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.
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.
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!
Happy dog, happy mama!
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.
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!!!
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!