Portland, TX – Quarantine

So, what’s quarantine life like these days?  Well, I spend most of the day inside the RV, take an occasional walk around the campground while avoiding close contact with any other human forms, and risk my life every 10-14 days by going to the local grocery store.  Such is the case for most of us during this nationwide Covid-19 pandemic.  So, what’s life like inside an RV during a pandemic?  I’m no different than those who live in a traditional sticks & bricks home.  Even though my home has wheels, those wheels are not turning these days.  I’ve sheltered in place here in Portland, TX for who knows how long.  I’m currently scheduled to depart on Jun 1st, but frankly that date is starting to look optimistic.  I think it will take an additional month, to Jul 1st, to sufficiently settle down whereby I can get back on the road.  Which direction I take when I’m back mobile again remains to be seen.

Day In The Life

My advancing age and overall fair health sort of puts me in the somewhat high risk category, so I’m definitely taking the shelter in place and limiting exposure recommendations pretty seriously.  Within the last 4-6 weeks, my only travel outside of the campground has been a couple of trips to the grocery store and the pharmacy.  Otherwise, I’ve pretty much been confined to the immediate area.  I take walks around the campground to keep my joints from rusting, and to get some fresh air and sunshine.  Otherwise, I’m cooped within my 330 sq/ft luxury living accommodations.  But, I’m comfortable having all the basic needs (water, electric, sewer, AC, laundry, etc) herein.  Certainly could be a LOT worse.

I generally pass the time reading, watching a bit of TV or, when the mood strikes, taking a nap.  I’ve been carrying around about a years worth of various magazines figuring I’d find some time to eventually catch up and read them.  Well, no better time than the present.  I also have lots of books loaded up on the Kindle ready to explore.  In addition to family and friends, I follow a number of groups on FaceBook (RV related mostly) so that too has been a time sink to keep up with.  I also try to keep my Tech edge active on occasion.  Along those lines I’ve done some maintenance work on the Luv2RV blog site, and worked on my Internet connectivity setup here in the RV.  I’ve got a new onboard backup system I still need to setup, and a new family YouTube channel to create and populate with 30 years of personal family movies.  So, I’m certainly not lacking in projects.

On the more pleasurable side, I’ve been getting a lot of use out of the FaceBook Portal video conferencing devices I purchased for each of my daughters and myself.  I sent my grandson AJ a project kit from UGears.  It is a mechanical 3D wooden assembly project that uses no glue and no nails.  They have a variety of different things you can build from various vehicles to magical boxes.  I got him the Card Deck box which was a good starter kit for a first-timer.  My daughter Ashley setup her portal on the kitchen table, and I watched and virtually participated in the roughly 4 hour assembly.  It was great fun and the resulting card box was really cool.  I also found an online card game that allows for multiple people to join so that you can essentially play cards together – virtually.  So that, coupled with a Portal video conference, made for some wonderful evenings playing Gin, Hearts, and Spades.  Even had a 4-player game and multipoint video conference with both of my daughters and son-in-law.  Great way to kill several hours in the evening.  Looking forward to more games in the future.  My last noted activity has been to take up a bit of gardening.  We are all very aware of the severe shortage of Toilet Paper, so picked up some TP seeds and started to grow some of my own.  Starting to sprout nicely if I do say so myself!


Well, I was certainly NOT fully prepared for this pandemic.  Yea I had plenty of food and other common essentials.  But, I have never had the need to purchase a face mask.  So, with many of the jurisdictions and even some private businesses calling for the wearing of a mask, I was sort of out in limbo.  I didn’t even own a bandana that I could repurpose as a mask.  Luckily, my sister-in-law in Waco, TX started a side hustle making masks.  She’s a longtime talented seamstress, and had tons of fabric.  So, it was a no brainer for her and some other family and friends to get together and start this business.  They even created a custom website (HERE) to take and process orders.  So I ordered a few from her including a patriotic one, and ones from Marvel and the Avengers.  The masks are wonderfully made, complete with an open section to insert your favorite filter material.  Lastly, I love it that the box was addressed to “Uncle Bruce”.  It’s a wonder that they actually got to me!  Thanks Penney and crew for the wonderful masks!

