There we sat week after week, watching the surf and our kids attempting to catch the perfect wave to ride into shore. Occasionally they got carried in standing, but more often than not, they came into shore tumbling and rolling. The thought of joining them in the wash cycle of the ocean didn’t seem all that appealing. Onlookers looked on with a little envy and wonder. There is definitely the feeling that those in the water were the cool people, and those of us on the beach in our dry clothes were definitely missing out. They were in the water, and we were not. Plain and simple.
The cool crisp air and clear nights make winter a great time of year for RV exploring. A stillness can almost be felt as nature slumbers in these shorter days and long nights. But it’s no bother with the added layer of a blanket and a hot beverage next to the crackling campfire, the only sound to be heard on this dark, peaceful night. Welcome to Quail Mesa Ranch, your Harvest Host for the evening.
By mid-summer 2022, We’d become experts at RV camping. We found some kind of compromise between the comforts of RVing and the nostalgia of tent camping. While we enjoyed the comforts of a bathroom and kitchen on wheels, glamping chairs, and carpet to boot, we decided the sleeping bags would stay. After years of tent camping, sheets seemed wrong, while zip-up flannel bags somehow seemed like a token to the good old days, even in summer. This was our final resolution between the two worlds.
We unpacked like camping pros and settled in for the afternoon. We had spectacular views, friendly neighbors, the chirping of birds, and all the sunshine we could possibly want. In fact, we had more sunshine than we wanted. Turns out, our perfect campsite came with full sun exposure, and we were sweating ourselves silly. Never mind. We can handle this, we praised ourselves as we shuffled our chairs down to the beach to find some shade. Then the unmistakable sound of a hum filled my ears. Our neighbors had a generator! It would seem we had once again not thought of every contingency. Why didn’t we bring ours? Across the way, fellow campers had their own 10×10 pop-up tent and a small pool to cool their feet in. Camping envy rose again. It would seem, no matter how prepared we were, we’d never think of every contingency.
After two trips to Clear Lake Campgrounds and with the help of multiple Amazon orders and a trip to Costco, we felt more than prepared for our next camping trip. Dare I say, we felt even a bit cocky when we pulled into Pine Acres Resort at Blue Lakes. David hooked us up with all our new gadgets. We had the water filter, the surge protector, and the blocks for leveling the trailer. He even packed a level to make sure we were precisely level. No more sink water draining off the counter, and the cabinets will stay open! Next came the color-coordinated rug (gray and white just like our trailer), the appropriate camping chairs, and a tablecloth. Yes, I forgot to mention I forgot a tablecloth on our two previous camping trips. We had to endure nature and all of its droppings as we dined. Sure we cleaned it, but there’s nothing like the psychological battle in your mind of what was there before. But not this time! There was nothing we had forgotten. With towels in hand, we eagerly made our way toward the beach. It was the perfect afternoon on the lake. A warm breeze blew off the water, reminding us that we were still in the heat of the day, making the sapphire lake all the more inviting. That’s when our confidence suddenly waned.
So we caved and bought a travel trailer like everyone else. Oh, the excitement and expectations that come with such a purchase. We bought enough things to fill a house for this tiny home on wheels. Then we took it out for its maiden voyage at Clear Lake Campground. Lisa Wilson, the second-generation owner of the campground, was celebrating her birthday, and anyone with an RV was invited to stay the night. We had all the confidence in the world that we were more than ready for this trip. Our friends eagerly greeted us when we arrived. David backed that trailer up like a pro as if he’d been doing this all his life. But, unfortunately, that’s when our confidence ended.