The Colusa-Sacramento River State Recreation Area is an odd place. And odd is a really vague adjective, but honestly, I’ve got no other. I don’t want to weigh it down with negative connotations, like weird or strange, and it’s not so different that it deserves to be called unusual. It’s just… odd.

I suspect it’s because where once there was a river, now there is dirt. There’s a sign that I should probably go take a picture of, because I have no scenic pictures to go with this post, that reads something like “Danger, Steep slope leads to deep water with strong current.” Um, no, it doesn’t. Yes, there’s a steep slope, but it leads to a ditch, with plants growing in it. The boat ramp is closed and there’s not even any evidence that it should or would have led to water. Not even puddles.

Meanwhile the campground is basically a deserted parking lot. A nice parking lot, though, with even paved sites, picnic tables, electric and water hook-ups, and plenty of trees. It was hot yesterday, but there was a cool breeze for most of the day, and I only ran the air conditioner for a little while in the afternoon.

Still, the emptiness and the pavement combine to give it a vaguely unsettling air. I could see it being a good setting for a horror movie. And, in fact, when I was walking the dog this morning I was headed down a path that seemed like an old road, asphalt cracked and broken, when I started telling myself stories about serial killers and deranged clowns, and wound up scaring myself into cutting my walk short. Note to self: scary stories are more fun behind locked doors.

I was thinking about being homesick this morning, though — homesick for a home I don’t have — when I realized that my feelings of homesickness have completely dissipated already, and it’s because of my nice campsite. When I’m in a campground, I tend to extend into the outside space. The plastic box containing my sewer hose gets stored outside, under the van, instead of on the bathroom floor. My chair gets set up by the door. Kitchen stuff, some of it, moves onto the picnic table.

Those few feet of outside space, probably especially in the bathroom, make Serenity feel more livable, more like home. It was a good realization. Of course, I still love camping in driveways, because it’s nice to visit people, but on my next extended driveway visit, wherever it is, I’m going to make more of an effort to feel less squashed in my lovely tiny house on wheels. And meanwhile, she’s feeling very cozy and homey today and I’m feeling pretty content with her. Just in time to pack up and move on!