Sunday thru Saturday, September 22-28—You Call This “Camping”?

It was off to church today, then to Chen’s Chinese buffet for an early lunch, and, of course, to Walmart, then a quick drive thru Quarry Campground to check on availability of camping sites (there were none), and then home for a much needed nap—so much activity on a Sunday morning!

I was awakened by a phone call in the middle of a great nap by Kay advising that she had driven back to Quarry Park and found a vacant spot, and was parked in it until I arrived with the motorhome. I do not do well when awakened suddenly from naps, to the extent that Kay says I’m a little gruff—pshaw! Still groggy, I unplugged the MH from shore power, drove to Quarry Park, set up, and returned home for clothes, toiletries, etc. We called DishTV to activate our the account, and could not get it to work. Two more calls proved futile as well, leading us to believe we could not get a signal from our camping site. Giving up, we took a stroll around the campground and recognized cousin Walker, aka “Chief”, and his family stopping for a restroom break after a harried trip to Oklahoma, Branson, etc. They appeared exhausted from their travels, so we exchanged pleasantries, and they were on their way home.

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Without television, we had a quiet night, and both of us read. Wow, cool temps and the air bed in the motorhome provided a great night’s sleep. We awoke quite refreshed Monday morning. As the morning progressed, we noticed packing-up activity in a site across from us along the river with great south and southwestern views of the sky for a DishTV satellite signal. Kay inquired and they were departing about noon, so we began unhooking and preparing for the expected move. During the process, Kay noticed this weird looking, creepy crawly creature. Interesting, huh?

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We moved across the way, set up the satellite, called DishTV, and still no luck. Driving 5.7 miles downstream to the house, bicycles and more “camping” paraphernalia were loaded for the return trip to Quarry. Kay went into town to run some errands, and I again phoned and talked to a DishTV representative, 5 times in all, until I finally got a US tech on the phone who immediately solved the problem; seems we had not been activated, despite 7 previous calls. Our service is great when we receive it, but quite painful when re-activating the account or moving locations. From now on we will ask for a US tech at the onset of a call. After all the fretting, we enjoyed a great evening with a visit from Wayne.

While there are many positives to “camping” near home, one negative is that we have a tendency to return home at least once every day for even the most insignificant reasons.  We drive to the house everyday, to access the internet, water plants, and check up on things in general.  This really puts a damper on continuity and enjoying the whole camping process, and the synergies associated therewith.

At home, we noted that the quantity and diversity of birds and butterflies is rapidly diminishing, and believe most are leaving, migrating south for the winter.  We still see an occasional swallowtail, but they are few and far between, and much smaller than those we saw in the heat of summer. We also have had several Fritillary butterflies return after an absence of a year or two.  And, the Clouded Sulphurs have returned, presumably migrating south for the winter. Of course, the warmer fall weather we’re experiencing brings out more butterflies. American Gold Finches have lost their brilliant summer color, and the many deer that stop by for a handout of corn have become darker, taking on their fall and winter coats.  Oh, how I wish I had observed these subtle changes when a kid and young adult! Nature tells us so much!

Back to Quarry Park, the campground is full, at least all the “premium” sites with 50 A electricity and water. The park hosts tell us this has been an unusual year, with lots more campers than in the past.

Friend Wayne is restoring a 1999 Itasca Spirit motorhome, and it has been amazing watching the improvements being made to an already great RV. The Class C motorhome’s floor plan, with one slide, is among the best we’ve ever seen, and he and Loretta have done wonders with both the interior and exterior. As one of those guys who can do anything, he has installed almost enough solar panels and batteries to live off the grid, i.e. without hooking up to external electricity. In fact, except for the need for air conditioning, they can live very comfortably with satellite television, microwave, furnace, electric blanket, and all the other bells and whistles—all without ever plugging in. I digress… Anyway, I spent parts of Thursday, Friday, and Saturday observing a master at work! Now, he has to take Loretta camping.

With rain forecast Saturday night and Sunday morning and the imminent threat of a US government shutdown on Tuesday resulting in closing the campground, we opted to leave Quarry Park a day early; the road to our house is canopied with low hanging branches of trees and the least amount of moisture causes them to sag, and scrape the top of the motorhome and tug at the antenna and air conditioners. Consequently, we move the motorhome to the house, hooked up electricity, and engaged the slides, and will begin the process of loading it for our winter in Texas as the departure date is fast approaching.

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