Things sure have changed since last year! I can’t believe it! How did we get here? I know “change” is guaranteed in life, but I can’t keep up with everything that is happening these days.
In spite of all the chaos and uncertainty, we are ready to load up our RV and take a road trip. We will stay in our own state, and meet up with a few family members. We have our masks, hand sanitizers, surface cleaner, and gloves. It’s just a few more items to pack, and worth it to stay safe during the pandemic.
Times are different, but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy life, with a few minor inconveniences. It’s not these things that cause our stress. It’s loss of jobs, worrying about our loved ones, and paying our bills. But, if everyone would work together, we could turn this around, and all be in a better place. I don’t mind wearing a mask, if it helps others feel safe, keeps me safe, and gets all of us through these challenging times.
It’s really not that hard to practice social distancing on a road trip, or in every day life. You just have to want to do your part to get to a better place.
Getting Prepared for Our Trip
We’re ready to discover some new outdoor scenery, and visit family, all while following CDC guidelines for masks, sanitizing, and social distancing on our road trip.
We still needed to de-winterize, but when I got in the rig to start it up, and take it to our local RV shop, I was stunned when I couldn’t turn the ignition key or the steering wheel, and there were no lights or sound. Nothing! You guessed it – a dead battery. My husband suggested I call a guy to jump it, so I did.
Our RV has been sitting in the driveway since last Fall, but I have done all the cleaning, inside and out. It’s washed, and ready to hit the road!
Or, so we thought.
The first guy we called was from a local tire shop with a mobile unit for jumping vehicles, but when he arrived and realized he didn’t know a thing about Sprinter batteries, he said he preferred not to mess with it.
So, we called Mercedes, and they set us up with Mercedes Roadside Assistance. The guy arrived, jumped the RV, and it started right up. He told me to let it run for 30 minutes, which I did. Then, when I tried to restart it, warning lights appeared stating no ESP, which basically means all systems are dead!
I started to panic, and was afraid our road trip would need to be cancelled.
I called Mercedes again, and they sent another tech, only this time, with a new battery. I had no idea the battery was under the floor, but he installed the new one, and it runs beautifully. We were finally ready for our road trip!
Our Road Trip During a Pandemic
As we headed out, gas was needed, so I placed a handy pair of garden gloves with washable coating under my seat. Just pump the gas, spray my glove with a sanitizer to be ready for next gas stop. An added bonus to using the gloves is no diesel or gas smell left on my hands. You could also use disposable gloves, but that can get expensive.
Rest areas for doggy pit stops are also part of our travels. We’re definitely good at cleaning up after our four-legged friend. If you need to visit rest area restrooms, be sure to take something to wipe off surfaces, and soap or sanitizer for your hands. And, grab the door handle and faucet with a paper towel. You can always spray the toilet seat, if you feel the need, or do whatever works for you. Personally, with an RV, you have the advantage of avoiding public restrooms.
Stopping at grocery stores is another must, but I follow the same rules that I do at my local grocery store. I wear a mask, wipe down the cart, sanitize my hands before and after (not touching my face at any time), and practice social distancing. Easy peasy!
Seeing our family is what this years trips are all about. We haven’t seen the kids, or grand kids, since last Fall, and I can’t imagine going through winter without seeing them.
Things are a little different, since we are all huggers, and we can’t hug each other this time around. We hugged in other ways, though, using our words, sign language, or any other creative way we could come up with to say I love you, I missed you, and I am so happy to see you! Life doesn’t need to be put on hold. It just needs to be looked at from a different perspective.
It won’t be like this forever.
Our Washington Road Trip Stops
First, we headed to Leavenworth, WA, to meet up with my brother, his wife, and my nephew, and his wife, and two children. The RV park only allowed gatherings of 5 people, so we have been one over the limit. It seems like someone is always in their rig taking care of something, so we should we were never all together in one place anyway. We moved around a lot, walking our dogs, hanging out by the river, exploring the campground, and trails, etc. My brother and his wife went into the town of Leavenworth, but we stayed at the campground, relaxing, observing mountain sheep on the hillside, and eagles majestically flying overhead. We didn’t feel comfortable going into town, where large gatherings, and small shops create close contact with others. Most people were wearing masks, which I was happy to hear. We just enjoyed our quiet piece of solitude, and a cold beer, on a very hot day.
The next day, we were chilling by the river, and had our binoculars, when my husband spotted 3 bears drinking from the river. Only one made himself totally visible, walking along the shore across the river. It was thrilling to see!
From Leavenworth, we decided we didn’t want to go straight home, so we decided to check out a Washington State Park, outside of Vantage, suggested by my brother, and his wife. I checked for openings at Wanapum State Park, and found they had one space left for the night. They didn’t take same day reservations, so we headed in that direction hoping we would get there before anyone else. We got it, and it was a gorgeous, serene spot right along the river. The spaces are so nicely spread out, with privacy. The park has green grass and shade trees too. It was, literally, like an oasis in the middle of the desert. It’s now one of our favorite spots, and we will be returning next month, on our way to see our youngest daughter, in Newport, WA.
Our next trip will be along the Columbia River, and over to the Vancouver, WA area, where our oldest daughter and her husband live. It’s a drive filled with abundant beauty. We will be traveling along the Columbia River, on the Washington side. Usually we drive Highway 84 on the Oregon side, but wanted a new experience. We intend to stay at Maryhill State Park for a night each way. Washington State Parks are some of the most beautiful parks, we are discovering. I am so anxious to see them, and spending some time just enjoying their company. Hugs will have to wait though.
Social distancing on a road trip, wearing our masks, and sanitizing our hands makes it possible for us to maintain some normalcy, and still have some adventures before this Summer is over, and we park Ramblin RV for the Winter. I am thankful that we could make it work, and have time with family, and get outdoors to take in the gifts that Mother Nature has to offer.
We’re hoping that next year will be a better year, and we can venture a little further than our own state. Washington is very beautiful, and there is so much to see and do that I never get tired of the breathtaking mountains, lush, green forests, raging rivers, tumbleweed deserts, and patchwork farmlands. Not to mention all the beautiful waterways, and the ocean!
Stay Safe and Well! Live life and Be Happy!