It is quiet and peaceful here this morning. The birds are singing. Most of the guests here are still sleeping or soaking in their morning coffee.
If I just look in front of me I see trees and grass. I am fortunate to have an end of the aisle site at the very busy, sardine can lay-out of the Timberline Campground in Goodfield, Illinois.
When I entered the campground yesterday around noon I was a bit shocked. This place was buzzing with golf carts and dirt buggies zipping around at high speed sending up dust clouds that hovered over the air. The pool area was packed, groups of people were gathered at campsites.
The drive here was uneventful except for a few miles on a flat but wavey pavement very straight country road. I had to drive it at 40 mph. Mostly I was on the interstates.
Once in Goodfield, I went to check in at the campground office and there were about 10 people in the large room. I was the only one wearing a mask, ("You are welcome."). Check in was quick but when I arrived at my site it was occupied. I checked the paperwork and check-out time was at one o'clock. There was an un-occupied spot with a table in the shade. I called Debra and my sister, Mary.
I texted Peggy and we arranged to meet for supper at the Busy Corner Restaurant.
The bottle I use to hold my pee mixed with water had started to leak. I decided to go shop for a new container, only this was Sunday. Would there be anything open? Well, no stores in Goodfield, but the next town over had a Dollar General.
Today while stopped to get gas I saw in my car window that I had tufts of hair sticking out on the sides of my head and the hair on top that was supposed to be sticking up was flat. I guess I need a mirror. I had been using my car windows, but this morning I didn't get a good reflection or I was packing up and forgot. I drove nine miles to a Dollar General and I was happy to see that all the customers and the clerks I encountered were wearing masks. "Thank you!"
At exactly one o'clock the folks occupying my site pulled out. I pulled in, as I was driving on gravel I could hear the brakes on the trailer grabbing too aggressively and dragging the tire. I had been trying to adjust, but it was time to pull out the manual because what I was doing wasn't working. Fortunately I had brought my Weeroll folder with me.
For those of you reading this that don't have a trailer, I have a little box mounted in my van that wires up to the trailer when I am hooked up. It operates the brakes on the trailer. There are three controls on the box.
I had kept trying to adjust with the sync buttons, which didn't help. I carefully read the directions again and the adjustment was quick. I have to be hooked up, I have to adjust the gain. It was at 2.0. I moved it down to 1.5 after I parked the trailer. We will see if that helps once I get going again.
This trip I decided to pack my bike upside down. I wanted to be able to keep the bike in the trailer if I am only staying at a place one or two nights.
Behind the bike is my folding sink with a towel over it, a tv tray, and a folding chair. I have another folding table I moved to the car because I won't use that again until I get to Rhinelander where I will be staying for two-plus months.
I try to keep things from rubbing against the walls of the trailer because the paint comes off the aluminum pretty easy. I already have some scuff marks. Debra says to use pool noodles and bungee or plastic tie them on.
You might think I can just go in and sleep in my trailer stealth camp mode. I supposed I could, except that everything gets moved to the floor in transit. There isn't much room to stand. But I suppose I could put enough items back up to have some floor space to manuevre.
Bill D. emailed me in response to my complaint about the humidity and clothes getting moldy before they dry. He said to hang them in the car since the car gets hot in the sun. He has done a lot of camping.
I had time before supper, so I washed my clothes in the sink. They have a laundry room here, but with all the croud and no masks, I don't want to risk it and spread COVID on this trip. Besides, playing in the water is a good thing to do on a 90 degree afternoon.
I have laundry soap with me, but I used shampoo to wash the clothes. I learned this trick from Sylvia Halpern who travels very light. The shampoo does the best job I have found in getting rid of the stink that clings to bicycle clothes.
As long as there was soapy water, the table needed washing. As I began to wash, I stopped and took a picture so you could see how clean the former tenants left their site.
Dealing with Pooh
I have stopped using public restrooms if at all possible. At first it was intimidating. We all pooh, but then we flush and walla! Gone. It took a few days to finally try the system I had set up.
The system is a five-gallon bucket and inside it is large Folgers plastic container with a lid. The Folgers container is stuffed with plastic shopping bags. On top of that I have a small bucket with a shopping bag lining it. At the bottom of the bag is a peice of a disposable bed pad (left over from my days caring for George).
After I do my business I have TP, wet wipes, and paper towels that cover the mess and help absorb smell and moisture. Done! Charlotte uses special bags. I hate buying plastic to create more plastic waste, so I am using used shopping bags, which can leak so I have to double layer them.
I try to remember to use my cloth bags when shopping, but I still have quite a stash of plastic bags. And during the original lock-down grocery stores were not letting us use our own bags. These are special times.
Dinner with Peggy and DennyI arrived at the Busy Corner Restaurant early and the outside area was not occupied at all. So I was able to select a table in the shade and a seat away from others. It worked out wonderfully. The staff wore masks.
It was great seeing Peggy and Denny again. Denny had biked 63 miles that day and was hungry. Peggy began to plan our ride for tomorrow. They both have medical appointments in the morning so we are meeting at 9:30 to ride. I am so looking forward to riding!
They asked me to keep them posted on the return south plans. They would love to meet up maybe in Minnesota or Iowa or here again and ride! What fun!
Peggy complained that Denny (who read my books on his e-reader) wouldn't let Peggy use his e-reader. But what she really meant is she doesn't like to read things on the computer. I understand, neither do I. I prefer holding the book, turning the paper pages.
Peggy said she wanted to read my books but hadn't yet. I told her I had brought some paperbacks with me and she seemed thrilled and asked me to bring them with me when we meet today.
Then they paid for my dinner! Thank you! Wow, that was unexpected!
