2013 Livin Lite Camplite 16 DB for Sale!

Camplite, Livin Lite, aluminum, travel, trailer, camping, camper, available, mold avoidance, clean, chemical free, avoidance, sabbatical

 

As we explore our options for some upcoming changes in our lives, we are placing our beloved Tin Can Ranch up for sale.  This Livin Lite Camplite 16 DB is virtually mold and chemical free making it ideal for folks who are taking a health sabbatical or travelling with persons chemically sensitive.

Here is the listing.  Please contact me below with your email address with inquiries.  Take care and happy travels!  JJ

2013 Livin Lite Camplite 16 DB for Sale

So you want to go camping do ya?

Camping is not for the faint of heart, even in the “posh” conditions of a travel trailer! Having a trusty companion or two and the right tools can make the difference between success and failure.  For me that would be the guard dog, handy husband, jugs of water, and very long extension cord.  Gotter done!

Camplite, husband, kayak, Scorpius, rack, roof, outrigger, canoe, man, towing, camper, travel, trailer, home, Nissan, Frontier, camping

I am grateful for our Camplite (aka Tin Can Ranch) that allows me to go places with my hubby and stay in a mobile “clean room,” away from the hazards of hotels and limited choices of restaurant menus.  Preparing for these trips is an incredible amount of work all by itself:  just about the same amount of tasks need to be completed for a week-long vacation as an over-nighter.  I have a sense that we won’t be doing the latter again anytime soon!  Regardless, I rallied the strength and off we went with great expectations to the Illinois Beach State Park north of Chicago, Illinois.  I was to attend the day-long Designs for Health:  A Prescription for Wellness seminar at the beautiful Chicago Botanical Gardens and Steve was to tackle the surf along Lake Michigan.  Later we planned to meet up with some friends for dinner on the north side of the city before heading south around the city and back to NE Indiana into the wee hours of the morning.  Whilst the latter plans were complicated by severe rain and traffic issues for all parties, it turned out to be an “easier” part of our itinerary!

Our wacky adventures began soon after we pulled into the campground along the shores of Lake Michigan.  Up first:  hooking up the electrical.  Not!  For the next several hours we battled a worn breaker system that kept tripping no matter what we did to avert the issue.  Was it the breakers in the trailer that were overloaded?  The eroded contacts in the refrigerator switch plate that requires a few minutes of babysitting to turn on? Figuring this out required much problem-solving with wifey-poo dressed in early Spring/Winter garb, very weary from travelling and following orders from the friendly but not-so-helpful front office staff.  To sort this out, we ran our extension cord to a few adjacent sites to no avail.  Very likely it was the campsite breakers that were worn and not our camper since everything had worked fine at home the day before.  Too bad the real on-site expert had the day off!

Finally my husband figured out two work-a-rounds:  1)  hooking up our battery charger to the battery to run the water pump and 2) running our 100-foot extension cord to a 3rd campsite and through the kitchen area window to run the electric heater.  In the morning I disconnected the heater and attached it to my blow dryer to make some order of the bed head that came with the morning.  What about just taking a shower you ask? Well don’t!  That didn’t happen . . . for me anyways.  The campground did not have water or sewer hook-ups so we had filled our modest, 30-gallon water tank at home thinking it would be enough for bathroom needs with quick “Navy-style” showers.  We were wrong. Steve did get a shower . . . then a paddle in Lake Michigan . . . then another shower in the only open bathroom facilities in the campground.  I made the most of things and had a quick cooooold sponge bath before heading out to the seminar!  Oh well.  I was definitely AWAKE for the day of lectures to follow!

A few other tidbits further enhanced our experience such as Steve gashing his lip on the rusted breaker box in the midst of trying to figure out things!  So glad for our first aid supplies!  Then there was the brand new hot water pot that I had plugged in through the cord dangling in kitchen window to make some hot tea ended up not working; I used an electric frying pan instead!  Additionally I took every remedy that I had with me to ward off noxious symptoms from ongoing illness and to consume before-and-during the seminar (with copious amounts of food-n-bacon, of course).  And guess what?  The seminar was incredible!  Steve had a great time paddling our outrigger canoe 7 miles along the lake shore and the pup got in a few long walks at the beach.  Cool beans.

woman, seminar, Chicago Botanical Gardens, flowers, planter, Designs for Healing, sitting

Forrest Gump logic applies very well to almost all of our camping experiences these past 3 years:  you never know what you are going to get!  This trip was no different.  We are now home and pooped.  Massive loads of laundry and cleaning are now underway to decontaminate everything for our next adventure having something to do with trailer demolishen derby races or something.  With our luck, let’s just hope we don’t end up on the figure-8 track.  Should be fun.  Or maybe not.  I’ll be sure to letcha know.  Eeeeek!

