THE ROADS CHRONICLE – A Traveler’s Diary [April 3, 2020]

What does rationing, an earthquake and crazy weather have in common?

Since arriving at our latest boondocking site about a week ago, we have been awed by the majestic beauty that surrounds us every time we step outside the door. On our first night here, we were welcomed by a herd of deer, well maybe not a herd, but there were at least five that I could see! Because we had just driven through areas where there had been snow, the back of our RV had the salt from the roads on it. The deer must have seen Boone (aka our RV) as a giant salt-lick, because they spent a good 30 minutes “cleaning” the rig! Our dog Abbey didn’t quite know what to do about the situation…..

The first day was beautiful and sunny. As I mentioned in our previous post, we had driven east to get ahead of a storm system. Over the course of the next several days, the weather was mostly rainy and the temperatures dropped. It even snowed this weird, almost styrofoam type of snow one day – which, thankfully didn’t accumulate! We went out when we could to explore our surroundings. Russ even tried to metal detect (didn’t find anything..) We are up high on a cliff, which provides a phenomenal view but also quite the workout whenever we trek down to the riverbank! We saw a huge bald eagle, that I am still trying to get a good photo of….

It is incredibly quiet here. We are just off the main road, so there is some occasional traffic – which if you come here with kids or pets, be aware the little bit of traffic that comes through adheres to the ‘pedal to the metal’ philosophy of driving! A few other campers have been spotted across the river and down the road. We mostly don’t even notice them until evening arrives and we see their lights on or the glow from a campfire.

You may have noticed the last two locations we have been to have been along rivers. This was intentional as finding potable water to refill our RV has been tricky amidst all of the shutdowns. We conserve our drinking/cooking water in our tanks by using river water for washing up as well as our clothes. Normally we try to find laundromats, but advisories for social distancing have advised to stay away from those locations if possible. Our RV does not have a clothes washer, so I have been doing them by hand. I am thinking we should seriously look at getting one….

Talking about conservation, living full-time in an RV remotely really makes you aware of certain things right now. Here are some of the things we have been dealing with

  1. Water. We now know we need a minimum of 1 gallon of drinking/cooking water per day and I have become very adept at washing dishes using the least amount of water possible.
  2. Food. We have a small fridge/freezer, so dried/canned/boxed goods are the best things for us to purchase and store. We usually shopped about every 4 days, but because of Covid-19, we realized we had to adjust. I plan meals now that build off one another and we waste very little.
  3. Propane. This is going faster than we planned. The weather has been very cold over the last 5 days and we have used much more for heating than we intended. Our plan was to stay at this location until Monday, but I have concerns that we will run out of propane before that, which will force us into town sooner.

A few days ago, I went into the bathroom to wash up and Russ was out in the main area working on his computer. While I was in the bathroom, the RV started moving back and forth for about 20 seconds. In my head, I thought “why is Russ up on the roof right now??”. I finish up in the bathroom a few seconds later and noticed Russ was still in the same position as he was when I went in. I asked him, “what the heck were you doing out here to make the rig shake?” He responded, “I was just about to ask you the same question!” I mentioned it felt exactly like the times when he goes up on the roof. This concerned us, because our first thought was that someone was messing with our rig and up to no good. Russ went outside, looked around and we couldn’t see anyone for miles so we just shrugged it off and kind of forgot about the moment.

Later in the evening, our friend Patrick messaged us and asked us if we had felt the earthquake. Sure enough, after looking online, we found out there was a 6.5 earthquake, with the epicenter in Stanley, ID – just about 100 miles away from us, earlier that day. Wow!!

We have talked with a few other fulltime RVers and their biggest issues are finding campgrounds to stay at. Our friends, Michael and Tiffany were able to get the Thousand Trails campground where they were to extend their stay. Another friend, William, had to move and find another location. The friends that had the toughest time were Alice and Larry. They are new to full-timing and can not travel out of their area due to Larry’s work. They initially had months of reservations scheduled at state parks but those were all wiped away when Florida’s state park system shut camping down. They finally found a friend who has some land available that they are going to rent out for a few months until things settle down.

Our plan for the foreseeable future is to continue to find BLM land and boondock as much as possible until May 1st. We spoke with the owner’s of the candy store in West Yellowstone where we were scheduled to workamp this summer and they would still like us to come out there and be ready to work when Yellowstone opens back up.

One last thing before I sign off for the day…the internet here is OK for Verizon. We’ve been able to work, albeit somewhat intermittently. Russ has just accepted a new contract position with a company in the U.K., we put out a collaboration video with Endless RVing on YouTube and we’re working on some cool and amazing website updates that will be coming out soon!

Stay safe,

Kerry

GPS location for boondocking site:

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