Good morning from Stanley Ranger Station just outside of Stanley, Idaho (where connectivity is mostly not an issue).
We've been in residence at Mount Heyburn Campground for the past six going on seven days now. The weather here at about 6,500+ feet above the level of the sea has been nothing short of amazing. We begin our days in the 40's, reach the low 80's around 4:00 p.m. and then suffer through the 70's then 60's as night falls around camp. Dark thirty is at around 10:00 p.m. though it doesn't get dark until after 11:00 p.m. Humidity levels are generally less than 50%, but mostly in the 20% range giving new meaning, at least for this Southerner, to the blissful days of summer.
The sixth of July found us living on the road for a year and a half (18 months full-time travel, 20 months living in Miranda). Another milestone in our travels. Life, even in times of pandemic, remains nothing short of amazing.
The negatives of full-time travel remain, at least for us, very minor. Melanie still misses having our cats around, though FaceTime with Tate remains good for some kitty contact as we can see Gus and he and Zoe's new kitty, Poppy, sometimes once a week.
We miss seeing our friends in Birmingham though in these times we most likely wouldn't be in direct contact with them on too regular a basis anyway. And sometimes our friends are able to meet us along the way. We were stymied back in April when friends cancelled a planned trip to San Francisco where we were to spend time, but we're currently traveling with a long-time friend (and my brother from another mother) who met us almost two weeks ago.
In our opinion, there's never been a better time not to own real estate and be stuck, so to speak, in one place. We really enjoy having options about where we live and how long we choose to stay. We stay abreast of the latest news regarding COVID-19 and try our best to stay clear of the reported "hot spots." While it's unfortunate many areas of our country have made mask wearing and social distancing a political tool, or maybe I should say the political tools and hacks are running amok in parts of our country making it difficult to get the virus under control, we have been able to steer clear of the misinformed. An ability to be agile in a pandemic is proving to be a good thing for sanity.
The great people we continue to meet along the ways. Physical distancing, not necessarily social distancing. We wear our masks when they are called for. We stay away from all venues that are statistically high for virus infection.
Local produce and restaurants. We aren't eating out as much, but that's made up by being able, especially now during the growing season, to purchase fresh local fruits and vegetables. We mostly eat out when we can be outside and properly physical distanced.
We are increasingly aware of how little one needs to actually be happy. Large living spaces are not on the horizon for us. Once off the road, we see ourselves living in a small, but comfortable space with emphasis on the outdoors.
We really love living most of our days outside. We sleep and shower, sometimes eat in the van, but much of the day is spent outside. Today Melanie is working on a picnic table at Stanley Ranger Station.
The many and varied places we continue to travel to and through while not being on vacation. Before COVID-19, we were often planned to be located in church parking lots on weekends for Melanie's work. Since churches are not currently meeting, we can move at will and travel where we please as long as Melanie is connected for work. Sometimes that proves challenging, hardly ever impossible. Flexibility of movement equals great freedom.
Experience may vary depending on what you're willing to compromise.
Bogus Basin, Idaho (July 9-12, 2020)
Day trip Stanley Ranger Station to Ketchum/Sun Valley, Idaho with JW (July 19,2020)
Steven and Melanie