Before I gave up watching “Elizabeth” last night, an SUV pulled up next door and a man emerged from it and entered the trailer. This morning, a little after eight, the woman emerged dressed for the day and departed in her SUV. They obviously live here. The man emerged half an hour later and greeted a communications service provider who entered the rear of the trailer. Interesting, since there are no cellular or cable services here, and they don't have a satellite dish. The communications guy left after 10 minutes. Then the garbage truck arrived to empty the overloaded dumpster. The man came out of the trailer wearing nothing but shorts. His hair was wet. He watched with the fascination of a six year-old boy while the truck empty the dumpster. It is 57 degrees outside. It's ten degrees warmer inside BOB, and I'm wearing clothes and still freezing. There is something about guys, regardless of their ages, which stops them dead in their tracks, mouths agape, whenever they see heavy equipment operated, even if it's just a garbage truck. And, what is it about me that I watched a guy watch the garbage truck?
Sometime after 10 last night, the site to my right was occupied. If I hurried and had no parking problems (level as possible, proximate to the hook-ups without impeding the slide-outs, etc.), I could probably set up BOB in 30 minutes. If I had enough fresh water in my tank, I could just hook up the electric and leave it at that; or, if I didn't need the AC, I could just park, and do the whole set up in the morning. I drive and live inside BOB which simplifies things. When you pull a trailer, you have to disconnect it from the vehicle and jack it at the very least. I watched the hipster guy scramble to do this last night while his wife moved their toddler and baby into the trailer.
This morning, I went outside to flush my black tank. I said, "Good morning," to the hipster guy and mentioned their late arrival. He said they were in Stanley and decided not to stay because of the smoke from the Pioneer Fire which covers 38,000 acres. What? That's 10 times the size of the Selway-Bitterroot Fire and I hadn't heard anything about it! I mentioned that I was going to drive through Stanley and Ketchum on Thursday, and his wife suggested that if I get there by 11:00 I might beat the smoke which accumulates as the day progresses. She said the mountains are beautiful. I hope the roads aren't closed.
Then the hipsters departed for Missoula. He brushed his teeth while hitching the trailer. I guess they were in a hurry.
The woman came home from work just as I was leaving for Happy Hour. The man left between two and three this afternoon. He was wearing different shorts from those he had on this morning when he was fascinated by the garbage truck. He was also wearing a shirt. She has emerged twice since I returned: once to roll in the awning and once to get something out of her SUV.
I went to Happy Hour again tonight. The Balloon couple were also there. The RV park is owned by a husband and wife who were in attendance today. They have a house down the road. I met him, but she was busy with guests – checking them in and answering their calls. He bitched about how little money he makes when people with big RVs run their ACs all day. He bitched about the other indignities he suffers as an owner, then proclaimed he wasn't bitching. Of course, not. This place is a shit-hole in my opinion: the sites are uneven and patched with fields of gravel, the grass is spotty or dead, the trees have been stumped, there is metal construction detritus, etc. between the sites and the road. He's an ex-trucker, furniture-dealer who fancies himself an entrepreneur, but doesn't understand that he's in the hospitality industry. I stayed at an RV park outside Missoula that was beautifully gardened. The only reason to stay there is because it's on the way to somewhere else, yet the owners made the most of the visual experience which made guests want to stay and return. This place is also on the way to somewhere else.
I used to like asparagus a lot, but now I just like the idea of it. I eat a couple of pieces then realize that there really is no wine (good or bad) which pairs with asparagus, so what's the point of eating it? Peas go with everything. I like peas, but only if they are shelled. I would never harvest and shell peas to cook them: it's just too much work. I feel the same way about lobster: someone else can cook it, shell it, give me the tail and claw meat, and I'll pay for it. Otherwise, forget it. When I was nine years old, my friend and I caught some calico bass (aka, crappies) on her grandfather's wildlife pond. We cleaned and cooked them. It was the worst meal I've ever eaten. It's not just that we were nine and not great cooks, and that calico bass taste like shit, it was just so much work that it couldn’t have tasted good. This is why I don't mind overpaying Whole Foods: give me my food washed, plucked, scraped, shelled, de-boned, de-skinned, de-fatted, etc., and I'll take it from there.
I have an acute sense of smell which I view as a blessing, unless I'm in New York during a summer garbage strike. My favorite scent is rosemary but it's hard to find anything other than candles with the essence. Lavender, which I also love, is available in everything, apparently because it's calming, whatever that means. When I was provisioning BOB, I bought Mrs. Meyers lavender dish soap, hand soap, surface cleaner and room freshener. I had long been addicted to Kiss My Face lavender soap and Dessert Essence lavender lotion, so Mrs. Meyers just filled out my portfolio. The first week I was in Polson, Montana, I passed a terrific shop with "high-end" sundries on my way home from the hardware store. I looked for my soap, but it wasn't there. Instead, I bought a fig-scented French milled soap. My lavender bar wasn't at its end, but I couldn't resist using the new fig bar having been wooed by its essence. I bagged the lavender bar for later. When I returned to Polson two weeks later, I took Kate to the store and I bought another fig soap, plus one in lemon and one in rose. I bought my favorite lotion in lavender, and I bought two in coconut. Yesterday, I bought Method dish soap and hand soap in differing non-lavender flavors. I am evolving from lavender! More importantly, I am letting go of the vestiges of a former home and creating a new one.
Siobhan M. Knox
In May 2016, I bought a five ton, 25’ long Class C motorhome because I like to drive, I like to travel, and it’s more fun and less expensive than living in a hotel. No prior RV experience was required, and I had none: perfect. I’m writing a book about my adventures which will come to an end when I get a job. The dogs will be sad.