Camping Lesson

There are many lessons to be learned from camping if one chooses to pay attention.  Some are quite practical, such as having enough propane for the stove, closing windows if there is any possibility of rain, to bringing the right … Continue reading

Rainy Days

Sue’s thoughts:

Hmmmm …. What to do on a rainy day in a tiny trailer?

Well, first off a cup of coffee. Making coffee is bit more of a ritual in the Snoozy than at home so it is a pleasant way to greet the day. Then some quiet reading before Dennis gets up. I had originally meant to check my emails, but my phone was dead, I forgot to charge it, so no hotspot. Instead I had to resort to a hard copy book or my Kindle, which also meant I had to turn on a light. This morning I chose “The Voice of Knowledge” by Don Miguel Ruiz. Interesting reading and the rain lent itself to a contemplative mood.

After Dennis got up I had a second cup of coffee and some morning conversation. Dennis had charged his phone so he reported that the rain was supposed to last all day. After a light breakfast of yogurt Dennis went to the Ranger Station to surf the Internet and I took the quiet time for meditation and some more reading. Unfortunately, no yoga, there isn’t enough floor space in the Snoozy.

The rain was even more intense when Dennis returned so we shut up the trailer and went into St. Petersburg for lunch at the Museum of Fine Arts. We had a wonderful repeat lunch from our previous visit there and enjoyed looking out the large windows at the rain drenched harbor. After lunch it had stopped raining so we went in a few art galleries and then drove back to the campground.

Back at the trailer all was dry and well. The sun was struggling to stay out so we went for a long walk. There was some wind so we stayed on the nature trail and off the beach. The rain made the wooded area lush with dense beautiful ferns like a rain forest. It was quite spectacular. Conversation was good and the exercise was reinvigorating.

By now it was dark so we made a simple dinner and sat outside to eat. As Dennis was warming Naan on the grill a raccoon jumped on the table just several feet away, luckily no food was on the table yet. They are out of control here. Now we are inside for the evening with some reading and writing, and then off to bed.

Den’s thoughts:

When we were contemplating buying the trailer and camping pretty much all winter I often wondered what on earth we would do if it rained all day. Just sit in this tiny, clammy fiberglass box?

We’ve just finished the seventh month of camping and dealing with rain has not turned out to be the problem I anticipated.

Rain began late yesterday evening and continued through about 3:00 PM today. The sound of the rain as I’m laying in bed with the roof only a foot or so over my head is very soothing. I can hear every drop but am snug and dry.

Nothing like a dark rainy morning to trigger the mental snooze alarm, several times. I got up about 8:30 AM and it’s 9:00 by the time I’m dressed, bed’s made and coffee is ready. My first cup and usually Sue’s second one. Another cup of coffee, some “whadya wanna do today” conversation and another hour has somehow gone by. An easy breakfast of cereal, fruit and yoghurt doesn’t take much time and neither do the breakfast dishes.

At 10:30 I went to the park office to suck up some free wifi. The time really flies when I’m surfing the Internet especially when it’s raining and there’s not much else to do anyway. Today I spent an hour working on our travel plans for New Mexico in April and another hour researching solar panels for the trailer.

The park office has three rangers whose main job seems to be checking in new arrivals and answering questions. One of the young men reminded me of Andy on Parks and Recreation, mostly because of his voice and willingness to pontificate on almost any subject. Two of his more interesting riffs were on the general excellence of Mini-Cooper automobiles and why the government was ignoring the use of Thorium as a nuclear reactor fuel.

Anyway, around noon the weather service issued a tornado warning and soon worried campers started coming in asking about tornado shelters.

Camper: “Is this building the tornado shelter?”
Andy: “No”.
Camper: “Where should we go then?”
Andy: “Well the concrete block bathrooms are probably stronger than your tent or trailer so I’d go there”.
Camper: “Will there be a warning siren if a tornado is spotted?”
Andy: “No”.
Camper: “How will we know if we should take shelter in the bathroom?”
Andy: “The trees will really start blowing around”.

I did not make up one word of this dialogue, honest.

At 12:30 I drove back to our site, picked up Sue and we went into St. Petersburg for a nice lunch. When we were here last month we visited the Museum of Fine Arts and had enjoyed lunch in their entrance hall. The MFACafe is tucked into the corner of a very large indoor space and one wall is all glass with a lovely view of a park in the foreground and Tampa Bay in the background. It’s about the best you can do if you want to feel like you are outside but really don’t want to go out. We spent a couple of hours here and even let the waitress talk us into splitting a piece of blueberry cheesecake for desert.

By now the sky was lightening and the rain had nearly stopped so we put another dollar in the parking meter and walked along Beach Street browsing and stopping for another dessert of Chai (Sue) and gelato (me). By now the clouds were starting to let a little blue peek through so we went back to Fort Desoto about 4:00 PM.

A blustery wind blew away the clouds but made it too breezy to enjoy the beach so we walked from our campsite along the paved (i. e. dry) bike trail and happened upon a park bench nestled in a little grove of Palm trees offering almost complete shelter from the wind. We sat there chatting until it started to get dark.

With sunset the wind died so were able to have dinner outside on the picnic table again. The dishes were done by 9:00 PM, leaving an hour of reading and bedtime.

Rainy days really haven’t been a problem.