Casey, Iowa

I recently spent a night camping in the Casey, Iowa city park. It cost me $10.

For the past couple of years i have been reading the travel blog of a couple of full time RVers, one of whom is confined to a wheel chair from a spinal injury. Their blog is called “Rolling in an RV – Wheelchair Traveling.”

In their travels, they occasionally stayed in city parks such as the one in Casey.

These small, city owned rv campgrounds are a curiosity to me.

Were they built in the days before interstate highways cut these small towns and cities off from the rest of the world? Or were these campgrounds built after the interstate highway system arrived – perhaps to bring people back into town and maybe spend a few bucks at local businesses?

Regardless of the answer to my questions, these small campgrounds can be a nice change of scenery for the weary road traveler.

Solar equipment installation

After almost three months of travel, i recently had a modest solar system installed on our Ford Transit van. After consulting with Northern Arizona Wind and Sun to determine my current and future electrical needs, i purchased a 320 watt solar panel, two 100 amp-hour Battle Born lithium batteries, and all the equipment necessary to make the system work.

Installation was expertly handled by Buddy’s Welding and RV of Flagstaff, Arizona.

Summerdale

Before Matilda and i started to travel, we camped out occasionally on U.S. Forest Service land in Central California. One particular campsite we visited a few times has a memory for me that keeps repeating itself – triggered by a peculiar, but understandable, habit that Matilda has.

While at the Summerdale Campground near Fish Camp, California we met the campground host while Matilda and i were out on a walk. A dog person, this savvy individual would offer treats to dogs she would encounter while driving through the campground. And Matilda got a treat that day. Actually two treats!

Matilda must have truly enjoyed the experience of getting to jump aboard the golf cart and get a delicious treat from this doggone happy person. Because now every time she encounters a golf cart when we are in a campground, she jumps into the front seat and patiently waits for a treat.

Sedona, Arizona

I was hiding from the morning sun. It had risen high enough that its warming rays were turning from the welcome i give it to the disdain i leave it when it reveals its true self.

In the coolness of the shadow in which i sat, i slept.

I was awakened by a small car as it rolled uneasily over the rocks, swaying from side to side as it navigated its way to my left and, eventually, out of my sight.

Annoyed with the encroaching sunlight, i put on my hat and set off with Matilda to explore the abandoned road that stretched to the east when i came upon that car.

The doors and hatch were open.

There sat a woman. And at her feet were two dogs. They had staked out a claim nestled among the outstretched arms of a small tree in this unexpected scene of serenity and peace in this improbable desert setting.

With a smile, she countered my awkward greeting by saying that they had decided to rest for a while.

The older dog was 13 years of age. And the woman and this dog had been traveling together for most of that time.

The younger dog had been adopted as a foundling on a beach in Mexico two winters ago.

A bit chilly…

It was a bit chilly last night in the forest near Prescott, Arizona. Matilda jumped up on the bed earlier than usual and I noticed her breaths were slow and long and ended with a shiver.

Just poking my head out from inside the sleeping bag I could tell it was very, very cold. So I got Matilda to move, opened up the bag and invited her in.

She jumped back up onto the bed, stepped into the bag, and laid down where I had drawn back the covers.

I then covered us both–leaving our heads out for air. But it was only a moment later that Matilda pulled her head back under, went into a ball, and let out a big sigh.

Needless to say, we stayed in bed long past the first light that had become our alarm clock.

Neither Matilda nor I made a move.

Until I decided that the longer we waited to get up, the greater the chance that Matilda, or I – or both of us – might have an “accident.”

So I jumped out of bed, put on a bunch of warm clothes and hustled Matilda out the door and down the road for our morning walk.

It wasn’t long before we encountered the camp host who reported that the temperature had gotten down to 28 degrees the night before.

That’s the coldest night we’ve encountered so far.

The cost of a stamp and general delivery

I’m not sure what younger folks think about the U.S. Postal Service these days but i (in my late 60s) think its the cat’s pajamas. As a young adult before the days of computers, the Internet, and electronic mail, i was struck by the low cost and ease of sending a letter. Only a few cents to usher off my thoughts and sentiments to another across town or across the country. What a wonderfully slow and deliberate endeavor!

Just recently i had the opportunity to try a service of the post office that brought me back to a simpler time – General Delivery. General Delivery allows one the opportunity to receive mail at many post offices without the benefit of a street address. And it worked perfectly.

In my case, i had mail forwarded to me in a small town on the California/Arizona border while traveling. I calculated when my mail would arrive and then went to the post office with my identification in hand to pick it up. Wonderful. It was good to know that the simplicity of sending and receiving mail still exists.