Out of one window, I am watching my neighbor do something mysterious with their sewer hose — ah, they were just packing up, actually. And out of the other window, I can see the dumpsters. So not much choice for a view in this campground. But that said, I think this is the nicest Thousand Trails campground I’ve stayed in.
It’s typical of the Thousand Trails places — which, in general, does mean not really for me. There’s an indoor swimming pool, a jacuzzi, a basketball court, a great mini-golf course (I think the nicest campground mini-golf course I’ve seen), a game room with arcade games and pool tables, a camp store, an “adult lounge”, even a pond. And it’s big enough that it was very easy to take Zelda on a one-mile walk this morning.
And full hook-ups! I don’t usually look for full hook-ups or take advantage of them, but my black tank has been reading as 2/3 full for a couple of months now. That probably means something has gotten stuck, dried to the sides of the tank. I don’t consider it a big deal, but I’m glad for the opportunity to run lots of water and soap through the tank to try to clean it out. What I really need is a second hose so that I can use the black tank flush outlet without risking contaminating my drinking water hose, preferably one like the zero-G hose that squashes down flat so that it takes up less room. It’s been on my list of “things to get someday real soon” for about a year, but I seem to always wind up buying the cooking things off that list instead of the outside things. But there are so many things on that list — a grill that folds flat, a compact table, the Sumo Springs that everyone raves about… but realistically, the next time I buy something for the van, it’ll probably be a smaller induction frying pan. Ha.
Back to the campground: it’s so nice that this morning when walking the dog, I thought, “Hmm, maybe when I take M camping next year, I’ll bring her here.” And then I remembered my horrendous drive yesterday and thought, “Nope, not gonna happen.”
I have now driven Serenity in 44 states. Yep, 44 of them. (The missing: Delaware, Rhode Island, Michigan, North Dakota, Alaska, Hawaii.) And if there is a single place that I would really like to never drive through again, it’s Washington, DC.
It’s not that other places don’t have bad traffic: I used to commute through the Caldecott Tunnel before they opened the 4th bore, where multiple lanes of traffic merge and the lanes changed directions on a regular basis. Driving that route was always interesting. And Boston — well, yeah, Boston is just crazy. But Washington has some reasonably significant proportion of really bad drivers, people who don’t care that their recklessness messes everyone else up, and it makes driving there so unpleasant.
Here’s the difference between San Francisco Bay and DC drivers: once upon a time, I was on 24 approaching the Caldecott and cars were stopping, for no obvious reason. So I stopped, too, of course. I’m not sure how many lanes there are, maybe eight at the spot where I was? And all eight lanes of traffic stopped because there was a dog on the road. A couple people got out of their cars and corralled the dog and traffic resumed again and probably several hundred people who didn’t know what had happened sighed in relief that the delay had only lasted a few minutes. If that had happened in DC, some people would have slowed, others wouldn’t, there would have been an accident and the traffic congestion would have lasted an hour, minimum. And the dog would have died.
Anyway, I will stop whining about traffic now, but I’m taking a day off to do useful things like try to get the black tank cleaned out, write a blog post, work on Grace, answer my email, back up some files… hmm, I guess that’s all I really wanted to do. But tomorrow I start driving again. I’ll spend the night on the road and make it to Florida on Wednesday. I had such a nice week in PA that it was really hard to leave, but I’m looking forward to some time in Florida, too.
I’m already anticipating seeing all my writing friends who are doing NaNoWriMo, and spending lots and lots and lots of time writing with them. It is so past time to finish Grace, but this version has gone off in some interesting directions and honestly, I now have no idea where it’s going. sigh But it will get somewhere, I’m sure.
There’s a scene that I wrote last week that I suspect means more to me than it will to anyone else, but I reread it this morning and it literally made me tear up and then laugh. I obviously would consider that profoundly successful if it did the same for any other reader, but even if I’m the only person who gets it that way, I’m pretty sure I can count it as successful. And since I could be working on it now, time to get to it!
But to everyone working on NaNo — write, write, write! You can do it!
Having spent 39-days this past summer driving all across the US I have to agree with your traffic/driving assessment that DC/Virginia drivers are nuts. As a native Californian who spent 8-years in Florida, I know traffic and crazy drivers and in my brief stay in the DC area, those drivers or at least the ones I had the misfortune of sharing the road with, were exactly as you described: reckless, unconcerned about anyone else… Florida drivers (in the Orlando area) tend to be nuts because of the rain and most of them being tourists, California drivers… well, there’s just too many of them so the constant traffic, but DC drivers are a very special kind of crazy (and I drove through NYC and Chicago and didn’t find those folks as nuts!).
People warned me about DC traffic and I shrugged it off, because if you drive in California, you’re used to traffic. But DC’s problem is not simply traffic — it’s an attitude that some drivers have. Nowhere near all of them, of course! 90% of the people driving are as sensible as anyone from anywhere. But driving in traffic is a cooperative activity and there are DC drivers who just don’t get that.
I didn’t know raspberries came in any color other than red. Thanks for this…
Honestly, I think the red ones taste the best. The yellow ones are sweeter but blander and the purple ones don’t have much taste at all. But yes, they come in multiple colors!
Judy, Judy, Judy said:
Ok.now I’m not just living vicariously I’m seriously trying to figure out how I can spend next November nanowrimo-ing and spending time writing with friends who are also nanowrimo-ing.
Sounds like pure joy.
Well, it took a while! But about five years ago, I joined a meet-up group for indie authors. We met once a month to talk about indie publishing. I tried exchanging critiques with some people and that turned out to be a bad idea, but one person who joined the group invited me to come over to her house to write with her. We did that a few times and then settled into doing it almost every Tuesday night, sometimes joined by another friend. The group had lots of people come and go and eventually settled into just a few of us meeting for dinner once a month. Since I left, we’ve been having online writing sprints together — it’s a group chat, with four of us, and not everyone writes every time. But we set a timer, and say go, and talk a little bit about what we’re working on and/or whatever else is on our mind. It’s really nice; it took a long time to evolve; and along the way, there were some definite ships-that-pass-in-the-night acquaintances. But I wish you the best of luck in finding some fellow writers to write with!
Kyla Bendt said:
Hmmm… your post made me think of my first grey water tank experience with my van. It had a little control panel where I could turn the water pump on and off and check the levels for the fresh water, propane and the holding tank.
On my first trip, every time I’d check the level for the holding tank it read at empty so I figured I was fine… until I got up in the middle of the night to go pee and stepped into a few inches of water in the bathroom (which of course was also the shower).
Yep, the gauge did not work at all and the water from when I’d done dishes that night had backed up the shower drain because that was the lowest drain in the van. So then I got to figure out how to dump the tank for the first time at 2 am. Van life is awesome.
Ah, my sympathies! The time I overflowed my grey tank, I just dropped some towels on the floor and waited until morning. But at least it wasn’t the very first time I’d dumped it!