Monday, May 20, 2019

My Tiny "Standy" Trailer Is My Dacha Just Outside of Town

Tiny teardrop trailer camping with outdoor cooking station and utilitent

"Dacha," according to Merriam-Webster, is "a Russian country cottage used especially in the summer."

Russian dacha: green but without the wheels

Right now I'm just loving my "dacha" on wheels. My wife and I are comfortably camped four miles from our house at our local Jefferson County Campground. It's our summer cottage for the next ten days, where we will have our grandchildren over to play after school, and where we can enjoy some peace and quiet while our house is being rebuilt to get rid of some water leaks that manifested during April with the ice storms that were followed by rainstorms. Off to the dacha, we said!

Tiny teardrop trailer camping RTTC Polar Bear
Our "dacha" on a rainy evening

Actually, the taking off was a bit of Keystone cops chaos. We were going to leave Thursday so that we would be sure to get the spot we wanted before the weekend crowd arrived. The weather, however, was cold and rainy, so we decided to wait until Sunday afternoon to head on over.

Then my son-in-law, who is working on our house, said, "I've made arrangement for the dump truck of gravel to be dumped on a tarp in your driveway once you leave. They're arriving around 2 P.M."

So, OK, I guess we are going camping on Thursday--if I want to be able to get the trailer out of the driveway. We decided to have a casual take off and to park the camper in our spot on Thursday with the plan to begin camping on Friday evening, me gradually ferrying our supplies over Thursday afternoon and Friday morning.

It's definitely a "dacha just outside of town" kind of experience, living and working in two places--Friday me doing the packing, my wife working; Saturday and Sunday with our grandson at our house, with some swinging first at the park; Monday my wife working at home in the morning and at our mobile office camp in the afternoon; sleeping Friday through Sunday at our campsite. It's been a see-saw of camping experience so far, but fun: rain, sun, home and campsite, together and apart: but now we are here together, my wife working at the dinette table, me on my laptop, relaxing and writing before we both take off for a late-afternoon walk.

Tiny teardrop trailer camping RTTC Polar Bear
Baking potatoes
This morning at home, we transferred some clothes we'd tossed into duffles over to our cloth storage bags which stack in our camper. We'd had two nights of the chaos of the duffle bags and packed according to protocol even though we're camping so close to home. I packed our three storage bins in the car and then rode my bicycle over to the campground. For the rest of the week, whether my wife works in her office at home or in her mobile office, I'll be able to ride my bicycle and leave her the car. We cooked a good lunch today, baked salmon for my wife, a quesadilla for me, with vegetables--our first bonafide meal cooked at camp, outside and without rain. We did, however, cook baked potatoes the other night, inside the camper because it was raining. Baked potatoes in a toaster oven . . . is that too easy to count as "cooking"?

Today it's been raining off and on, sprinkles and downpours. I rode my bike this morning back to our house in town from our campground dacha, light sprinkles but a nice time through the park and across town. It's an interesting experience just hopping between two places. The guys are pretty much finished with putting up new siding on the lower half of the house, so the pounding is less. Since it's been raining, though, the priming  is going slowly.

The next two days are scheduled to be sun and clouds, and then the forecast is rain and thundershowers for the next seven days. Wow! We have it scheduled for the north side of the house to have additional drainage to be put in, but with so much rain, we will probably be put on hold. I hope the forecast changes.

This weekend there's going to be a Dutch oven cookoff event at the picnic are of the park above the campground. Sandy and I were planning on going, but we'll have to see about the weather. It may be a Dutch oven swimoff . . . and I doubt that cast iron is great at treading water. Maybe it will be a borsch cookoff, better suited to the excess of liquid. We could have borsch in our dacha and then brew some tea in our samovar.

Today is the seventh day of our camping locally. This morning was a beautiful morning--cool yet no wind. I built a fire, and Sandy and I sat by the fire drinking tea. It was a beautiful way to begin the day. Later, we drove into town to our house, Sandy taking off to get her hair done. I spent the day in the garden, weeding and transplanting volunteer raspberries. We brought our ice boxes home to refresh the ice. We have a small freezer downstairs, so we freeze water jugs and "bricks" of ice. They last a lot longer than the cubes.

Spring camping between the rain showers

Today is the eighth day of our "dacha" stay just outside of town. Privyet! Yesterday temperatures were in the high 70s and the high for today is forecast to be 87. It's morning, and I've come home to weed the garden some before it heats up too much. Tea by the fire again this morning. We slept well last night because we switched out our heavier down sleeping bags for the summer weight bags. It's amazing how such a thin, light sleeping bag can keep you warm!

Yesterday temperatures rose to 90 degrees, so we stayed at home. It rained hard last night and early morning, so I'm glad we were at home. I had to go out in the hard rain and re-work the drains that had been disconnected because of outside reconstruction. No flooding, though, and the hard rain gave us a good look at what needs to still be done outside. There was a silver lining to that storm cloud!

Sandy and I are heading back to camp this afternoon so that we can enjoy the weekend at the campground. There will be a Dutch oven cookoff this weekend, and we're curious as to how that will go. I think, though, that I'll make that a separate post so I can focus more on the weekend activities. It seems that weekends can be quite different than weekdays at campgrounds--and that seems like it might be a fun post. Until the next post, just know dark rain clouds and thunder will most likely be our weekend experience.

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  1. Another good read with the ongoing adventures of the Green Goddess.

    1. There were two women in two teardrops that were competing in the Dutch oven cookoff. I hope my next article is about them and the cookoff--its length depending on how much and how fast I get feedback. Here's hoping . . . and thanks. Glad to have you back up and around.

  2. I camp every year at a state park about 7 miles away. It's definitely different during the week than on weekends. I try to avoid weekends torally.

    1. It's definitely much more quiet during the week. So far our weekend experience hasn't been bad--just different. We've met nice people, but I think my wife and I just like to get away and enjoy the quiet of nature.