We camped at Mueller State Park last week and were gifted with this view out the back windows of our campervan:
October 21, 2022
It’d started out as “Hey, look! There’s a deer. Wait, there’s another one.” And then we lost count of them browsing and moving through the trees. Zippy saw two bucks with their antlers locked, but I missed that sighting. Still, I’m grateful to have seen these beautiful creatures.
We went camping in the Routt National Forest for a couple days this past week and were gifted with a Great Blue Heron sighting. Another heron (that we never saw) was making a huge racket with its harsh call, sending this one into a nearby tree.
Unfortunately, we were far away and my heron photos didn’t turn out. But with the aid of a filter, the too-soft image has an atmospheric feel. It’s almost like a painting.
July 12, 2022
I tried drawing the heron in our Moby travel log, copying it from one of my photos, and was embarrassed by the attempt. Really embarrassed. That’s the bad news. The good news is I found a series of videos for beginners and am determined to up my sketching skill level. I began yesterday and Day 1’s lesson was “The Sphere” (complete with shadows and shading to make them 3-D) and today I drew “Overlapping Spheres.” Five 3-D spheres in a row! Some of those spheres are a bit squashed-looking, but that’s okay. That oblong shape might come in handy if I ever attempt to draw a Great Blue sitting on an egg.
Yesterday, we drove Moby the Great White Campervan to the mountains for some rest and relaxation. Our intention was a few hours of peace and rejuvenation. We’d never been there before and were thrilled to claim a small parking area next to Buffalo Creek. I explored with the camera and captured some nice shots. This is where I sat to work on my novel revisions.
Buffalo Creek. June 22, 2022
I sat in a chair on the little patch of beach at the bottom of the photo and revised a chapter on my laptop as Zippy and Emma napped in the van. Rushing water. Clean air. A shiny, green hummingbird buzzing in for a visit.
The entire experience soothed my spirit and, as I type these words, I’m already looking forward to a return visit. May each of us experience peace and rejuvenation in these very difficult days.
After some much-needed snow this past week, we had a couple days of sunshine and 50-degree weather which allowed us to make progress on Moby’s conversion. Yesterday, Zippy cut and screwed down firring strips while I sprinkled baking soda on the horizontal surfaces of the new pop-top to absorb the outgassing chemicals (ugh…being chemically sensitive is zero fun). The last I did was thoroughly vacuum and clean the subfloor. Today, Zippy reinstalled the linoleum floor (removed before sending Moby off to get the pop-top) and taped ram board on top of it to protect it while we work. Then he began putting up the first wall of the beetle kill pine boards we’d sealed twice before sanding-sealing-sanding-and sealing a fourth time. Whew.
Lower boards are nailed in place, but upper are still being sized. January 30, 2022
As Zippy said, “It’s a pain in the ass but it’s going to look really nice.” Hooray!
January 7, 2022
Beetle kill pine boards
camper van layout options
if those walls could talk
This Red-winged Blackbird and Mourning Dove shared a tree as the sun went down on our first day of camping in Moby, the Great White campervan, in late April. We were walking around Lake Hasty (John Martin Reservoir State Park) at the end of a lovely day when I spotted them.
April 28, 2021
We receive many doves (Mourning and Eurasian-collared) here at our backyard feeder, but Red-winged Blackbird sightings are more rare. I have childhood memories of them singing their beautiful song as they perched on cattails along the train tracks.
I’m posting this picture to commemorate the end of our camping season. Yesterday we unloaded Moby in preparation for a trip to the shop to have a pop-top installed. Next year, we’ll be able to stand up inside. Can’t wait to get back out there to bask in the glories of the natural world.
I’d just gotten on the gravel road leading away from Cataract Lake Campground when a pair of enormous ears poked up from behind a shrub. I stopped Moby (our great white campervan) and handed the camera to Zippy in the passenger seat. By the time he had it up, another set of ears had joined the first and then the two mule deer kindly stepped out into the open.
Photo by Zippy. September 29, 2021
They very calmly watched us and seemed prepared to do so for as long as we wanted to sit there. We bade them a good day and continued our drive back home, smiles on our faces.
My self-imposed June 30th deadline is fast approaching and today I chose to write in a different location. Specifically, the driveway. More specifically, the great white campervan known as Moby.
Temporary set-up as we wait to have a van conversion company pop Moby’s top.
I did that for a couple reasons. One, I really wish I was off camping somewhere and working inside the comfort of Moby felt like the next best thing. And two, the WiFi connection is iffy inside the van which meant I couldn’t procrastinate by going online.
I’m pleased to say I got much work done, not so much word count as layering in plot/character stuff. Some of that happened after I woke from a short nap and had an immediate epiphany about how the story’s pieces fit together. I love me some epiphanies!
Writing a novel is like riding a rollercoaster of emotions that can change in a flash (this sucks this is great I can’t do this I’m almost there I hate these characters so much I’m gonna drive them all off a cliff), but in this particular moment–the right here, right now– my arms are raised in triumph as the car roars along the tracks and I scream WOOHOO!
This draft might possibly be quite solid. 🙂
We’re headed out for our first camping trip of the year and this is what it looks like outside:
April 28, 2021
The good news? We’re headed to another part of Colorado (John Martin Reservoir State Park) where the high will be an acceptable 59 degrees. Cloudy, but warm enough. And maybe that cloud cover will make for better bird photos. We shall see.
The other good news? Even though it’ll get down to 39 degrees tonight, we’ll be toasty (we hope) in this work-in-progess:
This is our maiden voyage in Moby, the cargo van we’re converting to a campervan. I’m excited to hit the road!