We spent our 2017 holidays in Brighton Rec Area, just like last year. The day after we arrived in early December, we visited the Christmas tree farm with Brian’s family. We found our tree in the “Charlie Brown Tree” section for $12! It wasn’t scraggly at all, but it was pretty fat at the bottom, which would probably make it tough to use inside. It worked great for us though!
We decorated the trailer, inside and out, pretty much just like last year. It was much easier the second time around!
We had a great Christmas, with much less illness this year! Brian was sick for a few days, but I managed not to catch it. We spent the time before Christmas shopping, wrapping, decorating, and seeing family and friends.
After Christmas it got so cold! It got down to -13 degrees Fahrenheit at night. We bought a space heater, which helped keep it warm in the trailer, and we refilled a propane tank about every other day to run the furnace. Both propane pigtails started leaking one after the other, but we were fortunately able to find suitable replacements at an RV dealer nearby.
We did have to move once, in our 45 days at Brighton Rec Area, to dump the tanks. It was 12 degrees and windy, but the forecast was calling for single digit temperatures coming up, and our tanks were full. With our Christmas lights still attached, Brian towed over to the dump station to find that the tank release valves on the Airstream were frozen shut! We had to drive back to our campsite, plug in the electricity, and put the space heater under the trailer, pointing up at the valves. After about an hour and a half, it thawed enough to be open, and we headed back to the dump station. The dump station was disgusting. It wasn’t well maintained by the park and froze shut, so people just dumped their shit on top of it.
We love spending the holidays with our family and friends, and sitting in our warm trailer watching the snow fall can be really cozy, but winter camping is decidedly less glamorous. Brian still enjoys it, since he is basically a polar bear.
We didn’t plan ahead when we would leave town in January, and had a long list of things to do before we left. We kept extending our stay, until we eventually stayed through all of January! We were stuck in Michigan for two months last holiday season while our truck was getting fixed, and this year we voluntarily stayed nearly as long.
The time went by fast, but sometimes we felt a little too retired. We’d go out to get propane and water, and end up wandering around Walmart for an hour and forgetting why we went there in the first place.
But, being home meant we had more time with family and friends, and were home for New Years Eve, my cousin’s wedding shower, a friend’s baby shower, my birthday, and our nephew’s first birthday!
Brian also made time to go ice fishing! He spent two days sitting on frozen Lake St. Clair, catching perch.
We were also able to shop and have things delivered. We do miss online shopping on the road. One downside of living in a small space is that we seem to obsess a bit about buying things. We don’t want to buy the wrong thing, so we do too much research.
We ordered a new mattress for the trailer online. It’s a Short Queen, but doesn’t have the rounded corners that our original trailer mattress had. It’s also heavier. We lift the bed up often to access the under bed storage, so hopefully this one won’t be too heavy, and will be more comfortable.
We noticed some mildew forming under the bed, from the condensation caused by living in a freezer. We bought Aire Flow (aka HyperVent), a material made of a web of polymer strands, to put between the mattress and the bed platform. Brian also removed the platform, painted it, and drilled some holes in it for air flow. Moisture managed, hopefully.
Before we left Brighton, we took down the decorations and burned the Christmas tree. Christmas trees throw off some pretty cool sparks when they burn.
We had a great stay in Michigan, but it’ll be nice to get back on the road and thaw out!
Day 488| Mile 50,491