts farm.
One parking lot.
Two independent campgrounds.
Four Passport America parks.
Five Thousand Trails.
Those are definitely not in any meaningful order.
I loved the state park — if it had come later in my journey, I would have loved it even more because I would have realized how incredibly nice it was.
The Harvest Hosts farm was amazing, one of the best days, best experiences, of my first ten weeks.
The parking lot was interesting. As parking lots go, it was nice, but I suspect camping in parking lots is not going to be a huge factor in my life. I have never felt more “woman traveling alone” than when I was awake at 3AM with the street lights shining in my windows. I’m not sure I can relax enough to start enjoying your average Walmart parking lot anytime soon. Maybe, though.
The campgrounds — from KOA (pricey) to Thousand Trails (free – $3/night) — were an incredibly mixed bag. Some were lovely. The Onion River Campground in Vermont was so peaceful, such a pleasant place to stay. But the Thousand Trails in upstate NY — the one where I had the hostile neighbors — was the only place in my journey that I’ve been grateful and eager to leave behind.
The seven driveways have been by far my favorite places to stay. I didn’t expect that at all. I thought driveways would be sort of uncomfortable, occasional places to stay. But Serenity has enough solar power that unless I need air-conditioning to keep the dogs comfortable, it’s really easy to stay in a driveway. Also reasonably private, usually pretty quiet, and cozy. And sociable. In fact, I really didn’t expect how sociable moving into a camper would be. I figured I’d be very isolated — plenty of time to do lots of writing — but not so much.
Today I’m in C’s driveway. She gave me a key to her house and told me I should count her driveway as home base while I’m in central Florida — it made me seriously teary. I absolutely love what I’m doing, no question, no uncertainty. But I do have moments when I feel… well, homeless. Floating, untethered, Mary Poppins-like drifting where the wind blows. Sometimes I love that. Sometimes, not so much. I’m not going to move into C’s driveway for a long stay anytime soon — I’ve got lots of places to go — but it feels like safety to know that the option is there.