Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Stopping by the Woods on a Wisconsin Afternoon

When using a public campground, a tuba placed on your picnic table will keep the campsites on either side vacant. Author Unknown  

My husband and I bought a used Airstream trailer. I’d always kinda, sorta wanted one. I’m almost done writing a book about an Airstream caravan following a famous trail — a middle-aged woman’s coming of age story. 

An Airstream calendar from several years ago hangs in my house, still getting turned to months long past. On another wall hangs a barnwood plank depicting an Airstream hand-painted by my daughter-in-law, Chelsea. In the wall socket is an Airstream night light given to me by other daughter-in-law, Leigh. On the coffee table is a history book of Airstreams, given by my friend, Michelle, who is mad at me because I got one before her.  

So, okay. I really did want one. However, having a real one in our driveway was a little intimidating. The learning curve very high. Where most Airstreams look very small when you see them in RV lots next to the other brands, they do indeed appear tiny. Hook one onto the back of your truck, and, well, it ain’t so damn tiny. 

Walkie Talkies have aided in our backing up, provided the man in the truck takes the directions from —— a woman. And we’ve launched our first long journey. A road trip up north to get out of the oppressing Texas heat. 

Over a week ago, we took off on our first adventure. We’ve discovered covering 350 miles a day is an ideal distance for us — so contrary to our days of knocking out 900 miles. My husband is getting used to driving in the slow lane, now keeping track of how many cars he gets to pass in a day. Banner Day? 5. 

Our first campsites were only for one night so we booked pull through RV parks. Not very exciting. The one in Missouri was a big gravel parking lot with trailers lined up next to one another. Most of the people lived there full-time.  

On the road, it was easy to stop and use the trailer bathroom and make lunch. Didn’t have to go into stores or gas stations. Or eat fast food. Been a little interesting filling up with gas — with a trailer behind us. 

We made our way through Oklahoma, Missouri, and Illinois to visit with family in Wisconsin for a few days. We plan to visit some good friends in northern Minnesota, but right now we’re hanging in a beautiful state park on the Chippewa River in western Wisconsin. 

A little bit of crisp in the air says fall is here. On my bike ride this morning, I stopped to pick up several maple leaves that have already turned orange. I often set my kick stand to take in the beauty of the river and tall trees and the rustling of the leaves in the trees. I miss the large rustling leaves living in Texas. The leaves on most the trees are so small, one can barely hear them swishing against one another. Something I immediately notice when I venture up north. 

An occasional acorn lands on the roof of the trailer. I’m wearing a sweatshirt. I slept with two Mexican blankets covering me last night. 

And this is my new friend. He nudged my leg yesterday. I must be in his parking space.



For those of you yearning for a change of scenery, I am happy to share. 





I want to learn how to forage.




A violinist!




Beautiful and peaceful. Except maybe for me. Forgive me if this post doesn’t look right.  I’m learning how to work on an IPAD. Many, many swear words have accompanied the process of this post. I’m working on the picnic table and the people next to us just packed up and moved to another campsite. Hmmmm. Thinking I don’t need no stinking tuba. 

26 comments:

  1. Love your pictures! You did a great job, considering I cannot even begin to post on my iPad. Need a real keyboard. Congratulations on your maiden voyage in your Airstream. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maiden Voyage was a success. So much better at takedown, setup, and figuring out how far we can drive.

      Delete
  2. How beautifully midwest it looks. What a sweet little chippie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, always feels like home to get back into the Midwest. As to that sweet little chippie? Story to come.

      Delete
  3. Great blog! I can hear the rustle of the leaves and tje smell of fallen dried leaves from growing up in MN.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, it always surprises me. And I can listen for hours.

      Delete
  4. It seems your Airstream trailer has made life better. Good for you and your husband!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, it was a much needed respite from the virus fatigue. Feeling much better now.

      Delete
  5. All looks perfect for holidays away in that glorious countryside.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was a very nice break. Hope all is well with you, Weaver.

      Delete
  6. Nice post, Julie. I saw the pic of the violinist and thought, "What no tuba?" Naeem

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Naeem. Had to bring that tuba in at the end. Ha! I was thrilled to listen to the violinist.

      Delete
  7. It took us quite a few trips before we got our signals down for backing up our trailer. I do all the driving, so I did all the backing up. We tried walkie talkies at first, but eventually, we got in a good routine using simple hand signals and making very small adjustments. That said, I don't miss it and love the ease of our Class C, which is much easier to back up (although we still use hand signals to get into our sites). We have learned that the Rule of 2s work best for us. Travel no more than 200 miles in a given day. Stay at least 2 days. Try to stop by 2 pm. This isn't anything like traveling by car, but it makes for a much less stressful mode of traveling. I usually stay in the slow lane, too, unless we happen to be on a freeway/interstate with a lot of merging traffic. That stresses me out, not knowing whether I should try to speed up or slow down to allow a semi onto the road!

    Your campsite looks wonderful! If you need recommendations for the PNW, CA, NM, AZ, NV or TX let me know. We've found some wonderful places (and some not so wonderful...). Happy travels! Looking forward to more travel posts!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Les, I WILL ask your recommendations as we venture to those states. This trip gave us lots of info on how to do this. I so admire that you do the driving. I'm still a sissy in that area. The backing up is getting easier and, right now, we've decided 350 miles a day works for us. And the longer stays inbetween the one nighters. I will take all the advice you have to offer!

      Delete
  8. That is one hunk of metal! Hubby is good with the boat trailer, but his neck and back problems are slowing that skill down. Looks like fun and work.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I recall my mother -- thinking camping was way too much work. But we have this down, now -- pretty much. And you can assure your husband that mine will tell him it is completely different than a boat trailer. Ha!

      Delete
  9. wish I were there and with my own little Airstream!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello, fellow Airstreamer. I will blink my lights at you if I see you on the road!

      Delete
  10. I’m so happy for you for so many reasons. I wonder how this new addition to your life will change your book. Also happy for me that you are writing about your adventures. 💖

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Deb, it has definitely given me more info on how the trailer works -- and why Lily has such trouble backing it in. Ha! A slower pace for us, but always good to shake it up, eh?

      Delete
  11. You look like you are having an excellent adventure! SO COOL that you got an Airstream (the best camper, if I ever got to get one, that would be my choice) and that you're taking the relaxing route with it.
    The Wisconsin River offers some excellent camping and recreation. Much to recommend in that neck of our woods! Happy trails, Julie!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Melissa. We will, no doubt, be spending more time up there in the future. Different kind of travel for us, but an adventure none the less. Your cold and rainy weather chased us home early, but we will toughen up for next time. Hope the school year goes well for you and yours.

      Delete
  12. Great post Julie. Love the pictures too. Our small camper is not so luxurious. I really like the name of your blog - Midlife Roadtripper.
    It's so good to get away, isn't it.
    I am overjoyed whenever we manage some nights in the camper, even the ones when we just park up in the children's drives, bringing our own bedroom with us and not having to listen to children crying in the night. I am so grateful to have this wonderful possibility of adventures and visits.

    gramswisewords.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  13. I am fascinated by many things about this post. I have heard of Airstream but didn't realise that they hold such cache. Secondly... 350 miles a day!!!! The UK is so small that we'd travel for 350 miles and reach our destination - well, almost. We certainly wouldn't do it for two days. Thirdly, why are the leaves on Texan trees so small? I apologise for my ignorance of American geography and climate. Fourthly, is your little neighbour a chipmunk? We don't have them here but he looks like Chippy Hackee. Sorry for asking so many questions and thank you for a beautiful post. x

    ReplyDelete

Let me know what you think. Every word you write, I appreciate.

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails