Currently at Escapees Dreamcatcher RV Park in Deming, New Mexico:
Just wanted to send out a quick update from our little spot of heaven in the middle of chaos. We’re still in Deming where we’ve been ever since New Mexico closed their state parks on March 13 and we got kicked out. We’re in a monthly spot at Dreamcatcher, where we’re hoping we can ride this pandemic out for awhile.
In the time that we’ve been here, the New Mexico governor issued an executive order limiting RV parks, along with hotels and motels, to 50% capacity. Two days ago, that order was extended through April 30, but the order was amended to 25% from 50%. For the past two days we’ve been waiting to see if we were going to be invited to leave this park. I called the front office yesterday morning and was told that they were waiting on direction from the corporate office. This morning, Andy spoke with the park manager and he said they were still waiting on a final decision from corporate. But he also said that at this time they were moving in the direction of operating the park as a “residential” park, only accepting monthly and long-term guests. The corporate office is conferring with the attorneys to try and get clarification as to who can and can not stay in the park.
Fortunately, we do have a monthly spot, so I’m hoping we’ll be allowed to stay. In the meantime we’ve been brainstorming ideas for what we’ll do if we need to leave. Our primary options are:
- Return to Texas, our “home” state, and look for a monthly site in a private RV park. All the Texas state parks were closed yesterday, but as far as we know the private parks are still allowed to operate. With the drop in oil prices, a lot of oil field workers have been furloughed, so there should be some vacancies in RV parks in West Texas. The scenery would suck, but that’s not the point right now.
- Boondock on National Forest or BLM land in New Mexico or Arizona. Although the National Forest Service and BLM have closed a lot of the DEVELOPED campgrounds and services, most of the public land is still open for dispersed camping. We would have to be ultra-conservative with our water and waste tanks so that we wouldn’t have to tow the rig so often to a dump station, but we have solar capacity and a generator so we wouldn’t be completely miserable. The challenge would be to find a spot at a higher, cooler altitude. We would also be further away from health services if one of us got sick.
- Of course, there’s still the possibility of the summer work-camping position in Colorado where we would have full hookups in exchange for volunteering. Due to some developments that I won’t go into here, I’m not sure that that would be the right move for us. Colorado has lagged behind other states in shutting down businesses, and could still shut down RV parks in that state, leaving us stranded in an unfamiliar place. But it’s still a long-shot option.
As far as things go here in Deming and Luna County, as of the latest report that came out yesterday afternoon, there have still been NO cases of COVID-19 reported in Luna County. The state of New Mexico has one of the lowest counts of statewide reported cases in the nation, and I think it’s largely attributable to early, strong action taken by the governor and the New Mexico health services to shut things down and encourage social distancing. This area is largely rural, which also helps keep people spread out.
We’ve just been staying in our rig, reading, watching Hulu and some television, working the NYT crossword puzzle, cooking and eating. Andy has taken up walking each day (a good thing), and I was walking daily until I came down with shingles last week.
Yes, shingles. It started as a small little rashy patch on my chest, along with a red spot on my left shoulder blade. At first I thought the spot on my back was an insect bite, and that the little rash on my chest was heat rash from walking in the sun. But by Monday the rash on my chest had started to spread, and on Tuesday it was obvious that I needed to get it seen about. I made an appointment at the local urgent care clinic that afternoon, and left there later with a diagnosis of shingles and prescriptions for the appropriate medications.
For the past week I’ve been medicating myself, and today the outbreak is much better. It was never very painful, and it never spread beyond where it was on the Tuesday that I started the medication. But I did find that the medication made me a little loopy and lethargic, so I didn’t feel like going for walks. In fact I would find it hard to stay awake in the afternoon especially, while trying to watch a show or read a book. I’ve completed the course of valacyclovir, but I’m still on the gabapentin for a few more weeks, in addition to Tylenol/ibuprofen that I’m taking to keep any pain at bay. I’m starting to feel more like getting some exercise now, so hopefully I’ll pick up my walking this week.
The nurse practitioner at the urgent care clinic told me that shingles can be brought on by stress. I actually had the shingles vaccine two years ago, but it seems that the vaccine was no match for this current situation. Usually, RV life is the perfect antidote for stress, but the fact that we don’t have a home base to return to in a national emergency is the one glitch in our plans that we have not yet addressed.
We actually spoke to a realtor here in Deming yesterday about the possibility of acquiring some property for a home base. She sent us information on a listing that would be almost perfect, except that the lot is a little larger that we would probably need. It already has electricity, water and septic, and has two RV pads with 50 amp service, so it’s practically move-in ready. There’s also a small building on the property with a bathroom and a washer/dryer connection (jewelry workshop?). Once we feel secure that we’ll be able to stay here at Dreamcatcher for as long as we need to, we may follow up on the listing and any others that she might have available.
So that’s how things have been going here in Deming while we’ve been socially distancing. We only go to Walmart for groceries when we need fresh produce, maybe every five days or so. We did order pizza from Dominos once, but otherwise we’re eating all our meals at home.
Yes, our lives are boring, but I’m sure yours are too.
It’s still too soon to know what life will be like on the other side of all this. But I’m sure that a lot of people are going to be re-evaluating their priorities, as we are.
I hope you’re all safe and well. Keep your distance, wash your hands, call your loved ones, and take care of each other. Turn to trusted sources for information, and don’t believe everything you see on Facebook and Twitter. Be smart, and verify facts before passing them along. Watch out for scammers and trolls–they’re everywhere. And if you see a toilet paper hoarder, SHAME THEM as much as possible! 🙂
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