JJ

It isn’t camping unless something goes awry

This trip was much like any other in terms of the massive preparation it takes to go camping!  There is always lots of kayak paddling gear to gather, packing, meal preparation for 2 distinct dietary requirements, mega supplements and meds to pop into pill boxes, “just in case” remedies to pack, and so on.  The miles go quickly as we travel most of the day and into the night, with destinations generally east of the Mississippi.  I’m especially grateful for the opportunity to catch up on the little things with my beloved Steve as he drives us along since it’s crazy busy getting everything else done before we leave!  Add the last minute deliveries of my hubby’s side business as a Stellar Kayak rep and you will see how we usually get about 4 hours of sleep beforehand but alas, I’ll let him tell that story!

Our German shepherd got sick after taking herself for a swim in Lake Michigan when delivering a kayak on our way home.  Two vent covers on the Camplite either blew off or severely cracked, respectively, on our way from Indiana to Wisconsin requiring a series of duct tape-style repairs.  The placement of water and electrical outlets on opposite sides of the campsite required a creative workaround in the dark when we arrived at our destination.  Sweltering heat and humidity nearly wilted me into a pile of mush until we found shade underneath the belly of a DC3 (airplane) on display along the air strip at the EAA AirAdventure.  In addition, my usual pattern of nightly/morning convulsive spells continued every night and morning yet were no worse considering the increased activity level and exposures related to all of our activities.  Two friends flaked on meeting us for dinner during our stay.  Bummer dude.

But wait.  There’s more!  We ran out of propane and overflowed our gray water tank at the 2-day mark.  A mysterious water spot left us sleeping on the bare mattress cover our last night that might be condensation outsmarting the air conditioner + dehumidifier combination we employed.  And lastly, the rain chased us home a day early, allowing us to deliver the aforementioned kayak for Steve’s customer who was unable to catch a flight to meet us to pick it up.  That became the reason for a 2-hour side trip to Door County from Oshkosh and the fateful swim for our pup, Elle.  But hey, the landscaped gardens of their lake home were better than the magazine photos I had brought with me to pass the time . . .

DC3, air show, Oshkosh, 2016, Air Adventure

Enjoying cool shade under a DC3

So when you decide to take up camping you also decide to take up flying by the seat of your pants!  Little goes as planned!  We have come to expect always arriving later than expected to our destinations, spending more on gasoline than meals/souvenirs/camping reservations, and getting out the tools or duct tape at some point before returning home.  If you ask me, it makes the trip more fun!  I’ll take the crazy stuff of life on the road any day to the ravages of battling a serious illness and am grateful that I get to do so with my River Bear in the Tin Can Ranch a few times each year. Now that the 9 loads of laundry are done, I just have to clean the CampLite.  Soon I’ll be ready to pop the question again like the old Microsoft commercials use to say,

Where do you want to go today?

Maybe one day I’ll meet you on the road Gentle Reader.  Please bring your own duct tape, just in case!  JJ

EAA, Air Adventure, air show, wife, husband, travel

Steve and Julie at the 2016 EAA Air Adventure

 

Four-Wheeling in a Travel Trailer

getting lost, moon at night, moon, camping, campground, campsite, Georgia, November sky, October skyThe River Falls at the Gorge Campground promised to be a lovely place to be along the Tallulah River this past week.  Our reservations and multiple modes of directions were in tow with the GPS programmed to get us there, MapQuest directions handy between the seats, US Atlas turned to the State of Georgia, verbal directions written on our reservation confirmation sheet, and a back-up of directions from a Google search if needed.  But it was the map linked to the website of the campground that eventually got us there around 6:00 in the morning.  Yes, the River would be beautiful at sunrise . . .

But it didn’t go the way we had it planned!  Of course we knew that it would be a 12+ hour drive from Indiana but not over 15!  Well that sum includes completing the hook-ups once we arrived of water, electric and sewer.  O.K. so it’s kind of a modern way of “camping” yet still more rustic than the Bed-and-Breakfast accommodations to which I had become accustomed many years ago!  This is my version of “roughing it!”  There still is a lot more interaction with the elements than you might expect, (more on the mud another time!) especially trying to find a place in the dead of night on a long and twisty dirt road somewhere in northeastern Georgia.

