I dreamed last night that the campsite I’m in turned to solid mud in the rain, two inches deep, and that Zelda ran out of the van door and straight into the mud, sinking in and leaving footprints all over it. I immediately objected, super frustrated because even though I’m supposed to have water at this campsite, it’s not at all clear to me where I find said water. There’s no hook-up within reach, not unless I had incredibly long hoses. No hook-up that’s obvious, anyway.

So she was muddy and I was upset, because I knew I’d never get her clean, and there was going to be mud all over the van, and although I’ve gotten used to being dirty, I’ve never really accepted it. I still hate it, especially when the van is dirty and it feels like there’s no escape from the dirt.

And then I woke up and it hadn’t rained, the sun was shining and there was no mud. Isn’t it strange how happy one can feel about something that one would totally have taken for granted in other circumstances? Without that dream, it would never have occurred to me to be glad that the ground was solid. I would have been mentally grumbling about the traffic — my campsite is across from a busy road, so even though there’s a line of trees mostly blocking the road from view, I’m again listening to a lot of traffic noises. But I don’t mind now, because at least it’s not traffic noises in the mud.

The part about the water is true, though. When I got here yesterday, I was mystified, but also much too tired after a really long day of driving to deal with going back up to the front and finding someone to help me. I’m not sure what I’m going to do. There are plenty of empty spaces, so I could go talk to someone at the front and maybe move to another site, but I could also just go without water hook-ups for a few days.

I’ve gotten pretty good at coping with water scarcity from all my driveway camping — water hook-ups are more of a luxury than a necessity for me — but I’m paying for the water so I sort of feel like I should have it. Paying a lot, too — provincial parks in Canada are not cheap, even with the exchange rate. On the other hand, I’m tired and unmotivated and don’t speak French. For the moment at least, I think I will survive without water.

But I will survive without water in Quebec! Where people speak French! Yesterday’s French adventures included a confusing stop at a gas station where the pump didn’t work and the messages on the screen were all in French, and then a confusing stop at a CostCo where my debit card didn’t work. In both places, the cashiers spoke perfect English once I made my confusion clear, so it’s not like I faced any true challenges, but it was rather fun. I like feeling lost in another country. It adds another layer to being tired, though — when I finally made it to my campsite, I really just didn’t have the energy left to have another confusing encounter.

A campsite with trees, a car going by, electric wires overhead and much dirt ground.

My campsite. Electric wires and traffic, but no mud!

I believe that this campground is next to an historic Quebec village. No dogs allowed, but I might leave Z in the van for a while and go wander around for a while. I’d feel okay about doing that, because it was 53 degrees this morning and is still only in the 60s. 53! I was too cold to get out of bed, because it hadn’t remotely occurred to me that I might want to run the heat. But it makes me really happy to be so chilly. Autumn is on its way, yay! I love Serenity, but I love her best when she’s not an oven.

But before I do that, I’m going to write for a while. Real words. Fiction words. Yesterday’s long drive (pretty close to eight hours, including two stops for gas, one dog walk, and one quick CostCo visit for Canadian blueberries) was rich with imaginings. My only problem is that I had good ideas for so many stories that I’m not even sure where to begin. It’s a lovely problem to have.