Saturday, July 10, 2021

A Rainy Little Travel Trailer Basecamp

In the early morning rain . . . I'll continue loading up the rig.
My wife and I have flirted with naming our new Airstream Basecamp--Stella Luna or Moondance--but somehow we just keep coming back to the Basecamp. Our first tiny standy trailer was the Green Goddess, so why hasn't a name stuck for our Basecamp? I think it has something to do with why we bought the Basecamp, a "little" trailer, and sold our RTTC Polar Bear, a "tiny" trailer. We wanted something small but with just enough extra room so that we'd be more comfortable on a day with bad weather--wind, rain, snow, heat or cold . . . or bugs. We wanted to be able to establish a basecamp, so we bought a Basecamp. And it appears I'm going to need it for my next trip because of all the rain. Thanks, tropical storm Elsa!

My last trip to Indian Lake Campground was cut short because of severe thunderstorms. I came home after a particularly wild night of intense wind, lightning, and pounding rain. Thankfully, the possible hail didn't manifest. The current forecast for the next ten days indicates a chance of thunderstorms for nine out of the next ten days. Perhaps because Elsa is to the south, my trip to the north forecasts fewer rainy days, six out of ten. Let's hope! At any rate, here are some photos of my basecamp campgrounds for the next two weeks. From there, I'll bicycle (bringing my rain gear) and drive to explore the area and other campgrounds--weather permitting. And if the weather's too extreme, I'm bringing books, laptop, and a thumb drive full of movies. With the Basecamp's extra space and big front window, I shouldn't have to worry too much about cabin fever. 

Now let's get down to my itinerary. I'll be spending quite a bit of time along the Mississippi River, mostly on the Iowa side but with a few days on the east bank in Illinois: Pikes Peak State Park, Bellevue State Park, Illiniwek Forest Preserve, Shady Creek Recreation Area, and Geode State Park. I'll establish my basecamps in these campgrounds and then explore. All my stops will be for three or four nights except the last, which will be for two nights.

Pikes Peak State Park, photo Lisa Rogowski
Bellevue State Park, Dyas Unit, photo Jeanie Stephens
Illiniwek Forest Preserve, photo Colin Ramsay
Shady Creek Recreation Area, photo Nicolas Eventide
Geode State Park, photo Erin Aguilera
All these photos were taken and posted on Google Maps recently, within the last three weeks. I have linked the photographers. What I'll be seeing when I head up should be interesting, though, but the good news is that the weather forecast still predicts less rain than here in southeast Iowa. A couple of hundred miles can make a difference. 

My challenge today will be to complete a few tasks in between the rain storms--if there are any breaks in the rain. Flood warnings are posted for our area--not for my neighborhood, though. If I have to, I'll head out in the rain and finish up when the showers are lighter. I hope to catch some time between storms, though, to keep the camper drier. 

This is my trip here at the outset, pulling my Basecamp to keep me dry. I'll post to keep everyone updated during my trip--and, yes, I'm hoping for some spots of good cellphone reception! I have lots of books and a new sleeping pillow for our camper, so I'll have inside and outside activities ready to go. I'm looking forward to some time out and about where I can rest, hike, bicycle, write, read, cook, and just generally enjoy life on the Mississippi River. 

I'm ending with a link to a short, beautiful poem by Langston Hughes, "The Negro Speaks of Rivers," in which he references the Mississippi River. As you can probably tell by now, I'm excited and inspired.

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