Load up

There are places to be seen. This is a roadside stop along Alaska’s famed James W. Dalton Highway in 2010. Not our rig, by the way. Photo by Steve Martaindale.

After having our RV sit in the same spot some 362 days, Leah and I hooked it to the pickup last Wednesday and pulled out of the park that, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, stretched from serving as our winter home to our year-round home.

We then drove some 900 yards, according to Google maps, to get its state safety inspection. We then returned the trailer to its same spot – actually, about six inches farther back and two inches more toward the starboard side.

Why is that a big deal?

It means we’re getting ready to hit the road.

In a pandemic?

It was not an easy decision to make. We have been aggressive about protecting ourselves (and others) ever since the virus became a reality. In the world of, “Lead, follow, or get out of the way,” we’ve tried to stay out of the way.

We’ve ordered stuff online and utilized curbside pickup at several businesses, something for which we are most thankful. We’ve visited our daughter and her family only at a distance … no hugging allowed … partly because our son-in-law works in medicine and cannot be considered virus-free. Therefore, neither can his wife or son.

But we did finally make some doctor’s appointments recently and we’ve done a small amount of interacting with the real world again, to the point we feel we can control much of our exposure and it seems most businesses, if not people, are taking it seriously.

OK, OK … where to?

We plan to explore the life of snowbirds.

Most of you are familiar with the term for people who live up north in the summer but flee from the snow and toward warmer climates in the winter, much like migratory birds. In our home state, they are more diplomatically referred to by appreciative businesses and taxing entities as “winter Texans.”

Here’s a brief look at our plans, all secured with telephone reservations.

November: a creekside RV park near the wee seaside town of Sargent.

December: a more arid environment in Three Rivers, between San Antonio and Corpus Christi.

January: a more likely snowbird destination in Port Mansfield.

February: a full-fledged winter Texan park in Los Fresnos.

March: currently open, whether or not and where to be determined.

Doing research?

Ah, you know me well. Yes, we’ll be working on advice and tips for prospective snowbirds, as well as putting more work into this site since my latest novel is finished and due out soon.

To that point, we would love it if those of you with snowbird experience would light us up with ideas. What should we ask of our future camping friends? What advice can you contribute? What do you wish you had known in the beginning? Anything, basically. Send a message or use the Q&A form here.

Also, we welcome any suggestions about virus-safe activities in or around Sargent, Three Rivers, Port Mansfield or Los Fresnos. Let us hear it; you’re supposed to be part of this!

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