The sick captain and the Baraboo snafu

Wisconsin, US 44.02183° N, 90.51037° W: Barreling northwesterly along I-94 W after two nights at Baraboo RV resort in Baraboo, WI.

When I woke up this morning I just wanted to go home. I’d spent the day before entertaining Danny in the amusement park to keep it quiet in the RV, so Kevin could rest and recover from the head cold Danny has shared with us.

I bounced on a giant inflatable, chased after Danny’s go-kart, threw water balloons, read a book by the pool and did my best to power-through—given I’d also been sick the past few days. It was inevitable that Kevin would get it too. The Starlink couldn’t get a clear signal due to the towering willows in the park, I’d never seen willows grow so big. That made it harder to entertain Danny and keep him mellow. I also couldn’t work on writing, my course, or even sent text messages.

Last night the people in the RV next to us had a gathering until around midnight. It wasn’t overly loud, but it was so close that they sounded like they were talking in our room. Being used to 223-acres of pure, forested solitude and formally having the top of a mountain to ourselves—there was no way I was sleeping through it. I have earplugs, but my ears are sore from the lingering head cold and they only made matters worse. I’d obviously overdone it playing like a big kid all day.

After the neighbors had gone to bed, I kept having coughing fits like Danny had had the first few nights. At that point I’d had very little sleep since starting the trip a week ago. Luckily, I’d brought along my cough medication and inhaler from my pneumonia hospitalization last fall when we got back to Maine from the boat adventure—well, misadventure. Unfortunately, that didn’t have any effect on Kevin’s snoring, which was louder than usual because he was sick. At least I had a good book to keep me busy until my eyes burned for sleep and I switched to a podcast—the soothing voice of Keith Morrison reading Sleepy Hollow.

Sometime around 4:00AM I finally dozed off, only to be jolted awake but what sounded like two dogs fighting. Aggravated, homesick, and completely exhausted—I started to cry. Kevin had let Chip out and was coming back into the room, I asked him to give me a solid hour of sleep and told him he’d snored all night.

Within minutes, dogs began barking, kids began yelling, and the neighbors decided to eat breakfast outside. I got up and made my coffee, then remembered I was out of cream. I added a bra to my ridiculous getup—tie-died purple sweatpants paired with a mushroom-pattern top—and walked around the RV.

I asked them if they had any cream, which they did—well, kind of—it was fake flavored stuff which I would generally turn down. Beggars can’t be choosers, right? I said nothing about their keeping me up, it wasn’t their fault I was a light sleeper and not feeling well. I made small talk. One of them had a cast on with mushroom patches on it. The next thing I knew I’d gained three new followers on our Instagram account.

Danny made buckwheat pancakes, I cleared all surfaces of things that would go flying on the bumpy highway, and Kevin started getting us ready to go. He checked the oil in the generator and the dipstick wouldn’t go back in. We messed around with it for an hour before I took out a tape measure, marked off where the fluid lines were, and had Kevin strip the rubber end off with his pocket knife. With some patient persuasion (which I’m not sure how we had any left), it finally went back in.

It was good to have hookups to dump the waste and to use the higher-pressure water for showers. I was delighted to find out the kitchen sink had hot water after all and was just plumbed backwards—funny I didn’t think of that seeing as our faucet at home is too. It’s work getting dishes clean with cold water, and used up the last of our dish liquid. I was able to get our laundry done in the coin-ops for $5.00 so we have plenty of clothes for the next week. I thought that was pretty reasonable.

It has rained every day on the trip aside from the full day we spend parked. One day we drive through a severe thunderstorm with a torrential downpour and watched cars hydroplane and big trucks send high plumes of deep water over the highway medians. Some cars stopped under overpasses and put their flashers on, which made me wonder if there are twisters in Wisconsin. We have mostly stayed in Walmart parking lots and eaten all our meals onboard. Even though we are sleep-deprived and sick, we are making the best of it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *