Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Changing UP! (Thanks AstroBri)


I caught my first fish this week, but it was too little to keep.

In reading vandweller friend Brian’s recent blog post I realized a couple things about my summer experiences.  Brian said: “I am feeling a bit of a disconnect from my present and I am finding these things too much distraction.”  He was referring to his vandwelling forum involvement and his Facebook page.


Irish Soda Bread I baked in my Solar Oven.
And my work golf cart.

Being in a work situation all summer with no internet has clarified some of the same things for me as well.  I actually dropped out of the forums I was on last year some time.  Many of the people responding to my remarks were swell people, but a few bad apples spoiled it for me.  I never intentionally do or say anything to hurt others, but some members attacked me as if I were an enemy… and who needs that – especially when all you are trying to do is help others?!


My last campers gave me a trout.  Others gave me cucumbers and tomatoes.  All I contributed to this meal was the tortilla.  View of Lake in background.

Even blogging has issues... as some readers/followers get the idea/feeling that because you are publically telling your story, they (the readers/followers) are entitled to claim a piece of you or just pop up in your life uninvited.  RVSue has had that happen to a greater extent than I have, but still I was careful this summer NOT to give out my work location.  Same for the forums I belonged to and when you blog you kinda give out the message that "Here I am... take a piece of me!!!"  And ONE huge lesson I have learned this summer is that there are some people out there who feel "entitled" to do just that... or whatever they darned well please regardless of rules others must follow.  Did some people never learn common courtesy???


Well, some animals don’t know the meaning of manners… this calf busy tearing off the signs I so carefully posted.

I thought I would miss the internet and cell service, but I really have not.  Getting online once a month for a few hours is really good enough for me.  I probably won't give up FB but I find it aggravating in that when I do go back to check up on family members, etc., many of the posts (unlike my blog) are deleted before I get a chance to see them.  So, FB serves little purpose for me other than the fact that I have given family members a way to check on each other by setting up the FB page and friending them all.

Brian also said: 

I know this is esoteric and oblique, but I am not comfortable enough with what I am experiencing to name it yet. That may come later but meanwhile, I am urged outside, to look up and see what manifests as I pass along in my daily moment....

What’s that book???   Living in the Now???  I’ve been learning that this year as well… especially this summer.  As a campground host, your NOW is controlled by your guests.  Your job is to meet their needs first (and get their money), before you take any time for your own needs.  It’s actually a duty I will be happy to be freed from.  I’m at an age where I need to put myself first (something that I have rarely done in my almost 7 decades on earth).  We grew up being taught it was selfish to put ourselves before others, but I am glad I did not teach that to my boys.  I think to be successful in life/living, you need to put your needs first... and I’m glad my boys can do that (although it leaves me out here pretty much on my own).  Still this could be the ONE major factor why they are so self-sufficient and successful in life and that’s a good thing.


OK, Bri, you got me philosophizing here today, now I need to go wash my car, my bod, my hair… pick up my metal detector from storage and head back up the mountain to play awhile (I have run out of campers but am suppose to stay there until Oct. 21).  May paint some picnic tables if there send up supplies/paint, etc.  I hope I’ll be leaving Colorado sooner than that as I am eager to resume my kayaking, with only 8 of the lower 48 states left to kayak.


It is a beautiful area… these Rocky Mountains!  Awesome.

Adding later:

My Campers
Sheep Herds and Shepherds
Cattle and Cowboys


  1. You put a perfect perspective on, blogs, emails, announcing your whereabouts. Makes me rethink the direction of my blog. I know when we finally get on the road...so much of everything will be obsolete and its going to be a great time for selfish soul searching and lots of me time can't wait! Think I'm way too excited and bored to tears awaiting our take off, that I probably do the TMI O:) My hubbie had numerous knee surgeries and shoulders, and ankles and feet. Healthy as an ox but not in the joint area...I'm excited for him to relax more. Your blog and travels are sweet...

  2. Thank you CJ. Wish you and hubby the best. It's understandable to be anxious in the beginning, but it will all settle down with practice. Remember, most of the time you are close enough to towns and stores to resolve any short-sightedness... but generally we over prepare and take too much stuff. I just can't believe how mellow I am getting, and I was pretty high strung in the beginning. Ask those who met me!!!

  3. I haven't visited your blog much, more fool I. But I think you are right on. The internet can be such a distraction, and yet I come and read good and sensible words from folks like you, who I've followed in other venue's and forums and come to think of as friends, even tho we've never met and you don't know me from adam. Just saying that the life online can be such an enclosed capsule, a hyper-focused electric life rather than a cellular life where one's feet are firmly planted on earth and the vision is open to everything around you. I'm counting down to my own day of liberation - 5 months now. Been there before and time to go back out again. I hope I can travel it with half as much wisdom and serenity as in some of the folks I admire. All the best, swankie.

    1. Marie,
      Thank you for your comments. Hope the five months fly by. I've a lot on my mind right now but as AstroBri wrote in his blog... I can't find the words to go with the thoughts... for me... I seldom feel lonely but as the campers are disappearing... there is a strange feeling coming over me - is it loneliness??? As I sort this out the next week or two, I'll try to find words to go with it. I know "loneliness" is one of the major concerns of full-time lone travelers. Good luck, Marie, as you prepare for your "liberation."

  4. Hi Charlene,
    We didn't make it back to Colorado to see you. Heading to Texas in a couple days. I see autumn has arrived. I hope you are staying warm.
    Kali is growing like a weed and living up to her name. I'll never forget her enthusiasm for your kayak!
    I know what you mean about loneliness. With me it's usually sadness that another adventure is coming to an end. You had a lovely place to spend the summer, I'm sure you'll miss it.
    I'll follow your adventures and let you know where mine take me. Lois

    1. Sorry I didn't get to see you again, and Kali. Maybe I can visit when I come to TX to kayak that state? Any good spots near you? Email me at charlene.swankie@gmail.com with info. Hope to see you down the road. Yes, I too will always remember Kali jumping into my kayak as if she had known me forever and knew all about kayaking. Was a joy to meet you.

  5. Hi Charlene,
    Thought I would stop by your blog and check how you are fairing this fall weather. And I wanted to tell you what a privilege it was to meet you this summer , you are an inspiration. Hopefully you are staying warm and can be onto your next adventure soon!


Who is Swankie?

My photo
Anywhere, USA, Full-Time USA traveler, United States
Visit me on https://www.facebook.com/swankie.wheels. In 2006, I was shopping for a wheelchair. By 2007, I had new knees, better health and by 2008 a kayak. In Aug 2013, I kayaked my 49th state, Alaska, at the Holgate Glacier and in May 2014, I kayaked Hawaii, my 50th state, to celebrate my 70th Birthday and the finale to the wonderful adventure of Kayaking America? Next up... Solo Hiking the Arizona Trail, 820 miles in Spring 2017. In training now for the hike.