As I closed my work laptop on Friday March 6th for one last time, I had no real idea what would lie ahead for me. I had been so busy tying up loose ends before my last day of work and planning my upcoming travel I knew little about what was happening outside my own little world. Then my birthday outing on the 8th was cancelled wisely by my girlfriends out of fear for the elderly folks they cared for. While at the time it seems to be a slight overreaction to some pandemic threat, I understood and respected their judgement. I packed up the RV for what was to be a short visit to Spokane where I would help care for my grandson for a few weeks while my daughter finished her training and clinicals, meanwhile I started tuning into what was happening in the rest of the world and realized my timing to travel the world might be off… and now, I’m realizing my timing downright SUCKED!
I arrived in Spokane on the March 11th and my oldest daughter joined us for the weekend as well. It was awesome having almost the whole family together! The next thing we knew, most of the world was shutting down and then our entire country was asked to practice social distancing. Within days that request became a state mandate and our lives have been on hold along the rest of the world’s. My oldest made it back to Oregon and started working from home, while my youngest had her clinicals cancelled, later to be approved and started back up, only to be cancelled again just a few hours short of finishing.
I certainly did not think a pandemic would pretty much shutdown the world within only a matter of weeks. I really wanted to slow my life down and take time to enjoy some travel, but NOT LIKE THIS! I think I called it quits just a year or so too early, I mean I already had this remote work thing down to a science! Who would have guessed? Everyone is struggling now to some degree… I have friends closing businesses, others laid off and trying to navigate unemployment, and others trying to figure out these new work or school from home scenarios. Crazy times I never expected to see in my lifetime, but I am still alive! So many others are not as fortunate… It is heartbreaking and puts my travel wants into perspective rather quickly. So far 3 of my 5 major trips have been postponed and I anticipate the 4th to be postponed as well. I am holding out hope that my October trip will be doable but having my doubts as well. I keep telling myself “postponed, NOT cancelled” and some days it helps my disposition while others not so much.
My grandson has been staying home with me and grandpa while his mom works. I was supposed to be relieving grandpa so he could head out on his trip but everything shutdown including campgrounds. What are full-time RV’er to do? Another unintended consequence of the shutdown, but we will make the best of it here, together, very unexpectedly. So here we are with both RVs parked outside the house while we entertain our little human or depending on the situation, he is entertaining us! Lots of walks and bike rides to get us outside but I have seen the movie Cars more times than I care to admit. While my future plans or being reshaped daily, I think back to momma octopus and realize this is only an inconvenience. I am thankful to be here, safe, healthy and in good company. I think I might even get to take a break and go diving for some much-needed bubble therapy next weekend.
I realize this is all new territory and nobody really knows how to best navigate this mess, and we still do not… This is not just a state or U.S. thing, most of the world is in shambles right now. This certainly should not be a political thing but sadly we have made it one. Frankly, some of society’s reactions have been downright sad and embarrassing, yet others have been uplifting, heroic and calm. Can we come together in kindness and not hostility? Can we honor our life’s true needs and forego our wants for a while? I would like to believe our values have not been reduced to hording butt-wipe insight of a crisis. Can we treat one another better despite differing opinions? I fear that until this virus sucks the life out of someone we love and smacks us upside the head directly, we will not be able to fathom the horrible reality others are dealing with right now… it is just too surreal. Will our opinions change then? Will our level of accountability change then? Will life’s needs vs. our wants finally be realized? The future leaves so many unanswered questions.
For now, this life of privilege and comfort has a few inconveniences for the foreseeable future… and for now, we are still alive. Let us make the best of it.
I cannot help but wonder…
Maybe I did not stop working a year too early… maybe I quit a year too late?
I hope not.
Stay safe, healthy and most of all… be kind.
Back Home in the Hood!
Had my first truly UNEVENTFUL drive in the RV from Sequim to Hoodsport… what do I mean by uneventful… no CHECK ENGINE LIGHT, no OVER HEATING, and BONUS I didn’t even piss any truckers off! LOL I even made an unplanned stop to checkout Triton State Park (future dive site). Upon arrival my slide outs worked, refrigerator worked, electric hot water worked, and the hydraulic jacks worked!! I can finally get the awning out! While it will need some new struts (once we can finding them) at least it is no longer stuck and I can get the darn thing out. I feel at home once again with this beautify view out my front window! Tranquility…
Quite a delay in getting everything working… I didn’t get on the road south timely so I have decided to hunker down and head south in spring as soon as the roads are good. I’ve learned quickly NOTHING goes as planned so you just adapt and make it work your way. My way…. is going to be diving the PNW during the best time, with some great dive buddies.
I had to fulfil that dive desire today, so I took the pony and the wide angle over to Sund Rock in search for the octopus on the south wall and to visit my favorite little wolf eels on the north wall. Still a ton of little krill or something hatching!! I’d hit spots where they were thick and other areas had fabulous visibility.
Big thank you to Omar at Octopus Gardens Diving for helping me determine my mouth piece was leaking and replacing it! New mouth piece, new neck seal and I had a nice dry dive!! Special thanks to my aunt Barb and Dan for letting me work out of their beautiful home office.... and feeding me yummy foods!!! It was an awesome treat to spend time with you!
Here’s to a winter full of PNW Diving!
Knocked out my first state (outside my home state WA) on this RV Dive Adventure....FINALLY! Dove Wednesday evening at Lake Coeur d'Alene with Jake's Scuba Adventure! I was impressed to see that almost 20 divers showed up!! From what I gathered, most of them were fairly new divers that participated in these weekly shop dives to further develop their skills, cool off on hot summer days, and just have fun! Thanks for letting me kick it with you and be my first of the 49!
It was a sizzling hot day and just the thought of trying to get into my dry suit made me sweat! So I elected to go with the good old wetsuit only I forgot my gloves in the process of changing things around. The water was a warm 70°+ at the surface and while we hit a very distinct thermocline as we descended below 40' it was easily tolerable without gloves. The lake is full of old logs and there was an old barge... an old logging industry area. The biggest challenge of this dive was the number of divers and the silt being kicked up by their flutter kicks as you can see by a couple of the photos. Only a few critters by comparison to saltwater diving but it was still fun to get in the water and blow some bubbles. I got some much needed practice with the wide angle lens. My dive buddy, Drew, knew where the fish hung out so I managed a couple pictures of things other than LOGS! Lugging around less lead and freshwater cleanups are always a dive bonus :)
That leaves 48 states to dive! Although I will most likely stick to Washington until fall, this was a fun way to start things off.
Pamela Treischel is a SCUBA diving enthusiast and underwater photography hobbyist....and now enjoys the fulltime RV life.