“Something just isn’t right,” confessed my beloved Steve when the horse paths we were travelling on for almost 30 minutes ended in in 3 driveways, 2 of which were blocked by metal gates.  All of them had signs posted next to them from respective security companies.  Oh dear.  That would not be typical for a campground for sure!  It had been raining for hours and the dirt road was largely ungraded for heavy traffic, especially for a wide range of local to out-of-State travel trailers and motor homes.  How in the heck would a bus-sized RV ever make it up the road we had just traversed?  Yes indeed something was very wrong!

We decided to take some time to assess our situation.  We had already turned around twice on the main road, trying to find the campground which was supposed to be “one mile past the State park and off Highway 441.”  Well that just wasn’t our reality.  I reprogrammed the GPS and the scavenger hunt in backwoods was our third attempt to find our river-front paradise.  We had no other ideas at that time:  about 5:30 a.m.  We got out our umbrellas, Sure Fire flashlights, and hiked around.  Probably no one would mind at that hour that we were blocking everything with the 40-foot total length of my mid-size pick up truck and our 16-foot Camplite!  Steve walked closer to one of the open gates as I exclaimed, “don’t go in there!  There’s probably a laser light across the road that we might activate if we cross a line hidden by the trees!”  (I had seen this before in the homes of my home health care patients who lived in more remote areas.)  We backed away and looked up the rutted road that had led us astray.  We would need to re-trace our course.

Steve decided to pull out the manual for the brake controller and make some adjustments right there in the wilderness.  The timing was as crazy as it was brilliant.  An adjustment was sorely needed to manage the hills and valleys of our obstacle course back to the highway.  We were also concerned about the softening of the terrain as it continued to rain; four-wheel drive was already engaged.  And what if we were not alone out there?  I thought for a moment what I might do if a bear or wild hog might greet us before we had made our decision to get the heck out of there.  I was packing a pistol in my pocket but the caliber wouldn’t do much for a beast taller than my knees.  Oh yeah, I could flap the umbrella around and make a lot of noise.  Sure, that’s it!  Gratefully, we were alone out there having another Steve-and-Julie bonding experience and never encountered another soul.

Back down the road we went.  Steve made an incredible 5-point turn with the trailer in-tow with me scouting out the lay of the land outside in the dark.  I was never so grateful for having decided to wear my hiking boots during this trip.  Kind of odd, really, to wear them in the truck.  Kind of extremely helpful though in these conditions!  We bid our unknown neighbors “good night” as I hopped back into the truck whilst the sky was lightening slightly:  morning was breaking.

By the grace of God we found the campground with the re-programming of the GPS and retracing our original steps.  Funny, the campground was 1 mile from the State Park in the OPPOSITE direction than we had been instructed.  Had not we mentioned we were coming from Indiana?  Oh well.  We probably drove right past the place on our first pass through the area.  Chalk it up to the folklore of giving us directions with landmarks as if we were locals.  Sish.

While the light was out that illuminated the lettering on the building, the other lights clearly identified a big building just 200 feet or so from the road.  It was the office of the River Falls at the Gorge Campground!  We had made it!  A little more scouting, misinterpretation of a parking lot for the camp road, and final identification of our campsite out in the rain with the umbrelli brought us to a real stop for the next three days.  Steve hooked us up and I prepared the inside for us and our pup, Elle.  By 7:30 a.m., we were showered and asleep.

So what is the moral of this story?  Probably nothing!  We always seem to get lost trying to find our way in the wee hours of the morning in rural Georgia.  Yes, this has happened before when we landed at the end of a road in the woods just before daybreak trying to find Phil and Judy’s place a few years ago.  Maybe we will wait awhile before heading back to the land of boiled peanuts and peaches.  Yeah, that’s it.  Hey Babe, it’s time to GO WEST not South, my dear!  JJ

If I get to see you . . .

 

If I get to see you in the coming year, please understand that I will be singing songs of joy in my heart!  Social isolation has been one of the most devastating effects of serious illness from these past 3 years.  Should the Lord allow the circumstances for me to get out for an activity other than medical or a trip to the grocery store, I CELEBRATE!!!

