Bridget, Reggie, and I leave the Best Little Trailer and take the Perfect Tow Vehicle into town.
We’re on our way to St. George to obtain a refund from Wal-Mart. I also have an empty propane tank in the back of the PTV. As long as we’re going to town, I’ll have it filled.
Unlike the last time, no one is in line at the customer center.
I explain to the clerk that I was charged a core battery fee at the Richfield Wal-Mart, even though my old battery was left there and that the manager of said store will confirm that I’m due a refund.
I show her my receipt.
Of course, an unusual customer request causes a few moments of consternation. She calls her manager, blah, blah, blah. It turns out that I paid with a check, not a credit card as I originally thought. Eventually the clerk hands me $12 and change. This makes me happy because I hate those cards that give credit in the store. I never remember to use them!
Well, that’s done.
With a song in my heart and not much going on upstairs, I push my cart over to the restroom.
I had noticed my hands were dirty when I accepted the cash. I had forgotten to wash them after fooling around unhooking the propane tank and so forth. The restroom is empty, there’s soap in the dispenser, even paper towels on the wall! Gee, this is my day. I wash up.
Okay, now to shop.
I step out of the restroom and meet the man whose job it is to clean restrooms.
He’s standing behind his cart which is laden with brooms, mops, buckets, cleaner, rags, and whatnot. He looks at me deadpan and states in a level, low voice . . .
“This is the men’s room.”
I turn and there on the wall is the symbol representative of . . . a man!
“Oh. So it is.”
I smile at the cleaning man, roll my eyes, and with my head held high, push my cart onward.
After shopping — when one is in a store, one has to shop — I find propane at a Chevron station.
We fly through the Virgin River Gorge for home.
I have the urge to clean! It’s a breezy day, the kind of day for airing out bedcovers. I shake the comforter and drape it over the lounger. A quilt goes over the camp chair, and the other quilt goes over the picnic table.
An airing brings that fresh-air scent inside between trips to a laundromat.
I give the kitchen a good going over, tidy up the storage area, and wipe the fiberglass surfaces throughout to make them sparkle. I sweep the floor, shake out the throw rug, and, on hands and knees, “mop” my entire house with a wet rag. Except for the bathroom … that’s for another day.
The crew and I meet our newest neighbors.
As we sit and chat for a bit I learn that they have a home in Utah and travel with their fifth wheel to Ajo for the winter. We talk about where we’ve camped.
The woman asks for suggestions.
“We’ve gotten into a rut over the years. We go the same way, stop at the same places.”
How do I respond?
I pull out my Benchmark atlas, of course! I suggest they try Roosevelt Lake in eastern Arizona or the Peg Leg/Dry Clark Lake boondocking area near Borrego Springs California. They seem interested. I describe both camps and wish them happy travels, hoping they will drive out of their comfort zone to new places.
During the week or so at Cedar Pocket we talk with Larry several times.
The crew and I see him on our sunset walks around the campground loop. While Larry and I talk, Bridget waits patiently in her car. Reggie snoops around.
Larry is a vandweller in his 70s, maybe older. We talk about all sorts of things related to our lives on the road.
Larry used to do a lot of boondocking.
“I used to go to these places, way far out, and I’d be all by myself. Beautiful. Then I go and I think I’m alone and here come the ATVs. They’re everywhere! I can’t take that noise. I stick to campgrounds. They’re quieter. Plus I need the bathrooms.”
As you know, there are many ways to RV —
From weekend camper to snowbird to full-timer. Larry has figured out the way that suits him at this point in his life. He lives in his van in the good weather months around this area of Utah, Nevada, and Arizona. When the cold months arrive, he rents an apartment.
“The nights are so darn long in the winter! I don’t have enough to do in my van. I have to use a flashlight to read, do puzzles. But, on the other hand, in an apartment I end up watching six hours of television in a day.”
“It can be addictive,” I remark. “Not to mention, it turns your brain to mush.”
Travelers keep attuned to weather forecasts.
“I’m going to move into an apartment tomorrow,” Larry announces during our last stop at his campsite.
“Yeah, cooler weather is coming by Wednesday,” I respond. “I was going to stay ’til Wednesday. Then I read the forecast is for a low in the 30s. I’d like to leave tomorrow.”
“Why don’t you?” Larry asks.
“It depends upon the wind. I try to not drive in wind, if I can help it.”
Since Larry leaves in the morning, we say our goodbyes, wishing each other safe travels.
Tuesday, November 3
After a windy night the morning is relatively calm. On our morning walk I pick up 16 plastic shopping bags stuck to bushes around the campground. Since our campsite isn’t in need of any improvement, this will be my effort to keep the pledge, “Leave our camp better than we found it.”
We should grab this opportunity to move camp before the cold arrives tomorrow.
How ’bout we hit the road, Bridge?”
“That’s my girl!”
NOTE TO ALL WHO CARE ABOUT OUR PUBLIC LANDS: Open the comments section to become informed and to take action regarding the proposed “Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Modernization Act of 2015.”
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