Eleanor and I have completed our childless travels and arrived at summer home base in Vermont, and are once again reunited with Emma.
On Thursday Eleanor and I drove the final leg from the Syracuse NY area east to the Adirondack State Park, and spent the day peacefully zigging and zagging along the quiet tree-lined roads through this mountainous area. You can’t go terribly fast in the Adirondacks, but were happy to tow the Airstream at about 45-50 MPH and stop at some of the many pull-outs along the way. With just the two of us in the trailer, we could even stop and have a light lunch and a nap, with a beautiful river flowing past our bedroom window, before proceeding along the way.
The weather steadily declined — as it often seems to do when we approach Vermont (a coincidence, I’m sure). By the time we arrived, there was a heavy downpour. We ditched the Airstream halfway parked in the driveway and went inside my parents’ house to have dinner. After dinner the rain abated enough for us to go out and establish our summer parking site. As usual, a few of the large mature cedar trees lining the driveway needed to be trimmed back to allow the Airstream to fit. The Airstream will spend the next two months parked here.
On the other hand, I will be moving on shortly. It’s difficult for me to get serious work done in this location, because of cell phone and Internet connectivity problems. On Friday and for the next few days I have a borrowed office at another location to use, but this is only a temporary solution. My visit to Vermont will be brief, just long enough to see everyone, especially Emma. I’ll be flying back to Tucson later this week, and spending the next six weeks there.
Some of you may be wondering why I would exchange a cool and pleasant summer at the lake in Vermont for the scorching heat of Tucson. I’m actually looking forward to it. Alone at home in Tucson I’ll have the ideal environment for working: privacy, few distractions, high-speed Internet, reliable phone, no need to get dressed before noon, etc. Much work has to be completed over the next few weeks, including preparation for Alumapalooza 2011, another top-secret event we hope to announce later this summer (you’ll be the first to know), two more book projects, the new magazine (due out in November), and of course the Fall issue of Airstream Life. It’s time to get seriously glued to the desk for a few weeks. I’ll crank up the 5-ton air conditioner and probably pay an enormous power bill this summer, but I’ll have the experience of the annual summer monsoon in Tucson, which I’ve never seen. Some evening I may even get out for some lightning photography. It will be an interesting change.
I won’t actually be alone the entire time. Eleanor will fly out to meet me for a few weeks, later in the summer, and I also expect Brett for a week. There will be travel involved, perhaps quite a lot, but it will be in the Honda Fit with a tent in the back, and occasionally hotels. So I’ll keep the blog going with The Continuing Adventures of TBM (Temporary Bachelor Man) right here. One thing we will discover is whether the Honda’s tiny air conditioner can handle 100+ degree days. The Mercedes can chill a fevered antelope on a 100 degree day with no problem, but I am less confident in the Honda’s ability as we cruise down I-10 in full sun in the low desert during July…
While I am gone, Eleanor and Emma have their own plans. Emma is signed up for a pile of day camps, including topics such as digital camera photography and Photoshop (which means she’ll be looking for her own laptop soon). She’s also got swimming lessons at the local pool and sailing lessons on the lake courtesy of Uncle Steve and other friends. Eleanor has arranged several trips to see old friends. Nobody will be bored this summer.
Airstream travel will resume in August sometime. Until then, Eleanor and Emma have to get two months out of an 18-gallon black tank. There is no way to dump sewage here, and Eleanor is not going to haul the Airstream to the nearest RV dump 15 miles away. (That’s a complex process that involves a very tricky backing maneuver to get it into the driveway again.) That means they will have to use the bathroom in the house almost exclusively, which is fine except when you’re feeling your way in the dark across the driveway and up the patio steps in the middle of the night.
They will also contend with no air conditioning on those frequent hot and humid days (the voltage is too low to run the air conditioner), and limited water (we can’t leave the hose connected across the driveway). Eleanor’s phone will work only intermittently here. I am not sure that I am getting the short end of the stick, at least regarding conveniences, by going to Tucson. I only wish I had a spare tow vehicle out there, so I could take the Caravel out for a few days in Arizona’s White Mountains, but perhaps that problem will be solved at another time.