August 16, 2016
I've been listening to public radio in Montana, Wyoming and Idaho in addition to WGBH, KCRW and OPB. Like OPB, Montana Public Radio runs through the list of frequencies at which you can listen. Idaho doesn't have to since there is only one station. (I’m surprised there is public radio given the state is 96% Republican.) Wyoming Public Radio tells you to spin the dial and you'll find it somewhere - wherever you are. I like Wyoming - a state where the liberals tell you to be self-reliant.
I arrived in Park City, Utah two days ago. I had been searching online for professional truck washes for BOB. There are a couple in Salt Lake City, but they were out of the way. Many RV parks do not allow people to wash their rigs, including the one in which I'm parked (and the one I left in Jackson). However, most will let you wash the bugs off the front windshield, and often that is sufficient. Just before I hit I-80, I drove past a DIY car wash with bays big enough for RVs, so I did a U-turn and gave BOB a bath. By the time I was finished, I had blue soap from the foaming brush in my hair, on my white pants, and my hands and feet were stained. Twice, I nearly dislocated my shoulder by depressing the spray trigger without stabilizing the wand with my other hand. The force moved me several feet. I'm lucky I didn't slip and fall. A video of me would look like “I Love Lucy” meets “The Smurfs” mash-up.
When the dogs and I emerged from BOB yesterday morning, a man in the neighboring RV apologized for waking me. I said he hadn't, and I remarked that he was leaving early. He said his mother-in-law had died a few hours ago, and that his wife and her sister had already departed (on a Harley and in a car, respectively), and that he and his brother-in-law were departing soon (on a Harley and in the Class A, respectively). In ten minutes, I learned that the man is 55, has three kids who are 30-something, has two grandchildren, lives in Nevada, his parents have a ranch in Sheridan, Wyoming, and he can't wait to retire because he has a lot of hobbies and interests. He's four years older than I am and he's a grandfather! I still have trouble thinking that I'm old enough to have kids (college-age or older!), but I am. And, I don't want to retire – ever. Why am I always surprised by these things?
The couple to my left has one Harley, and the couple to their left have two (matching ones at that). The couple to my right who replaced the man who left this morning have a Class A and they're pulling a 24' trailer. I haven't seen them since they set up yesterday afternoon. I can’t imagine what is inside the trailer – a sports car and a pair of Harleys? I don't even have a bicycle: I'm feeling like the poor kid in the neighborhood.
This RV park is odd. It is built on three levels and the upper level is condominium-ized with five parking sections. According to the park's website, Class C's are only allowed in Section A. When I called to make the reservation, I was told Section A was full but that I could stay in Section D. There are five spots in Section D, and it's the only pull-through parking at the site. The good news is that I'm parked on a concrete pad; the bad news is that the pad is separated from the adjoining ones by only three feet of gravel. There is no picnic table, no grass, no trees, no personal space, and my awning would touch the Class A to my right if I deployed it fully. The remains of a snake is in the gravel separating me from the rig to my left. Yuck. The laundry room is the dirtiest and most expensive of any I've encountered. There are two single occupancy toilet/shower rooms (one for men, one for women) for the 34 RVs in the upper level. I never use the parks' bathroom facilities, but many RVers do, so there are too few. From the entrance of the park, I could throw a baseball through the window of a car traveling west on I-80, and the traffic noise is constant. The lower
levels have post-apocalyptic landscaping.
I have developed a four-can-a-day La Croix seltzer water habit. Kim, Kate, and I call it crack. Kate has the habit, too. She's the one who converted me to the flavored seltzer. Bitch. Buy stock in La Croix.
I learned that I should not eat an entire pint of blueberries in one day. Buy stock in Charmin.
I learned that Blue Diamond Smokehouse almonds are evil because a can is a single serving. Buy stock in Blue Diamond, too.
I eat a hard-boiled egg almost every day. What is the recipe for making perfect hard-boiled eggs? Oh, I know! There isn't one! I put raw eggs in cold water and bring them to boil. I shut of the gas and let them steep for 10 minutes. Then I plunge them in ice water. All, some, or none of them peel nicely. I always buy cage-free, organic, “I-am-the-Alpha-and-Omega”-3 large brown eggs. I speak softly to them and pet them gently before putting them in the water, and it just doesn't matter. Eggs are fuckers just like chickens. I should just resign myself to this, but I can't. I can't because I know I can buy perfect hard boiled eggs at the grocery store for a dollar a piece which means someone knows how to hard boil them consistently, and it’s worth the 3x mark-up over retail. I want a professional from the hard-boiled egg industrial complex to tell me the secret. Everyone I know has a recipe for boiling eggs (even an ex-boss who struggles with just boiling water), and no one can produce hard-boiled eggs that peel well consistently. I can only hope that if the recipe is classified, that WikiLeaks will leak it.
Yesterday, I was excited that I had reached the "The Identification of Minerals" lecture in my geology course. I REALLY want to be able to look at a rock or mineral and say, "Oh, that's rhyolite, equivalent to a fine-grained granite, but it's extrusive not intrusive." Needless to say, I was highly disappointed that the lecture explained that hand identification is limited to streak, cleavage and hardness. Okay, I learned that in chemistry. The next lecture mostly dealt with igneous rocks, and granite in particular. While watching, I Googled "granite" because according to the lecture it should be within a certain color range and not the rainbow of colors which is offered commercially. It turns out that a lot of what we buy as "granite" is really other intrusive igneous rocks like gabbro and diorite. The "granite" countertop in my ex-condo’s kitchen is probably gabbro, and the one in its bar is a green mystery rock which is likely "Golden Lightning Granite." I don’t care what it is, I would buy it again in a heartbeat.
Today, I saw a hybrid Cadillac Escalade. Isn’t that an oxymoron?
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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.