A (not so rough)Base Camp… Loudoun County, Virginia

Serafina the trailer at our Virginia basecamp.

Basecamp Definition: A main encampment providing supplies, shelter, and communications for persons engaged in wide-ranging activities, such as exploring, reconnaissance, or mountain climbing.

That about does it, except for the mountain climbing. We don’t mind hiking up mountains, in fact we like mountains, really high ones. But dangling in the air while hanging on with our fingers on a sheer rock face a thousand (or fifty) feet above the ground really isn’t our thing.

Our basecamp in Loudoun County, Virginia is actually the result of a 16-year campaign by our daughter, Tasha, her husband, Clay, and our grandkids Ethan and Cody to persuade us to move closer to them. (Our son Tony and his wife Cammie also had their hat in the ring but the highest mountain in Florida is 345 feet— and yes, we’ve hiked up it— plus they don’t have space for Serafina or a handy dandy efficient apartment to hang out in when we aren’t traveling. Sorry kids.)

We are back on the road now, dashing across the country on freeways to Sioux Falls, South Dakota where Serafina has an appointment for a checkup while still under warranty. As to why Sioux Falls instead of somewhere closer to Virginia, It has to do with my desire to explore more of the northern part of the Western US before the snow flies. Setting the appointment in South Dakota makes sure we get out there ASAP. Then we will slow down and return to moseying on back roads.

BTW, my apologies for being so negligent on keeping up on blogs and comments lately. Between moving, going to Europe, unpacking, and getting ready for another four months on the road, life has been a bit hectic.

As we return to the road, Peggy and I decided it would be fun to share what our ‘not so rough’ basecamp looks like.

As the first photo suggested, Serafina is happily parked in a woodsy area under a beautiful canopy of trees. The kids’ six acres is half wild and half domesticated. The woods harbor foxes, deer, raccoons, squirrels, eagles, and hawks, which is a bit like our Oregon home minus the bears, mountain lions and bobcats.
Our house in Oregon wasn’t large, only 1500 square feet. But still, it had two bedrooms, an office, a library, a large living room, a dining room and a kitchen, not to mention a sunroom and three outbuildings. Moving into an efficiency apartment took some adjustment: translate, serious downsizing. This is our living room and library.
Turning around, you can see our bedroom.
The dining room and one third of the kitchen is off to the side. Our mini-fridge, induction burner, air fryer, toaster and Insta-pot reside there. Another third of the kitchen can be found by turning left at the dining table. That’s where our sink and microwave live. Passing on through the kitchen is our bathroom. Note Eeyore peering down from on top of the bookcase.
The final third of the kitchen lives outside. The 2022 Genesis Weber is amazing in what it can do, including bake. It even comes with a pizza stone where I cooked a pizza the other day. I put the stove together. There were 52 steps. Peggy stayed far away!
The driveway leading to the kids’ house and our basecamp is off of Charles Town Pike. It’s a sure sign you are in the east when road names include pike. A pike is short for turnpike. In the old days, i.e. 1700s, most of the roads were toll roads built by private individuals. A large pole (pike) was stretched across the road. When you paid your toll, the pole would be turned so you could continue your journey, thus the name turnpike. You can see the house in the distance.
Our tool-oriented rooster (thank you to Jeremy Criswell, the artist and our neighbor) that greeted people when they drove into our Oregon home, made the trip east with us.
Tasha and Peggy were quick to plant a flower garden in front of one of our windows. We had just returned from our European trip and they were inspired by all of the window gardens.
An Amazon truck driver was responsible for planting a gorgeous pumpkin patch which is also in front of our basecamp. Nice of him, huh. He was turning around and drove over some pumpkins the kids had out for Halloween last year. The seeds from the squished squash responded by digging in and growing.
Peg’s sister Jane (and my friend of 50 years) made a quick trip out to see us and Tasha and Clay’s family before we escaped. Her daughter Jennifer (Tasha’s cousin) came along. Here we are sitting out on the deck eating a meal of delicious corn chowder Peggy cooked in our Insta-pot. Seated from left to right are Tasha, Jennifer, Jane, our grandson Cody, Peggy, and the Insta-pot. Clay and Ethan were off in Brazil at a jujitsu camp. Peg’s brother John and his wife came out from Texas the next weekend.
I’ll write more about our basecamp and the surrounding area when we return in January. I’ll close today with this photo of the Potomac River which is about 20 minutes away. Washington DC is a short 40 miles. Next Friday, I will start a series on our trip up the Rhine River this summer. First up: Amsterdam.