Sad News

While many of you may not know who this is, the RV community has lost a wonderful and iconic man who’s been in the RV industry for over 40 years.  Gary Bunzer, also known as The RV Doctor, passed away on Friday Apr 17th.  Sadly he was taken from us by the Covid-19 virus after a several week battle on an ICU ventilator in a Seattle hospital.  This RV Hall of Fame inductee was an RV technician and training specialist and had established himself as an expert educator to both the RV owner as well as the RV service professional.  I’ve had the pleasure of attending several of the RV Docs seminars that he would hold during the annual Hershey PA RV Show.  Every year, he would be there holding several sessions on various RV maintenance and repair topics, and helping educate both the novice and experienced RVer to better take care of their RV.  He was vastly knowledgeable and well versed in everything RV, and made a living helping others with his extensive talents.  He also had a Q&A column in several RV magazines where he would again share his expertise to those who would ask.  R.I.P Gary and thank you for the many, many years of service you devoted to those aspiring to, or living, the RV Lifestyle.


What’s Next

Well, that’s honestly a very good question.  With some states imposing mandatory 14-day self-quarantine for anyone entering and staying in the state, while other states have shut down all camping stays that are less then 14 days, it kinda makes for a very difficult environment in which to traverse several states in the name of full-time RVing.  So, things have got to get much closer to normal before it makes sense for me to hit the road.  Most states have got to be well into the President’s defined 3rd Gate before I would even consider leaving this place.  At this point, I’m still trying to figure out what that next destination will be.  I’ve got a couple of options I’m kicking around, both being vastly different from the other.  More on that in my next blog post.  Till then, please continue to be safe and let’s all work together towards getting the economy safely restarted.  Till next time, be well!

21 thoughts on “Portland, TX – Quarantine

  1. I’m glad to hear that your medical issues are under control….as far as your “Advancing Age” is concerned….remember that you are still the “Baby” of the family….we are all your “Older” brothers….ha ha….luckily your brothers that live in Florida have been able to play golf a couple times a week….so lots of fresh air down here….I am still planning on going back to NH for the summer….hopefully they will not stop me at the border….stay safe and keep the faith….we will all get through this….Don

    1. Oh, I’m well aware that I’m still the baby, and will continue to use that to my advantage anytime I can. Happy to hear they did not close the golf courses so that you FL guys can get some air and exercise. Enjoy your summer trip to NH. Who knows, I may pop up there myself over the summer. Be well.

  2. Hang in there Old Friend, this should have never happened. But having been in the Service it was a great teacher, self reliance! I expect you to be proficient in a new Musical instrument ! You can always go up in the Mountains , I think much safer than large citys , glad I am out here in Harford county! Me and the Cows, Lol . Be safe Bruce !

    1. Great to hear from you Pete. It’s been a long time. Glad to hear you and the cows are doing well. Definitely agree that the mountains are much better than the city. I seldom stay in any large city, but rather prefer to stay out in the country, and just take day trips to visit any big city. Much quieter and safer that way. Continue being safe, and I’ll be sure to reach out next time I’m in town.

  3. Glad that you doing better with your eye. At least, you can stay there at the RV place. If they ever kick you out, you can come and park it in our driveway. There is electric and water hook up by the driveway And sewer hook up in the back yard along with electric and water. Hopefully, the Coronavirus be finished by Aug. We have 14 cases in our county right now. I am thinking that we will be peaking at end of April or by mid May. In our county, we started stay at home way before our Governor Abbott ordered it. We may have avoided akit by doing this. Just wait and see. So far all my family and relatives are doing good. I am keeping my fingers crossed and lot of prayers. Hopefully, you will be able to swing by here. I can’t wait to see you old friend. It’s been way too long. Take care. See ya….

