When COVID-19 hit, like so many, we really didn’t know what to do. We took it seriously, not leaving the house except for essentials. It was very frustrating – and still is frustrating – to not know the “right” thing to do, and to struggle with finding some balance.
But eventually, the wear of being at home 24/7 with two young children, constant barrage of negativity, shared office/work from home blurred boundaries, and general COVID fatigue got to us. Plus the weather was starting to warm, and our new RV was just sitting in its parking spot waiting to be loved.
We decided to find somewhere to go where we could boondock and be self-sufficient, as RVs are designed to be. Using iOverlander, we found an area in Central Washington that had several sites, which allowed us to have a backup plan.
So, on a Friday afternoon in April, we headed that way, first arriving in a spot that had been shared on the site that was public land. Alas, it was closed, so we had to find our next closest option as we raced against dusk.
Plugging in our next destination, the GPS told us to turn onto gravel road, which elicited a raised eyebrow from Charlie who is hyper-vigilant about damage to our vehicles. Nonetheless, I cross-referenced it with what was listed on the site and we decided to press forward, spotting a couple other campers in the distance.
We passed one camper and decided to go a little further, we passed another one, and decided to go just a little further down the road. Finally we got to a large flat area with maybe two other groups and found a spot away from them – you know, to be socially distant. We leveled, set up camp, and made some dinner.
After dinner, we went for a stroll, and watched in awe as more and more campers showed up. We had found ourselves in an ORV (off-road vehicle) area managed by the Bureau of Land Management, Saddle Mountain. People were unpacking their dirt bikes and started zipping up and down the tracks. I’ll be honest, this was my first foray into dirt bike culture, and with two dogs and two small children, it made me apprehensive. But, Charlie was unfazed, having been riding dirt bikes since he was 8, and Stewart pretended his own balance bike was a dirt bike.
People arrived and rode around late into the night. The next morning, even more groups showed up, and all our space we saw when we first arrived was gone. So much for social distancing!
It was still early, so we went for a little walk – it was nice to just be outside in nature after having been stuck at home for so long. But on our way back to the camper, some off leashed dogs went after our dogs, and with teens circling us on their dirt bikes, I made the decision that we should leave – it felt like we were in the wrong place. I guess that’s the benefit of having your home on wheels is that you can just pick up and go whenever you want!
It felt good to just get out, and reinforced that we can be self-sufficient and travel, and not have to deal with people if we don’t want to!