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  • Writer's pictureRobert Gidley

Squatting ‘n’ Traffic

June 2, 2023 (Fri)

11:00 am Seven Feathers Casino

It must be the relaxing atmosphere here, but we sleep in and barely make it out in time. We bid a fond farewell to our nicest RV Resort (and it really is a Resort) and hit the road. Only a three hour drive so should be there in plenty of time to hook-up and enjoy some cool beverages.

5:00 pm Portland

Nothing much exciting to report, although it turns out that Friday afternoon in Portland is not a great time to be on the freeway. At the end it takes us an hour to go 11 miles, which means

5:05 pm Anonymous RV Camp north of Portland

We show up five minutes after the RV office closed. Oops. And, as per usual, we didn’t phone ahead to make reservations…

We look around and there’s no after hours check-in procedure (lots of places will have a way for you to show up after the office is closed, pick a spot, and pay up in the morning.

We try calling all the phone numbers available, both on the web and off. (In the process, we discover that the office is supposed to stay open until 7:00 pm after Memorial Day…)

Finally, we decide that we’ll just pull into an empty spot and squat for the evening. The rates are posted, so we can pay up in the morning (we remembered our check books this time!). We drive around noticing the park is pretty full, but finally find a spot that looks like it’s nothing special and probably nobody will show up.

Squatting on an empty spot

Gini fixes us a nice dinner and we’re relaxing when…

7:30 pm RV Camp

*knock* *knock*

Uh oh. Robert opens the door and sees a very confused gentleman standing there with a map to the park.

In broken English he asks is this his spot or what?

“Yes, yes it is! Just keeping it warm for you!” says Robert as he quickly disconnects us and dives for the driver’s seat while Gini hurriedly tries to stow everything—or at least make sure it doesn’t go flying. Robert careens out of the site with half the front windows covered with our privacy shields (really just a sun shield, but it works great for giving us privacy, too) with his reading glasses on and we swerve around the corner and out of sight before it occurs to anybody to take down a license number.

7:45 pm Same camp

We have a strategy meeting in (a different) empty spot. Staying in an empty spot here doesn’t seem like a paying proposition (as suggested by the data), the next closest RV camp (11 miles away) also closed at 5:00.

Maybe we could just drive the three hours home? We’d get there about 10:30, and it’s freeway all the way, so straightforward driving.

But Harvey’s electrical system has been up to its old tricks, and Robert checks and sure enough—no taillights or turn signals when the headlights are on. We’re willing to get by with no turn signals (“Change lanes slowly,” advises Robert), but no taillights at night seems like a good way to get rear-ended.

Well, we’ve always talked about boondocking at a Rest Area, so this looks like the perfect time to try it!

8:00 pm Battle Creek Rest Stop

We pull into the RV/Truck side of the Rest Area. Because we’re only 21 feet long, we qualify as either a car or an RV. The deciding factor is that the RV/Truck side has a black water dump station and we’d like to have a clean tank when we get home.

Our more permanent overnight spot at the Gee Creek Rest Area

The first truck we park next to is running his generator full blast, which is both noisy and smelly, so we mosey on down a few spots to a slightly quieter space and settle in for the night.

June 3, 2023 (Sat)

6:30 am Battle Creek Rest Stop

We use a sleep app that talks to our watches to measure how well we’ve slept.

It turns out that sleeping in a noisy truck stop is pretty restful for us (83% and 85%). This is the best sleep that Robert has had since his fight with gravity and one of the better sleeps Gini has had recently—nothing like gas fumes wafting in the window…

We feel absolutely no guilt in running our generator early in the morning to make coffee (although we can’t really match the big semis for noise level).

You know, it’s not that bad of a spot, really

Other good news: Nobody came by and told us to move along. (Although Gini still wants to try boondocking on the Car side to see what happens.)

8:00 am Gidley Grill lives!

While we’re getting ready to go, we get a text message from the person who made the “Gridley Grill” T-shirts and she can make up a “Gidley Grill” T-shirt (they are very snappy, black cotton with sparkly white letters) and ship them to us.


We stopped for breakfast and a photo opp

12:45 pm Home!

Of course, since we enjoyed driving in heavy traffic yesterday, the universe sees fit to arrange that we spend some more time in traffic, as nice sunny days when people are out driving are good days to do all the construction.

But we finally got home! Yay!

We don’t know where or when our next trip will be, but we’ll be sure to let you come along for all the excitement. Thanks for traveling with us!

Frankie spent most of his time on Robert’s lap after being extracted from the clutches of all the women who constantly petted him while he was at Cozy Cat (hmm, he does look a bit resentful in this picture…).


Friday Travel

Saturday Travel

Gini & Robert

Harvey Staff

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