Dear Dr. R.V. Shrink:
I need scheduling help. My wife is refusing to camp in certain areas. With all the drought in the West the news is full of fires and floods. I told her the TV broke because one more night of news and we will have to start camping at fire stations across America for her to feel safe and know help is close by. Just when I thought I had her convinced she was overreacting, our Glacier National Park campground reservation was canceled for Lake St. Mary Campground. Fire was threatening the area and we were not allowed in.
I tried to explain to her that we live on wheels and can move at the drop of a hat if things looked sketchy wherever we camp.
Now my every suggestion is suspect. It is driving me nuts. Should I buy a fire truck and convert it into an RV? It would already have a large fresh water holding tank. Do you think that would make her feel safer?
--Disaster Dave in Deer Lodge
Dear Dave in Deer Lodge:
There is nothing wrong with preparedness. Worry and stress are another issue. I heard that “there is nothing to fear but fear itself.” Traveling to avoid everything you see on the news will limit you to a padded cell.
I can see how your wife works herself into a frenzy. I was watching Nightly News last week when I saw a 5th wheel float down a road in Wickenburg, Arizona.
Keeping your head in the sand will not solve any problems. Information is key to safety. I would suggest you camp where you want but have a backup plan. Know your escape routes, incoming weather events, fire conditions and terrain.
Words from a sage much wiser than myself fit here perfectly. Forrest Gump sums it up with two of his famous quotes: “Stupid is as stupid does.” (This would be good advice for people who put themselves in harm's way, ignoring the conditions.) Also,
“My momma always said, ‘Life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get.'" (This would be to emphasize the fact that you have to be prepared for anything.)
There are five other campgrounds in Glacier still open. One is a reservation campground and the others are first come, first serve. Think of a change in plans as an adventure. You may discover something new and enjoyable because your original plans were altered by conditions out of your control.
When you think about it, you only have a few conditions to worry about -- wind, heavy rain, hail, tornado, fire, flood, hurricane, earthquake, tsunami, blizzard, sand storm and maybe a dust devil or two.
--Keep Smilin’, Dr. R.V. Shrink