Staying-at-home and other things that don’t come naturally to full-time nomads during a pandemic
In case somebody hasn’t notice: There’s a global pandemic going on and in order to flatten the curve everybody is supposed to stay at home. You know, the home with a foundation and a mailbox and preferably HOA regulations, not the one with wheels and a grey water tank and definitely no HOA regulations. Nomads my have some advantages during a pandemic (think online jobs), easy access to sheltering in place is not one of them.
We got extremely lucky to be in a pretty good area to ride out this pandemic (or, start riding it out? Survive the first two months of it?)
We just left the Mojave and arrived in Las Vegas a bit before the craziness started. We were about to leave the Las Vegas area, but kept pushing the time. Once Nevada issued the stay at home order, we figured we might as well shelter in place.
The spot we were in wasn’t perfect, but we knew of a different one that we spent a couple days at earlier this year. While that one, too, wasn’t perfect, it’s checking all the boxes for our priorities:
- Easy, convenient and reliable water source (which got a bit trickier once Red Rock Canyon was closed, but still easy enough to fill up in the city’s Campgrounds, plus it’s free),
- easy trash disposal (no, I’m not talking about the desert but not only one but two ginormous dumpsters within 10 minutes of the camp spot),
- Grocery store close by that allows us to stock up on fresh food. Added benefit: Amazon Lockers en masse within 20 minutes of camp, plus a post office that accepts General Deliveries mere 10 minutes away. The post master loved me. I love her. It was definitely mutual.
- Room to roam! Lots of space for the kids and Cody to run and wiggle and ride their bikes (not Cody) and generally doesn’t require me to hover over them (because neither of us likes that).
- Nobody bothering us. While the dry lake bed is popular on the weekends for all kinds of OHV use, we’re off to the side and are being left alone.
The closest town wasn’t a small mountain town but a metropolis with several hospitals. That helped both with feeling guilty about using local supplies and with feeling safe in case we ended up catching the virus. It didn’t help with actually getting tested, though. But, well, we’re lucky enough we didn’t need to bother.
We also good lucky in that we’ve ordered the van fridge way ahead and had everything on hand to get it running. This plus our double water storage with van and our bladder made it easy to limit errand runs to about once every 10 to 14 days.
With the water situation managed we even got a small pool for Sams birthday, and I got to wash some of our clothes (though I still have a bag of ain’t-gonna-touch-this laundry, including the stuff from our mud-feast on Sams bday).
It’s been two months that we’ve been here and we’ll soon move because while this spot did work for us those last two months, it’s getting hot. As in 100s (or 35+) degrees, with no shade and often high winds that don’t allow us to put up a sun shade for the kids. While the dry lake bed is great for getting outside (especially for the kids and Cody), and for building, we can’t do either with those temperatures plus 50mph wind gusts. So we’ll move north, trading the room to roam for using the washing machine at our friends house, and maybe even – gasp – a shower. I’m not sure one shower will be enough to get this dust off us, though.
I’m glad we didn’t end up at a campground. I’m glad we didn’t crash in somebodies driveway two months ago, with the expectation that it will be two weeks and then life will go on as usual. I’m glad we got so lucky, because ending up in that spot was exactly that. And I’m really glad our kids are used to go weeks or months with just the two of them to play with, and they didn’t even complain once. Not about Sams Plan B birthday celebration, or the taped off playgrounds in town, or staying in the car while one of us went grocery shopping. They’re living their best dusty life, perfecting bike tricks and building forts. The only time they ever really complain is when it’s time to put on some sunscreen.