    1. Thanks for the offer to driveway surf. I think I’m good here for as long as I want to stay. Just not sure which direction I’m gonna go when I leave. Hope to still stop by for a visit. We’ll see. Stay safe!

  4. Great to hear you are staying safe and occupied. Can’t imagine being in a campground for as long as you may have to stay. Sounds like you have adapted very well, though. Modern tech can help a bad situation. Better than nothing, but human, face to face interaction helps out. Doesn’t look like you’ll be turning into a hermit.

    1. Hey a Doug. Hope you and your family are all doing well. Not bad here. I’m very comfy in this RV, and the campground is fairly nice and well managed. It’s just gonna be real hot here soon, so I’d much rather head north to avoid baking here in south Texas. Be well my friend!

  5. Hey Bruce, great to hear from you! I’m glad to hear you are doing well and managing to keep busy. I love the masks, and just ordered 3 of them. They look good on you. We hope to see you sometime soon when you are back this way.

    1. Hi Mary Ann. All good here, and I hope the same for you. I trust Tom has not driven you totally crazy yet. Looking forward to seeing you all when I’m back in town. Till then, be well.

  6. So glad to see you are doing well! Was thinking about you and your travels recently. Just ordered some masks from your sister-in-law! 🙂 My husband is a big Cowboys fan and it was so cool to see she had some options for that. Stay safe and stay well!

    1. Hi Mary. All good here, and I hope the same for you. Thanks for the mask order – you won’t be disappointed. I hope working from home has been good for you. I guess it’s certainly better than the alternatives. Stay well!

  7. Glad to see the elderly are being careful. At your age that’s a necessity. I know sheltering in a luxury condo on wheels makes things very tough but just remember this to shall pass. Stay safe and I look forward to catching up to you this summer. It was sad to see Gary Bunzer was a victim of the virus, he will be missed. Are you in training to become the next RV Doc?

    Take care old man!

  8. I actually do not mind staying home all the time. I get to spend 8-10 hours cleaning up my genealogy files. I plan to get back to the book writing project soon. Ripano closed for 3 weeks but reopened yesterday. Matt was able to secure a PPE forgivable loan so that should help us weather the economic storm that Covid has created. Rachel bought a condo in Manchester and moved in over the last weekend. She is now a full blown adult with a mortgage like the rest of us. Stay safe and be well. It is good that you can be very flexible in your plans.

    1. Glad you are making good use of the time for your various hobbies and projects. Great news about Matt and Rachel. I’m happy to hear the federal PPP program is in fact benefiting small businesses like a Ripano. Congrats to Rachel in her transition to adulthood and debt. Be well!

  9. Great to hear from you Bruce! I’m sure there are some unique challenges in the campground and for your future travels. Love the UGear stuff – will have to check out the card box as a gift for a someone. Things are going well here – no travel for work suits me just fine although I do miss seeing people in person. Zoom and FaceBook are our friends! 🙂

    Definitely be careful out there! Look forward to your next post!

    1. MG – nice to hear from you as well. Good that limited travel and working from home is going well for you. I certainly understand missing the in person aspects though. We are all suffering from that one. Continue to be well, and thanks for checking in.

  10. Hey. Bought one of your sister-in-law’s masks – love it!! It fits great and is very comfortable!! 🙂

    Hope all is well – things are ‘peachy’ here. 🙂

    Take care,


  11. Bruce you are no baby. You and I are getting up there in age. BTW I have been biking everyday for at least a minimum of 4 miles a day if it doesn’t rain.. But I will be calling you when I am upto 10-15 miles a day. I know many former GDIT\Anteon people are looking for other jobs. I am very proud to say YOU HAVE BEEN MY FAVORITE BOSS EVER IN MY LIFETIME.

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