Friday, September 12, 2014

Maybe I Won’t See You in September

IMG_1304

That old familiar song “See You in September” was one I imagined singing as I leisurely migrated my way across the Midwest to visit my brother in Colorado this month.  I thought I’d get there with plenty of time to spare to sit and admire the changing aspen leaves.

But, in the downsizing that seems to never end, here I am still in Chicago, still sorting, scanning, snapping,  selling, and shipping items out of the last stubborn group of a dozen boxes.

It’s not been all bad though.

I thoroughly enjoyed my 2 week stay at Burnidge Forest Preserve’s Paul Wolf Campground (near Elgin, IL) where I moved to a huge site right on the edge of the prairie to enjoy the last hurrah of sunflowers and summer cloud shows.

IMG_7798

But as Paul Wolf has a 2-week stay limit, I then had to move on to alternate locations.  The second-closest campground was Blackwell Forest Preserve in Wheaton, but they were only open 3 nights a week.  Still, the $20 county-resident rate looked appealing, so that’s where we headed next….what a mistake!

While the campground states that it’s for both RVs and tents, the roads and most sites were clearly only for cars and tents.  I thankfully was driving my big RV and toad on Thursday afternoon when it was less crowded and found one of the large RV-suitable sites empty.  It looked appealing enough, so I pulled in and parked.

IMG_1500

After taking Millie on a nice evening walk through the forest, I discovered one of Blackwell’s biggest downsides….it’s a mecca for millions of mosquitoes!  So, the next day, I prepared to properly battle those little blood-suckers with my ultimate armor—I put on my trusty bug jacket to take Millie walking!

81b9Hor9KTL._SL1500_

Happy dog, happy mama!

IMG_1499

Besides the bugs, Blackwell was just a bevvy of ridiculous rules to deal with— only open Th/F/Sat nights, only one way in and out (over no less than 6 monster-sized speed bumps!), must check in only between 1 pm and 7pm, must leave on Sunday by Noon, water is only available at non-threaded pumps located around the campground (thank goodness for my two 5-gallon collapsible Coleman water jugs and great trick I learned from the View-Navion forum about refilling your RV water tank via the Winterizing hose!), no alcohol permitted, and the list went on and on.

But the most-difficult rule was their insistence on closing (and locking!) both the campground and forest preserve gates by 8:00pm each night.  No way to help my sister prepare for the weekend’s garage sale Thursday night, and no way to enjoy a nice dinner with the family on Saturday night after our successful 2-day garage sale —Rapunzel had to be back to get locked into her tower each night by 8pm!

On Sunday, I bid Blackwell a permanent “Adieu” and thankfully moved to my sister’s driveway for my first “mooch-docking” camp (boondocking with the conveniences of a 15 amp electric cord, and any other household conveniences offered if I should want them).

I leveled up the Winnie at the end of the driveway, while Millie made herself at home in the middle of the large grassy side lawn.

IMG_1507

IMG_1501

While I still have a few more boxes of photos and documents to scan, and some final camera gear (and the Sprinter van) to sell, I’m pretty pleased that my permanent “long-term storage” has been whittled down to just these 7 boxes in my sister’s basement (two boxes of which are nothing more than empty photo/tech product boxes!).

I think my downsizing is finally, FINALLY, nearing an end!!! Smile

0907142036

We’re hoping to be on the road to Colorado within the next week or two, and will then head towards warmer weather in the Southwest.   Not a minute too soon either, as the temps here have now turned colder—Autumn is most-definitely on the way!

20 comments:

  1. Good grief. It would be handy for other travellers to compile a list of campgrounds that are not suitable. This place sounds like a nightmare.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the reminder-- I just posted a negative review to RVParkReviews.com, a great site to get "real reviews from real RVers"!

      Delete
  2. I agree with Peter. Then you could check and make sure the campground you're headed to is NOT on the list. Looks like Millie is enjoying herself!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep, I always check the RVParkReviews site (and RVParking.com too) to help narrow down a campground selection. The Blackwell reviews were all positive, so I thought I'd be in good shape...ugh!

      Delete
  3. Seven boxes, seven boxes - ye gads woman that is REALLY something! What a nightmare park. Don't really want any business, do they? The light at the end of the tunnel is getting bigger for you, everything is working out so well and am happy for you. Wish mine would as my house is still on the market after a year, am starting to have insurance problems with an empty house since am not living there and FEMA wants to almost double my flood insurance since I am not living there either. I may have to go rental to have insurance coverage and to keep the mortgage company happy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. God really blessed me with the couple who rented my house-- I can't think of any better renters to have than them. So, all those renter horror stories you hear about don't always have to be true! Ask friends to spread the word that you have a rental available-- you might find a couple of dream tenants too!

      Delete
  4. Love your “mooch-docking” term! That is hilarious! Be kind to yourself because you have been through so much work and you are almost done! Great job!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Tessa! Well, I plan to pay my sis for the utilities consumed, so I suppose I'd only be mooching if I gobbled it all up for free!

      Delete
  5. Great job and a great sister to let you mooch-dock. Hope you make it to CO. before the snow hits. Good luck selling the last few items.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Jo. Fingers crossed we can fly south soon and won't ever need the snow shovels I just sold!

      Delete
  6. Love the sunflower pictures....love seeing them bob their little heads along the road as I travel.
    Only seven boxes! You are highly admired! :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! I may regret over-doing it with the downsizing one day, but so far, being able to avoid a commercial storage unit has been a very nice thing!

      Delete
  7. I don't like parks like that, what if an emergency cropped up and you had to get out? Or do they have someone on the premises that can open the gate in a situation like that?

    Nice to see that you got all your "worldly" possessions into those 7 boxes!

    www.travelwithkevinandruth.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I totally agree. At the last park I was at, the Preserve closes at sunset too, but they leave one side of the gate open all night so campers can come and go as needed. Much more practical.

      Delete
  8. Just think.........once you leave, you'll have the rest of your life with NO schedules. It IS a wonderful life.
    Travel safe toward Colorado............and, I know you will keep your eye on the weather! Let me know if you're heading
    San Miguel way.......ok?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I sure will Babs! It's going to be a major change to not have mountains of stuff to sort through and only have real mountains to enjoy!

      Delete
  9. Thanks for the review on the park, I will probably be in IL next spring or summer to visit family and friends.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I recently purchased a used Tab camper and just returned from my first camping trip on the Oregon Coast. Thank you for sharing your inspiring blog. Winnie seems to be the perfect companion, so as soon as I finish my fixer house, I am going to adopt a lab! Also, I have space in my private driveway in Washougal, WA, so you are welcome to mooch here if you are planning to visit the Northwest again. -Jill

    ReplyDelete

Share Your Views!

Shop Amazon With Us

Gear We Love

Join Us On Facebook