I will gift her the first book, about our travels and rides at different places in 2016, Alzheimer's Trippin' with George. The second book, The Journey Continues, is about the rest of our journey with Alzheimer's disease and the wonderful support we received in Citrus County, Florida.
Back at camp, a good thing about the Timberline Campground. It has good (though unsecured) internet! This is a first on this trip.
The internet allowed me to check the COVID numbers in the evening and watch a youtube video. The air conditioner running helped block out the noise of the racing dirt buggies/souped up golf carts. But it didn't block the booms of the remaining fireworks.
Oh, and thanks again to Bill D. The clothes were dry and smelling fine this morning!
Thanks to those of you who have commented on these posts or sent me an email in response. It is good to have you along with me on this trip. Along with the memory of George, it keeps me company and makes it more fun.
And thanks to the internet at my site, I can write to you. Now it is time to get ready to ride with Peggy and Denny.
Oh, and below is something that someone wrote on Facebook but I don't know who. It has been copy and pasted and shared but the author is unknown. Enjoy a romp through 2020 so far.
Author UnknownNot mine... but awesome!Made me laugh...Dear Diary 2020 Edition,In January, Australia caught on fire. I don’t even know if that fire was put out, because we straight up almost went to war with Iran. We might actually still be almost at war with them. I don’t know, because Jen Aniston and Brad Pitt spoke to one another at an awards show and everyone flipped the f--- out, but then there was something happening in China, then Prince Harry and Megan peaced out of the Royal family, and there was the whole impeachment trial, and then corona virus showed up in the US “officially,” but then Kobe died and UK peaced out of the European Union.In February, Iowa crapped itself with the caucus results and the President was acquitted and the Speaker of the House took ten years to rip up a speech, but then WHO decided to give this virus the name COVID-19, which confused some really important people in charge of, like, our lives, into thinking there were 18 other versions before it, but then Harvey Weinstein was found guilty, and Americans started asking if Corona beer was safe to drink, and everyone on Facebook became a doctor who just knew the flu killed way more people than COVID 1 through 18.In March, shit hit the fan. Warren dropped out of the presidential race and Sanders was like Bernie or bust, but then Italy shut its whole ass down, and then COVID Not 1 through 18 officially become what everyone already realized...a pandemic and then a nationwide state of emergency was declared in the US, but it didn’t really change anything, so everyone was confused or thought it was still just a flu, but then COVID Not 1 through 18 was like "ya’ll not taking me seriously? I’m gonna infect the one celebrity everyone loves." and totally infected Tom Hanks, but then the DOW took a shit on itself, and most of us still don’t understand why the stock market is so important or even a thing (I still don’t), but then we were all introduced to Tiger King (Carol totally killed her husband) and Netflix was like, you’re welcome, and we all realized there was no way we were washing our hands enough in the first place because all of our hands are now dry and gross.In April, Bernie finally busted himself out of the presidential race, but then NYC became the set of The Walking Dead and we learned that no one has face masks, ventilators, or toilet paper, or THE FREAKING SWIFFER WET JET LIQUID, but then Kim Jong-Un died, but then he came back to life… or did he? Who knows, because then the Pentagon released videos of UFOs and nobody cared, and we were like man, it’s only April….In May, the biblical end of times kicked off historical locust swarms and then we learned of murder hornets and realized that 2020 was the start of the Hunger Games but people forgot to let us know, but then people legit protested lockdown measures with AR-15s, and then sports events were cancelled everywhere. But then people all over America finally reached a breaking point with race issues and violence. There were protests in every city, but then people forgot about the pandemic called COVID Not One Through 18. Media struggled with how to focus on two important things at once, but then people in general struggle to focus on more than one important thing, and a dead whale was found in the middle of the Amazon rain forest after monkeys stole COVID 1 Through 19 from a lab and ran off with them, and either in May or April (no one is keeping track of time now) that a giant asteroid narrowly missed Earth.In June, science and common sense just got thrown straight out the window and somehow wearing masks became a political thing, but then a whole lot of people realized the South was actually the most unpatriotic thing ever and actually lost the Civil war, and there are a large amount of people who feel that statues they don’t even know the name of are needed for … history reasons..... but then everyone sort of remembered there was a pandemic, but then decided that not wearing a mask was somehow a God given right (still haven't found that part in the bible or even in the constitution), but then scientists announced they found a mysterious undiscovered mass at the center of the earth, and everyone was like DON’T YOU DARE TOUCH IT, but then everyone took a pause to realize that people actually believed Gone With The Wind was like non-fiction, but then it was also announced that there is a strange radio signal coming from somewhere in the universe that repeats itself every so many days, and everyone was like DON’T YOU DARE ATTEMPT TO COMMUNICATE WITH IT, but then America reopened from the shut down that actually wasn’t even a shut down, and so far, things have gone spectacularly not that great, but everyone is on Facebook arguing that masks kill because no one knows how breathing works, but then Florida was like hold my beer and let me show you how we’re number one in all things, including the new Not Corona Beer Corona Virus. Trump decides now is a good time to ask the Supreme Court to shut down Obama Care because what better time to do so than in the middle of a pandemic, but then we learned there was a massive dust cloud coming straight at us from the Sahara Desert, which is totally normal, but this is 2020, so the ghost mummy thing is most likely in that dust cloud, but then I learned of meth-gators, and I'm like that is so not on my f-ing 2020 Bingo card, but then we learned that the Congo's worse ever Ebola outbreak is over, and we were all like, there was an Ebola outbreak that was the worse ever?In July…. Aliens? Zeus? Asteroids? Artificial Intelligence becomes self aware?