Portland, TX – Hunker Down!

Well, there has certainly been a lot of things happening since my last blog installment.  Back then, I was recovering nicely from my eye surgery and laser treatments, and was looking forward to an April 1st departure to get back to my nomadic lifestyle.  Fast forward less than 30 days, and everything has changed.  The worldwide virus pandemic has virtually closed all public places, cancelled all events, shuttered all businesses, and has necessitated a shelter-in-place lifestyle to reduce the spread of the virus.  Certainly a worldwide event that none of us have seen or experienced in our lifetimes.  So, this will just be a quick blog update to let you know what I’m doing in the near term to embrace this new world order.

Times Have Certainly Changed

“Social Distancing” is the popular phrase of the year for 2020.  It certainly makes sense from a practical standpoint that to reduce the spread of a virus that is highly contagious and easily transmitted from person-to-person, is to virtually eliminate that person-to-person contact.  Thus is born “Social Distancing”.  Keep people away from each other, and the virus will have less opportunity to spread.  But, the extent of which this social distancing has been implemented at the state and federal level is unprecedented.  Schools closed, businesses, bars and restaurants shuttered, and all sporting events suspended, just to name a few.

So, how does that impact me as a full-time RV traveller?  Well, I was supposed to leave my current location on April 1st, then spend a week in the area of San Antonio, then 4 subsequent stops through TX, OK and KS, spending just 2 days in each, then a couple weeks in the area of Lawrence Kansas.  And that would only get me to the end of April.  From there, I’d be going north through Kansas, Nebraska, Minnesota, and South Dakota.  So, a tremendous amount of travel through lots of campgrounds in lots of states.  Certainly not consistent with the sprit of shelter-in-place.  Fortunately, I’ve spent the past several months here in Portland, TX at an RV Park that honestly is made up of mostly long term and even full-time residents.  There’s a small area of a dozen pull thru sites that caters to those just passing through, while the remaining 150 or so sites are occupied by folks who are here for extended stays.  In fact, my immediate neighbor to my left has been here over four years!  It’s not a bad campground, on the shores of Nueces Bay with mostly nice weather and an ever present breeze.  Fortunately, I had been able to extend my original 2-month stay into a 4-month stay to accommodate my eye issue (as reported in my previous blog posts).  So, now I’m faced with yet another need to further extend my stay to accommodate this virus.  So, that is what I’ve done.  I’ve extended two additional months and I’m now here thru at least Jun 1st, with options to extend even further as necessitated down the road.  In addition to the nice weather, there are stores and pharmacies nearby to keep me in necessary supplies, and the fact that there has not yet been a single case of the virus reported in this county, as well as the surrounding counties, makes this a pretty much ideal place to hunker down.

So, that’s what I’m doing.  I’ve cancelled all my future reservations thru the end of May, and will reevaluate the conditions again in the early May timeframe, and make decisions then on what comes nexts.  I certainly look forward to getting back to my travels, but it certainly makes no sense to do so if the people I’m anxious to catch up with, and the places I’m looking forward to check out, are all closed to visitors.

Some Positive News

So, there has been some positive news on this front to share.  First, I was able to change my RV site to something much more accommodating.  As you may recall from my original Portland, TX blog post, I was complaining about the super small site that they had assigned to me upon arrival.  Not only could I barely get my RV squeezed into the tiny site, it left me horribly un-level causing one side of my tires to be off the ground.  So small that I could not park my truck anywhere in the area, and instead had to leave it on the other side of the campground.  Also, I was VERY concerned about how I would squeeze my truck back into position to reconnect to the RV when it was time to leave, and I was also VERY anxious of the fact that I would have to back out of the site with very tight conditions all around.  Well, as luck would have it, the occupant of the site directly in front of me departed.  He had a nice long site, and had an easy straight pull-thru exit when he left.  So, I visited the campground management to inquire if I could just hook up and pull straight thru into that now vacant site.  I reminded them about the fact that I had busted their water source when I was trying to pull into the site, and feared doing it again if I had to back out when it was time to leave.  They agreed, and allowed me to pull into the new site.  Wahoo!  Now all tires are on the ground, I’m perfectly level, I can park my truck right in front of the RV, and when it’s time to leave, I can hook up, pull straight out into the large road, and easily exit the facility.  I’m so happy!

Lastly, my eye recovery continues to progress nicely.  My surgeon had cleared me for an Apr 1st departure, and the laser doc believes he has completed all the needed treatments.  So, at least I’ve got that going for me.  Actually having the extra two months here will allow me to continue with my follow-ups to ensure everything is good to go.  Also very happy about that.

What’s Next

Well, “what’s next” is certainly anyones guess.  I’ll keep a close eye (my good one) on the news, and continue to evaluate my options in the weeks and months ahead.  I’m confident we’ll all come out of this, but in the meantime we’re gonna have to help one another where needed.  The term Family has reached an all time high in terms of support, and we need to be sure we meet the calling.  Help those in need, and protect our seniors as they are the most vulnerable.  Do your part in the social distancing so that we as a society can nip this virus in the butt, and end it as soon as possible.

To all my friends and family, I wish you well through these difficult times.  If there is anything that I can do for you, please do not hesitate to reach out.  Be safe everyone!

Lastly, given that I’m not traveling or sightseeing much these days, There is frankly not much to write about here in the blog.  If I’ve got anything worthy to share, I certainly do so.  But I suspect things will be a bit boring and uneventful in the near term, so this blog might be quiet for a while.  But, I’m certainly looking forward to getting back on the road and resuming my travel journaling just as soon as practical.  Till then, be well!

8 thoughts on “Portland, TX – Hunker Down!

  1. Good that you are hunkering down after all you are approaching that age where you will be considered old. Stay safe. Must be tough to be quarantined in a small environment.

  2. For some tine now I have generally spent most of my time in my home office. So being here now as I self quarantine is not a very demanding thing for me. Kathi is staying with her mom and I stay away. You may be lucky to be in a part of the country that is not getting many travelers which will minimize the chance of any outbreak. Good to stay there. I hope you can resume your trip soon.

    1. Hope you’ve got lots of office projects you can work on. You no doubt will. I do feel safer here than than lots of other places. Just had our first reported case in the county though. But, certainly safer than in the areas of the big cities. Be safe as well.

  3. Sounds like time to take up fishing! Hope you have a good wi-fi signal. Does Amazon deliver in your area??

    I’m glad your eye problems are solved. That must have been scary!

    Most of my friends are using Zoom for on-line gathering to replace the home visits we used to enjoy.

    Stay well,

    1. I use two different cellular carriers for my Internet, and both have been good so far. No problem streaming news and entertainment. Most campgrounds have WiFi, but it usually sucks. Better to bring your own Internet. Yes, Amazon delivers here, and I’ve taken advantage of that several times. Now is definitely a good time for video conferencing. I’m glad My kids and I have the Facebook Portal devices. Good times. Be well!

  4. Glad to see all is going good for you.. Before you know it you will be back on the road and resuming your travels. I have recently added your daughter to my facebook and boy does she like to chat. Seeing the pics she posts you have a beautiful little grand daughter which I am sure you are spoiling as much as you can. Well stay safe and don’t turn North. The virus here in NH is centered on Nashua and Manchester.

    1. Thanks John. All is well here and I hope/trust it’s the same with you and Janet. Yea, my daughter is certainly having a great time being a new mother, and doing a fabulous job of it. I was able to spend time with them over Thanksgiving, and look forward to seeing all my girls and grands as soon as this pandemic settles down. Will see you when I’m next in town.

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