Craving Camping During the COVID Crunch
My last camping trip ended on February 28, 2020. I spent three nights at Kerrville Schreiner Park. The main reason for the trip, besides just wanting to camp, was to give me a chance to de-winterize and empty my tanks before taking Rachel camping at Mustang Island SP a few weeks later. Little did I know that I would not be camping much in the near future.
Because of the pandemic, Rachel and I made a decision to cancel the Mustang Island trip. At that time they were recommending social distancing, but we were not under "Stay at Home" orders. We were more concerned that, for that trip, we would be going to a lot of public places and eating at a lot of restaurants. I wasn't afraid of the virus. It was more about finding places closed. When I saw a video of college kids running amok in Port Aransas with no regard for social distancing, I knew I didn't want to go.
My next scheduled trip was for three nights at Guadalupe River SP. I hadn't camped there in a while because I thought the Turkey Sink loop was closed for construction. I learned that it had been postponed and arranged a trip beginning April 6th. This would have been the last trip I could take there for awhile, as they really were going to close it for construction a week or so later. I hemmed and hawed about this one. In San Antonio, we were told to stay home unless going for food, medical needs, or to get exercise. People were driving to local parks to walk the trails. I really couldn't see how my towing my trailer to a park would be any more risky than that. But, I couldn't make up my mind.
I knew that I would not be touching any public surfaces on my trip except when hooking up water and electricity. I could sanitize those surfaces before and after. I wouldn't use any public facilities while there. All I planned to do was hike the trails and bird watch. Also, I would not be needing any gas coming or going. Still, there were major discussions on all of my camping group pages about whether or not it was a responsible thing to do. I finally decided that the anxiety of deciding whether or not to go and waiting to see if the park would join the ranks of the state parks that were closing down because of the virus was too much for me and cancelled.
The next scheduled trip is supposed to be at South Llano River SP at the end of April. I haven't cancelled, although the Birding Festival for which I was going has been cancelled. I am pretty sure that we are still going to be on lockdown, so I will most likely have to cancel this trip, as well. I just can't bring myself to do it, yet. It seems like doing so would be giving up hope.
I am perfectly happy at home. We have enough food and other supplies to see us through a lengthy confinement. I get to walk around my back yard enjoying my native landscaping and watching the birds that flock to my feeders. But, it just isn't the same.
In the pit of my stomach, I have that same awful feeling I used to get when I first quit smoking. It is physical. If I think about it too much, I get a surge of anxiety that truly frightens me. I really need to go camping as soon as possible. I am holding out hope for a June trip to Inks Lake with the Central Texas RV group. Even if nobody else goes for it, I will still show up at the park, if I am able. I don't know though. I do not have my usual sense of the future. It is as if there is a huge black wall that stops me from feeling it.