So if I might ask for a few accommodations when we get together and you graciously oblige and I still get sick then blame any negative symptoms you may witness in me as the consequence of illness and not you!  Very few folks live in a “clean room” like we have here at home.  I did not clean at this level either until it was a matter of survival.  Steve did not engage in my extreme mold/contaminant behavior strategies until two years ago.  These strategies are necessary for this season of our lives together.  Overall I do better when we follow certain guidelines resulting in less reactivity, the worst of which are fewer seizure-like and convulsive episodes which continue daily.  We are implementing some “due diligence” from what we have learned to reduce my suffering with the goal of eliminating this illness altogether.  We believe that the Lord has allowed these trials for mysterious reasons and ultimately His glory.  He is good!

Both Steve and I recognize that there are definite signs that I am getting better.  We have trained our eye to search for even tiny changes in the pattern and intensity of episodes, pain, and reactivity to keep us hopeful that one day I will be well.  It is happening!  So please don’t be discouraged when either one of us might mention that I had a rough night or you witness a significant setback.  Recovery is a long, jagged line of progress, setbacks, and lateral “bunny trails.”  The overall trending is positive!

The most important accommodations that would be helpful if we get together are as follows.

Meeting in a public place:  Select a place with less noise and less loud music.  Newer buildings are generally better than older ones; please no historic buildings or ones with known basements or crawlspaces and history of flooding.  Restaurants that make their own food with fresh ingredients are better able to modify dishes to meet my food sensitivities.  This rules out most fast food places!  Letting me know the name and phone number of the establishment ahead of time will allow me to contact them with my needs and make the experience of ordering food more pleasant for both of us!  Please do not wear cologne or perfume that day.  I will need to greet you and depart with a “virtual hug” to avoid exposures to hidden elements that might be on your clothing or coat.  Forgive me if I sometimes forget this step in the joy of the moment when I see you!

Meeting in your home:  This is still a situation that I avoid since there are too many variables at this time that may cause serious problems.  I cannot come over if you have 1) ever had flooding in your home of any kind from a leaky toilet to a wet basement or 2) have older carpeting.  If you are willing to have me then please remove all fragranced products at least the day before we are scheduled to be together (such as plug-in or spray air fresheners, candles whether lit or not, potpourri, etc.)  Keeping windows cracked open in cooler weather or open in warmer weather to allow fresh air inside always helps (unless someone is burning something nearby outside!)  I prefer to visit in the area of your home without carpeting and sit on non-upholstered furniture.  Wood, plastics, and leather are best.

Staying overnight:  If we are invited to stay overnight then we will either bring our own linens, blankets and towels, or ask that you wash and dry everything in fragrance-free detergent and softeners (including dryer sheets).  Please replace a moldy shower curtain liner with a new one!  I will bring most of my own food and hand soap where possible.  Providing non-cured, non-smoked meat cooked only with salt, plain oatmeal, plain salad-type vegetables or zucchini/cauliflower without seasonings will be a HUGE treat!  I will always bring the extra condiments and food that I can tolerate.

Yeah, I know that this is a lot for a busy household to prepare!  Thank you for helping us out with this stuff.  Steve and I are exceedingly grateful to have recently obtained a travel trailer which has helped manage all of this tremendously well.  (It is a lot of work for us too, I tell ya!)  Both of our families and many close friends now live out of State so travel is necessary to see them.  This single change in our mode of travel has allowed me to leave our home overnight much more safely and go places from which I have been cut off for most of the past three years.  We are humbled and blessed!  I really like having a mobile safe house that has already opened up my world, provided privacy during setbacks on the road, and aided sleep with a really comfortable bed that can be hard to find when away from one’s own humble abode at home.  Thank you Jesus!

Visiting Daniel and Elizabeth in Alabama

Visiting Daniel and Elizabeth in Alabama

 

We are hoping that the ongoing extreme avoidance and dietary strategies are temporary; some level of precaution albeit more relaxed than the current level will likely continue for some time.  How long will we need to do all of this?  We simply do not know.  We believe the Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (or Multiple Chemical Sensitivity) is due to mercury toxicity and we finally have the correct treatment protocols to get me well.  I have excellent medical guidance and a proven treatment plan to follow.  We are hopeful that I will be in better health within this year!  I AM GOING TO GET WELL!!!

And that Gentle Reader, is much to celebrate!  JJ