The last days of June 2019 were a whirlwind. Well, a whirlwind followed by a couple days of the kind of complete and utter laziness where even taking the computer down from the overhead compartment seemed too much like work.

The month started in Yellowstone, and included stays in Wyoming, Montana, North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. There was a national park, a state park, the Far West Fishing Access campground, boondocking outside a national park, an Army Corps of Engineers campground, a city park, three national forest campgrounds, four county parks, a KOA and two driveways. Not in that order.

And I will pause for a moment to mention Wolf Creek Park, the only campground that I did not write about during the month as it happened. It was… weird. It was a county park in Ohio, where I spent one night while I was on the road from Michigan to Pennsylvania, and it was perfectly nice but completely empty. Most campgrounds have a host, so there’s always at least one other camper, but Sandusky County had an online payment system and not a single person at the campground. I was totally alone. The campsite I chose was in a loop around an open green space and I’m pretty sure that it would have been pleasant even if it was crowded. As it was… it was pleasant, yes, but also spooky. There was a lot of traffic noise from the nearby highway, but I somehow felt like I was trespassing, even though I had paid my $15.

A vast expanse of green grass with a tiny silver van in the distance, in front of some trees and a blue sky.
Alone at Wolf Creek Park, Sandusky County, Ohio.

Moving on — it was such a busy month that there are plenty of options for the best moment of the month, but as I have learned in my almost three years of full-time van life, the best moments are almost always about the people. In June 2019, it was the mini-reunion with college friends in Rochester, MI. Sitting on the front porch and laughing about our yearbooks; reading letters I wrote when I was 18 (my handwriting was so much more legible back then!); walking to the farmer’s market; enjoying the Motown museum and the pedalpub boat ride; and especially playing SongPop Party, the most ridiculous “Name That Tune” game, which was so very entertaining, despite the fact that I was horrifically bad at it. (A week later, I am still amused that in about fifty rounds of the game, the only times I budged from the bottom of the chart were when I chose the Taylor Swift and One Direction categories. Yay for modern pop!)

Picking a best campground, though, is impossible. I stayed in so many beautiful places. But I’ve definitely moved national forests up on my list of campgrounds to consider. They don’t usually have electricity, so they’re not great for me in the heat when I need AC for Zelda, and their campsites tend to be smaller and not necessarily level, but those three campgrounds were true highlights of my trip east. I was moving fast to make the reunion and blueberry season, but they would have been beautiful places to spend a relaxed couple of weeks appreciating nature. Maybe next year!

And meanwhile, it’s time to get back to writing a book. My own adventures were fun, but I’m eager to get back to enjoying Fen’s adventures instead!