I’ve obviously been in the desert too long as I finally realize after waking up to several 40-degree mornings, that it is spring and therefore colder in the mountains and along the ocean. Although the sleeping bag is cozy warm, it helped to wear a turtleneck shirt under my sweats for those parts that climb back out after a little nightly body tossing. I learned to wrap my Wal-mart special blanket around my neck, shoulders, and head to keep the heat in, hereinafter referred to as my “Blanky.” The sun does not warm this nylon tent as it once did the old canvas one. We didn’t have so many open vents and no fly. I have awakened several times with a great feeling of excitement somewhat dampened by the actual moving that required a half an aspirin. So far I’ve managed to break nine out of ten fingernails but who’s counting.
Although I often taught at my Life on Wheels classes that I could take a “bath in a teacup” in referring to boondocking and conserving water, I am finding that whole process more difficult in a tent. With my memory fast losing any credibility at all, sometimes I forget to drag one piece or another of needed clothing inside the night before so I just punt and use what I have. I spend far more time with my knees bent, both in prayer at surviving and the fact that I can’t stand up in the tent. I pull undys and jeans up far enough while laying on my back so that when I land on my knees, I can finish pulling everything into its proper place. With a man’s white shirt (acquired at a yard sale) tied over both my sweats and my black turtleneck, surely the ones who care would look at it as a new outfit and since they aren’t here, it doesn’t matter anyway. Strangers won’t even notice except maybe to think I am a really cute bag lady!
Just south of Orick, California, I pulled in at one of my favorite haunts. It is a stretch of oceanfront in the Redwood National Park. Previous to when the Powers that Be decided in their infinite wisdom that we were somehow ruining something, RVers were allowed to boondock for a goodly stretch along the highway (well off of it but not actually on the beach) and enjoy the sounds and sights of the crashing waves. At first it was free, then they charged a small fee which I’m sure most people were happy to pay, then they took away the privilege altogether. It doesn’t look any better without us and the waves crashing on the shore don’t seem to care one way or the other.
Even after many visits via motorhome, motorcycle, and now car, the redwoods are awesome. Although this time I was only visiting them on the way through, this national park requires several days of exploration and even just sitting along a quiet path and taking in the enormity of these giants.
U. S. Highway #101 is just incredible although far busier with traffic than I remember. You could take an entire summer going in and out of all the state and national parks along the coasts of California, Oregon, and Washington, but I’ll tell you about that next time. God Bless.
– Sharlene Minshall
At 45, Widow Minshall began 20 years of solo full-time RVing throughout Alaska, Mexico, and Canada. Sharlene canoed the Yukon, mushed sled dogs, worked a dude ranch, visited Hudson Bay polar bears, and lived six months on a Mexican beach. She lectured at Life on Wheels, published six RV-related books and wrote a novel, “Winter in the Wilderness.”