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Uncertainty is certain. We had a really amazing route planned for this spring, but it wasn’t meant to be. Covid-19 has thrown a monkey wrench into our plans this year (I feel as though I say this every year). By now we are fairly used to having our plans changed by one thing or another, but this is a new one.
While we were staying in Benson Arizona for a month, we were also trying to figure out how to (A) get back to Washington and (B) figure out how severe the corona virus was going to be. We had reservations near Coarsegold, CA so we could visit Yosemite National Park and then multiple parks on the Oregon Coast for a little ocean time.
Back in early March the virus wasn’t near as big a deal as it is today. We were blissfully unaware of the shit storm that was about to be unleashed on the country. So, we left the Saguaro Co-op and headed toward the SKP Park of the Sierras Co-op near Coarsegold. We were going to spend 5 days slowly making our way there. We were planning on boondocking for those five days until the first night just outside of Quartzsite, AZ our generator started shutting down on it’s own. The next morning when I went to try and figure out the problem, I found another problem, the generator slide decided to stop working also. If it won’t slide out, you don’t have any access to the generator. It will need to be a problem for another day, we’ve got bigger fish to fry right now. Can you hear me swearing now?
We aborted on boondocking and found a place to stay for a few nights before heading to California. That’s when the country started to lock down. Park of the Sierras said they would honor our reservations but they were not allowing any new reservations to be made. Many other parks were beginning to cancel reservations and close down at this point. We weren’t sure what was closing and what wasn’t. Will it be open by the time we get there?
We made it, but upon arrival I got the feeling that they didn’t want us there. I asked if we would be able to stay longer since we’re already in the park, but they said there will be absolutely no new reservations. I really didn’t get a good vibe from the people here, this place was very different from all the other SKP parks we’ve been to, SKP’s are known for their friendliness. There didn’t seem to be very many people in the park, so space wasn’t an issue, they just didn’t want us there. We stayed 5 days out of the week we paid for, but we were scrambling to find a place to hunker down for a month or so.
After Park of the Sierras left a bad taste in my mouth, we begrudgingly called another SKP Co-op. This one is in Sutherlin, OR, Timber Valley SKP Co-op. I’m glad we did! They would let us stay at least a month. Now, the weather between CA and OR wasn’t looking the greatest and would get worse over the next few days. As in, lower 20’s overnight and snow/rain bad. Not the weather we want to see. The best window was the next day but would require a really long drive. How long? A little shy of 11 hours. The only time we’ve driven that long in a day was after Dad passed away. But, we gotta do what we gotta do.
The drive was really smooth for pretty much all of California but right near the Oregon border the weather turned on us. It started with heavy rain and then moved into wet snow that was covering the road and the windshield. All traffic was down to about 30 mph or less, a few RVers just pulled off the road to wait it out. We just kept going, just at a really slow pace. We finally drove out of it, we could see it on the radar, the snow changed to intermittent rain in another 10 miles or so. Finally after almost 11 hours, we made it to Timber Valley SKP Co-op. It was after office hours, here at Timber Valley they leave a list of available sites outside with some notes on each site. The site we chose said no satellite and available for month or longer, perfect! You can park yourself as long as you do it before dark, if it’s after dark, you need to park in dry camping until morning and then move to your site. I’m glad we made it before dark. We were able to park, plug in, and (hopefully) be done moving for a month or so.
Tip: They don’t accept credit cards here, cash or check only.
We went to the office the next morning and the manager was great to deal with and welcomed us in true SKP fashion. Yes, there are some Covid-19 rules in effect, no social functions, social distancing, 14 day self quarantine for new visitors, and other normal pandemic rules are going on here. But, they are welcoming us into the park, unlike Park of the Sierras. Thanks Timber Valley SKP Co-op!!!
We plan on staying here at least until the end of April and then possibly heading back into WA. We still have a set of plan A and a set of plan B reservations in WA that haven’t been canceled up there yet. Will they be? Some probably will be and we are trying to be prepared for that scenario. If that happens, we can just stay here longer or we’ll head back to Eastern WA. We could use that time to work on the generator, all the regular engine/RV maintenance, install some solar, and visit family. It should be a good summer!
We wanted to let people know we are happy, healthy, and we found an amazing place to hunker down in Oregon while riding out this pandemic. The stores here are even fully stocked with TP and everything else you need, Arizona had many bare shelves in the grocery stores. We buy what we can on Amazon and try to avoid the grocery store as much as we can. Life is good here! Oh, and there are deer, turkeys, and rabbits everywhere here in the park.
How are you coping during these crazy times we’re living in?