We got home a week ago from our southwest US trip. No, I don't do blogs.
To start with, when we were at Dead Horse Campground, AZ we met with Terry's sisters and a couple of her friends for three days starting March 12. That was the last time we were with friends/family. The campgrounds were 100% full and Cottonwood/Sedona were booming. There was just talk about what was happening. All business' were open.
On March 16 we arrived at Glen Canyon Recreational Area by Page. First thing we noticed was the campgrounds were perhaps 50% occupied. The second day the visitor center, that we were in the day before, was closed for Covid 19. Went to a WalMart (I hate WalMart) and it was crazy; full of people obviously hoarding products like it was the end of the world.
A friend of mine works at WalMart and is 100% certain he'll contact Covid 19 there. He feels March was better for WalMart's business than any December he's ever seen.
On March 18 we arrived at Zion National Park for a 10 night stay. The first night the campground was perhaps 50% full. Zion is always 100% full. We started to realize people were taking this seriously and started social distancing on the nineteenth. A daughter and her husband were told to work from home. About a day later our 6 year-old graddaughter's classes were cancelled and she was at home too while they worked from home. On Friday they were informed the childcare for their 9 month-old was cancelled. They needed an nanny, but understood we wanted to slowly come home. After two more days the campgrounds were unofficially closed and kind of in chaos, but those with reservations could continue to camp. The volunteers didn't know what to say to us. Seven days into our camping at Zion we decided to leave the next morning. At 8:30 am on March 25 a ranger knocked on our door to inform us we had to be out of the campground by 11 am when the gates were to be locked. We were already packing so we were out in a half hour. That last night there were perhaps 6-7 sites occupied in the campground.
I use washable gloves for dumping, but while dumping our tanks realized we had a nearly full box of nitrile gloves. On our way to the northern part of Glen Canyon Recreational Area we discussed how we will social distance so Terry can live with our daughter/family to be their nanny. It was decided I would wear the nitrile gloves whenever I was pumping gas/buying groceries, and only I would buy groceries.
We had a fantastic BLM site in the Glen Canyon Recreational Area with fantastic hiking outside our door. Had a great campfire overlooking a canyon/wash. However we decided to head to the south end of Canyonlands to hike there for a couple of days.
When we arrived at Canyonlands needless to say the visitor center and campgrounds were closed. We stayed at another fantastic BLM site behind a huge rock that protected us from the 30+mph winds we had starting that late afternoon through most of the night. Had another great campfire.
The next morning we decided to head the the northern part of Canyonlands, going through Moab. Moab was one of the first cities to essentially close to tourists. The motels were essentially closed. The grocery store was pretty much vacant. There was a local police officer at the door and only a few people buying groceries. Canned information about social distancing (everyone was to remain 6' apart), sterile wipes, and limiting numbers of certain items came over the speakers ever 3-4 minutes. It was weird! Was I an extra in some sort of movie?
We drove to the end of Arches NP and back with a couple of stops. Also looked at the weather and decided to head back. BIG MISTAKE! We drove with bad weather, and had the wind in our faces 75% of the way back.
Decided to go across Colorado on Interstate 70. Once we got past Grand Junction in the mountain valley the weather was great until we got 60 miles from Vail, it started snowing. We had wet, crappy, sticky snow up and down both passes. I also had driven too far that day and for the first time on our trip I was a crabby asshole and Terry will agree. I apologized to her the next day and she understood. God, I love that woman!
In Denver were were verified as "Essential Travelers" and allowed to have a room. Apparently Colorado has lockdown rules. The motel receptionist thought for a motel to be open in Colorado all hot tubs and swimming pools had to be emptied. So much for a needed hot tub!
Drained hot tubs and swimming pools are a good idea.
The ride across Nebraska was boring as usual, we were in and out of rain, and still had a wind 45 degrees to our front. Worst gas mileage we've probably had with our 5.0. We had a nice camping spot at Cabelas to make dinner, sleep, and Terry's oatmeal, blueberry pancakes before heading on the road.
The wind was from the NW the final day so going east we had great gas mileage that we gave up when heading north. We finally arrived at Lanesboro at 5 pm and spent the next two days emptying the camper and getting Terry ready to go be a nanny.
Terry left last Wednesday. Since I was the one pumping gas (four times, since we have a 36 gallon tank) and buying groceries (once in Moab) I won't be seeing Terry till next Saturday when she comes to Lanesboro for the weekend. I'll be going up to Eden Prairie in under two weeks to see our daughters family. Yes, I'm on a self-quarantine.
Our camper sits in the 250 Campground, eight-tenths of a mile from our condo. We know of out-of-the-way campgrounds in Minnesota that we'll go to this summer, assuming we're not on a full lockdown.
A friend of mine is buying a Sena bike helmet that has two-way communications so we can bike together. Terry and I both have Sena helmets, and with my hearing on the trail I now hear Terry when she talks to me (no, I won't wear it at home!). Yesterday I rode 47 miles to Harmony and back by myself. I hope Ron gets that helmet soon!
As you can tell I'm bored from being by myself. I notice by the threads written here I'm not the only one though. On the bright side, I'm completing work in the condo that I've been putting off.