Secret Vistas –
By Glynn Wilson –
ELLICOTT CITY, Md. — It is almost too cold here to type. It was spring in Mobile, Alabama, last week when I had to pull out and head north for the season in the area around Washington, D.C.
Upon arrival in Patapsco Valley State Park, which you may remember is one of the campgrounds I found and fell in love with last fall on our exploratory trip here, I asked the head camp host ranger when he expected spring to arrive in Maryland.
“We ordered it,” Christopher Czarra said. “But like everything else, you have to wait for it.”
When I got up at 6:30 Saturday morning before the sun came up in the east, it was 28 degrees and the weather forecasters were predicting snow flurries. The wind chill factor was said to make it feel like 19 degrees.
It was not so bad until the wind picked up.
Hopefully tonight will be the last bone chilling cold night of the season. It is projected to hit 21 degrees.
We are going to turn the water valves off in the campground tonight, so I’m making the Sunday morning coffee ahead of time.
The good news is it should get up to about 50 degrees on Sunday and the sun is supposed to shine all day. That will make Jefferson the dog happy. I may try to get him out on the trails for the first time once the few campers who braved the cold this weekend head on down the road.
At least I can report that everything went smoothly on the trip up. I went by and visited mom for a little while last Saturday. She seems to be doing OK for 88.
But the legendary Maryland weather was responsible for one incident that I am describing as a weather related catastrophe. While the high temperature hit close to 70 and the sun came out for awhile on Thursday, the rain came back during the night. I had my camp setup fixed and ready for campers on Friday afternoon, opening day. But around 2 a.m., it came a deluge. I slept right through it. I love sleeping in this camper van bed.
When I woke up on the morning just before 8 a.m., however, I looked out the side door and the scene looked like a tornado hit the campground. But it was not the wind that caused the problem. The blue and white Ozark Trail canopy was still secure in its place. It was just smushed on top of everything from the sheer weight of the water.
Now this might have cooled the spirit of a less enthusiastic camp host. I just gathered the bent pieces of the old canopy frame and tossed them into a garbage truck, and packed up and headed to the local Wal-mart just a couple of miles down the road. I heard they had a bigger, better Coleman canopy anyway, not too expensive. So by noon I was back in business and ready for campers at 3 p.m.
In spite of the cold weather, I am looking forward to my new life in the woods on the road.
I have another camp host gig lined up in Shenandoah this summer, high in the Virginia mountains where hopefully the global warming will not intrude too much on the cool nights. I hope to avoid using the camper van air conditioning for much of the summer in the mountains.
Wish us luck, dear hobbits.
We’ll post pictures whenever we can.
Oh, and there’s still the matter of a little political journalism in D.C. when time allows and opportunity knocks.
Don’t worry. I have a plan.
© 2015, Glynn Wilson. All rights reserved.