This trip would cover holidays at least from Solstice through Christmas. And it would be different for me because on our first stop, we would stay at an RV park. Usually I prefer campgrounds – often state parks.
Hillsboro RV Park is not what I imagined most RV parks to be. It’s not very big, it’s charming and close to the center of a small town. And it is still a work in progress. It backs up against Percha Creek which was a babbling stream when we arrived. The owner, Kristen, is renovating vintage trailers which will be for rent. Vintage trailers or RV parking or camping – so much in a small space. She’s also working on a fire pit and hot tub area.
Kirsten is a high school art teacher and it shows in the details of her work. She re-purposed the backdrop from the senior prom – a canvas painting of the Titanic’s ballroom – into framed pieces that make up the walls of the shower room. There is wi-fi in the park, but no cell service in the entire valley.
It was just a 34 mile drive for us. I liked that. There were three other RVs there, so I had my choice of many spaces. None are large, but they are comfortable and level. One occupant I never saw or heard, but the others were friendly and respectful. My immediate neighbor, Charles, has a travel trailer. He had come out from Virginia on a motorcycle in October and returned before Christmas with the trailer. Farther away was Milo, a musician with a recording studio in his RV/bus. I didn’t get to talk with him much, but he certainly seemed to live an interesting, creative life. [Update: 1/7/17 I just heard Milo Matthews perform at the local Art Jam tonight. He’s amazing – multi-talented singer songwriter. I recommend checking out his itinerary in case he will be in your town.]
The first afternoon we took a short walk down the main street and back on the levee trail. I saw three deer across from the museum. Cassie didn’t see them. She was leashed, so it would have been okay. Hillsboro was very quiet this Tuesday before Solstice. Nothing open except the Post Office. The cafe here is very good, but closed during the holidays.
On Solstice morning, it was a little too cold to have the door open. I missed that. It was also quite overcast, so the the sun’s light was diffused. I fixed my favorite start to the day: tea and oranges. “All the way from China” (Suzanne). Thank you Mr. Cohen.
Nicely carved gate that is seldom used.
Shop window with reflection.
My book for this trip was “Fingersmith” by Sara Waters. I did like the plot twists, but it’s not what I want when I camp. It’s set in 1860’s London – urban, dirty, violent, not compatible with the great outdoors.
Later that morning we walked around town, up to the courthouse ruins, and to the cemetery. I lost my phone (see the whole story here). Eventually I got it back, but losing things is exhausting.
I liked this cemetery. It’s maintained but not manicured – this is the desert. I especially liked the handmade memorials.
Sad row with few markers.
It rained Wednesday night and most of Thursday. Steady rain – so beneficial, but there was no sitting outside. In all my time here I saw little wildlife. I did hear a noisy woodpecker. It was hard to see and impossible to photograph.
Friendly folks of Hillsboro.
I had lunch at a friend’s home: good company – fun, intelligent – and good food. Having left Cassie for several hours, she was ready to play when I returned. Throwing the ball for her was not easy nor much fun in the RV. And didn’t give her nearly enough exercise. I planned to give her a good run on Friday. I was hoping to cross the creek and let her run on the other side, but by morning the creek was too high to cross.
I decided to head to the campground at City of Rocks State Park. There are lots of trails there.