Nomads in Quarantine

Social Distancing in the Lone Star State

Reviving our poor neglected blog to let everyone know that we are okay and ready to shelter in place for as long as we need to.

Maybe our quarantine doesn’t look exactly like the average, but you might be surprised. We’re staying home, avoiding public places, and trying to get a few basic supplies each week from the Walmart pick up service. We are in a Thousand Trails membership campground near Fort Worth, Texas and things are calm.

Changing Plans

Last week, though, was a different story. Our plan for the spring was to boondock (dry camp) our way through Utah and Idaho, national park hopping, all the way up to Banff and Jasper national parks in Canada. We were staying at a campground in Cottonwood Arizona, waiting for the snow to melt in the Grand Canyon so we could begin our adventure. We had heard of the coronavirus, of course, but assumed it would be similar to swine flu or bird flu or other similar outbreaks in the past. 

Ever the researcher, Staffan started learning more and suggested that this was going to be a bigger deal than we had realized. The next day, he decided to go to the local Walmart to stock up on a few basics, just in case, and apparently everyone else came to the same conclusion at the same time. Those were the first days of empty supermarket shelves, not just in the paper goods aisle but storewide. It was time to reevaluate our plans for the spring.

Canceling all our plans still seemed like overreacting at that point, but as much as heading out into the wilderness seemed very attractive we started wondering if we would be able to get what we needed in terms of groceries, or medical care if we should get sick. If the national parks closed, which many of them ended up doing, miles and miles of beautiful desert might not be enough to meet our needs. If it all turned out to be nothing, the worst consequence was that we had postponed plans we were really looking forward to. But if we chose to do nothing and we were wrong, the consequences could be a lot more serious.

A Crazy Journey

So with heavy hearts, we set our GPS for Texas and hit the road. Why Texas? There were several things that led us here. One of the most important is that Texas is our official state of residence. We felt that if travel restrictions were imposed we would likely be allowed to “go home.” Not knowing how long this would last, we didn’t want to add residency complications by staying too long in another state. Our Thousand Trails membership system has 4 campgrounds in the Dallas/Fort Worth area and 2 locations near Houston. As long as Thousand Trails remains open, we have plenty of options within a reasonable driving distance that will allow us to sit still. 

We felt a sense of urgency to hit the road and get across the Texas border as soon as possible. Ultimately we drove about 1,200 miles in 4 straight days. Typically a long day for us is anything over 200 miles, so this was a stretch to begin with. As if suddenly uprooting and driving so far wasn’t enough drama, our tow hitch failed somewhere in the middle of nowhere New Mexico. Thankfully, no one was injured and both our Suburban and our trailer did not seem to sustain any damage. The brunt of the impact and the friction of dragging the trailer down I-10 as we pulled over was taken by parts that were relatively easy to replace. These parts were not, however, easily available in the middle of the night on a weekend in the middle of nowhere. Staffan impressively managed to “MacGuyver” the hitch to work safely to get us to the next town. I held the flashlight.

No Rest for the Weary

When we finally arrived at our campground here in Texas we thought we could finally exhale and recover from the drama. We ordered parts to fully repair everything and prepared for social distancing here in the country. The very next night, social distancing took a backseat to the weather when tornado warnings started blaring in our phones. We decided we’d rather take our chances with corona than a tornado so we woke the kids, piled in the car and drove to the lodge to ride out the storm. Several hours later, after tornadoes touched down both to the north and south of our location, the storm had passed and we headed back home.

Thankfully things have been a lot calmer since then. We love a good adventure, but last week had a little too much excitement, even for us. It’s helping us appreciate this time of sitting still.

The Full-time RV Community

Nationwide, full-time RVers are finding places to sit still through the crisis. “Shelter in place” has a different meaning when your only home is on wheels. In many places, campgrounds and RV parks are closing which makes it difficult and actually forces people to move around more than they want to. Under normal circumstances, I would never discourage anyone from going camping, but the reason many parks have closed their campgrounds is because too many tourists decided to turn quarantine into a vacation. If you have a home to be in, please stay there and leave the limited camping places still available for those who have nowhere else to go. If only full-time RVers are there, sheltering quietly in place, campgrounds won’t need to close in order to discourage tourist traffic.

Take Care!

We sincerely hope that all of you are reading this from a safe place where you can stay put and stay home for a while. Above all, we remember that God is not surprised by any of these circumstances. Only He knows what will come out of this uncertain time, but we can trust Him. 

Stay tuned for more thoughts on current events, and in the meantime, stay healthy!

2 thoughts on “Nomads in Quarantine

  1. Kära ni, vilken våldsamt spännande resa ni gjort! Som väl är verkar ni inte vara så påverkade av Corona. Här hos oss är det ganska lugnt, men det brinner i knutarna. Sthlm är svårt drabbat säjer de nu på Aktuellt o man väntar att det ska sprida sej. Skyddskläder saknas bl a. – Det är gott att bo på landet o trots hemkarantän kunna gå ut m stöd av sparken o ha en kaffetermos med.
    Herren bevare er! Kram / Kerstin

    1. Hej Kerstin!
      Ja, vi själva är inte direkt påverkade. Ser man på USA som helhet är det annorlunda. Men här i Texas har vi fint sommarväder och det underlättar när vi bor på så små ytor at barnen kan vara ute ganska mycket. Varje dag ber vi att Herren ger oss idag det bröd vi behöver. Nu får vi lita på det lite mer än vanligt kanske. Men än så länge klarar vi oss. Ta hand om dig!

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