Wednesday, May 20, 2020

What’s next?

A year ago this week I began throat cancer treatment with a tracheostomy. I spent the summer receiving radiation and chemotherapy treatments, with a spell in the hospital fighting an infection. I got back to nomad life in the fall and winter and made plans for the spring. Then I scrapped those plans when COVID-19 shut things down. I’ve spent the past five weeks at Lou’s place, back where the cancer story started.

Except for a quick loop through Utah, Colorado and northern New Mexico when I first finished treatment, I’ve spent the year essentially along the I-10 corridor, between Los Angeles and southwest New Mexico. That’s only a fraction of my usual annual wandering.

With travel and camping restrictions starting to ease, I began making plans again. Then a strange thing happened.

A tiny part of me started dreading returning to my former nomadic ways. It said, “Ugh, the logistics of life on the road. Charting courses, finding dispersed camping at the places you want to visit, being at the mercy of weather, and all that. And (whine) where is it even allowed these days with the ever-changing pandemic restrictions? That’ll require more research and vigilance. We’re fine here at Lou’s. We’re safe, we’re legal, and we have company. And water and electricity.”

But I realized it was just my lazy side not wanting to get up off the figurative and literal sofa and go figuratively and literally outside. Staying put was easy.

But the majority self—the one with the veto—replied, “Look, you sad little man, we didn’t go through cancer treatment so we could sit on our ass, even though it’s a significantly small one. We’re going. We just need to figure out a few things.”

“Not until after the new maps we ordered arrive.”

“Right, not until then.”


  1. there is a big difference in being on the road when there are a lot of options of places to go and where tourist art not made to feel like they are doing criminal activity just by being there. Where strangers who don't even look scary can be a real danger to have show up. Limiting your travel right now is actually acting responsibly. The time will come when it returns to normal and you will be itching to get back on the road. For the present, quit kicking yourself and just enjoy the situation for how nice it feels and indeed how nice it is. One day at a time, make the most of it by appreciating it. Nothing wrong with taking a break from the road for a while. Didn't you those rules behind that said you MUST do THIS or you are not living your life the only RIGHT way?

  2. It is quite a coincidence that I have been fighting that same battle for the last couple of weeks. Looking at things from here in Del Rio Tx, I have chosen to hang in this area until after the Fourth of July gets out of the way. Then head to grandkid land in north Alabama for a fresh start on RV life again. Age is taking some options off the table but there is a lot of table left to explore.

  3. We got the all-clear from Mayo to wait 6 months before returning for a check-in. Great! Let's shut down the world. Now that things are opening up, figuring out where to go is tough because of all the "not welcome" messages that are out there. We're ready and see no reason to delay if we can figure out where to go that won't be a hassle.

  4. Nobody hassling in Montana.

  5. The Gila lock. Call it whatever, itchy feet Trump contentedness. That said, your in the best place.....for now.

  6. I've traveled all my life. I was three when we moved to Japan; nomadicism is in my blood. My curiosity nags me to go see what's on the other side of that hill; and I get itchy feet after a couple of days in the same spot.

    But it takes DOING something to find out if you really like it or not. It's why they told you not to say you don't like something until you've tasted it. You've tried it and maybe had enough.

    But methinks you've been watching tv again (virtual finger wag). No one is giving me dirty looks, showing up at my door asking me what I'm doing here or suggesting I leave. On the contrary, proprietors seem glad to have my business and people -- in spite of their masks -- are polite and friendly. But then, consider the source...I'm in the outback...usually WAY back. But I have to shop at the same places you do and so far, from Tucson to Albert's Turkey (via the backroads, of course), everyone's been just fine...except for those on ventilators, of course.

    1. Back in March the Southeastern Utah Department of Health closed down tourism in three counties (featuring Moab). That included dispersed camping on public land. A friend boondocking in a different southern Utah jurisdiction was visited by law enforcement and given a list of restrictions. The Navajo Nation is roadblocked. Campgrounds run by federal agencies are closed, and some state campgrounds in some states are open, or closed. So it complicates travel planning, especially if you're the type who doesn't really plan, who just counts on there always being someplace handy to camp.

    2. Oh, and another friend was traveling through Texas, had stopped for gas and was in her van having some coffee, when private security and police pulled up, interrogated her, and gave her five minutes to leave. Last month there were reports among nomads of small towns setting up roadblocks and not letting travelers stop for any reason. And there were/are roadblocks along the Florida Keys where you have to show proof of residency.

  7. Maybe this'll help...

    The page below has links to BLM's and Natl Park's info

    In response to the Navajo Nation being blocked: a friend just drove from Abiquiu to Salt Lake City a few days ago and camped along the way. I don't know particulars of his route (I think he went via Cortez, Colorado and thus AROUND the Rez) but he mentioned enjoying the Sand something-or-other park in or just outside Moab.

    BLM'S website

    offers specifics, but says all lands are open. Grand County and a few towns, including Bluff, are in Utah's "orange" phase which suggests limiting unsupervised groups to 20 instead of 50 and encourages people not to congregate at trailheads.

    This website lists more specific Directives & Orders

    But from what I read -- and I didn't read ALL of it --
    BLM lands are open. (However, be advised...the toilets at Hog something-or-other picnic area are closed.)