Just what is it like to be traveling in a gypsy caravan? I thought I would go through a typical day with you.
First, we make tea and have our breakfast in the caravan. We pack up the back steps, roll off the leveling blocks and pack them away, then I help Peter back up the trailer (I have a set of complicated hand signals so nobody has to hear me yelling over the truck noise).
Then we drive (usually between 1 hour and 4 hours, or $100 in gas/time) to get to an appointment with a friendly librarian or two.
|Geoff Smith at Ohio State University (soon to be President of FABS)|
Sometimes the librarian arranges a place to park the truck and caravan, sometimes not.
|Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington, IL|
|Herron School of Art and Design, IUPUI, Indianapolis, IN|
I am sitting in the "no parking" zone, waiting to meet the parking police, but they never come. I notice that the students all seem to turn away when I look up from my knitting and catch them peeking at the caravan. Why are they afraid or shy? Do they think they are going to offend me by staring?? I am sitting on a gypsy caravan, for goodness sakes! Finally, a sociology professor stopped by to talk (whose last week’s guest was a “sex fetishiser” or something or other). I love it when people are engaged with life!
After visits we stay with our hosts or drive a bit further down the road. My first choice is to drive so we can stay in nature, at a state or national park campground. That is where I can find beauty, quiet and a level parking spot.
If we stop at a campground we get to hike for an hour or so in the fresh air, and see the colorful fall forest. Then it is dark and we eat dinner and head for bed in the caravan. People always ask if are warm. We have a propane heater, and it keeps the caravan perfectly warm in the mornings and evenings when it is chilly.
Peter loves it when we spend the night in a friend’s driveway. Then there may be a chance to play music or have local book artists over for a potluck. The librarians and art teachers at University of Illinois, Champaign/Urbana have such a great working environment that they get together for fun after work!
|Peter works on a blog post at Pam and Willy’s house in Salt Lake.|
It is nice to know we have friends and family traveling with us via cyberspace!