It’s Day 320 of The First Ohio Shutdown and Day 80 of Ohio’s WuFlu Curfew.
Deb and I are well.
My introduction to camping didn’t come from my family. There were no active outdoorsmen among my close blood relations. When we took our annual vacations we stayed in motels, almost always a predictable Holiday Inn or a Howard Johnson’s, always reserved in advance. I remember it being fun — I was a kid, after all, and every trip was an adventure — and until church camp and Scouting it was all I knew of overnighting away from home.
After third grade, I think it was, I was packed off to church camp for the first time. Then came Boy Scouts, including winter camping near home and backpacking at Philmont. Campfires and tents and sleeping bags, the unpredictable nature of not just going outside but living outside, new challenges and a whole new set of skills — it all came together to make moteling feel like a prison sentence.
By the time I was 12, I was hooked on the outdoors and everything that went with it. During the summer of my 21st year, while working in northwest Montana, that enthusiasm drove me to spend my weekends primitive-camping in remote areas of the mountains — off-grid, off-trail and solo. Through it all I benefitted from the wisdom of great mentors I had over the years.
The closest I came to “glamping” in my youth was a couple of church-group excursions, car-camping with pop-ups. Years later, when I got into touring by motorcycle, for several years I pulled a small pop-up trailer behind my bike. On the rest of my two-wheeled camping trips I deployed a dome tent.
Now, approaching my mid-60s, I still love the outdoors but I’m a lot less interested in “roughing it.” While I admire and envy folks who, at my age and older, continue to plunge into the wilderness with nothing but a knife, a chunk of flint and their wits… crafty hunters, go-for-broke survivalists, wise and wizened woodsmen… with all due respect, I’ll break a different trail.
Deb and I chose to make trailer camping part of our American Life last June with the purchase of our Bumper Bunker. As I’ve said here before, that decision opened myriad possibilities for us, and now we have a 40-foot Class A sitting in our snowy driveway, awaiting its maiden voyage.
That’ll happen soon. We’re looking forward to it. And last night the anticipation of our inaugural trip with Ernie got me thinking back on the July weekend we christened the Bumper Bunker.
We drove south to Hocking County and pitched camp at a KOA. (That’s the campground entrance in today’s header image.) Over three days we got our glamping feet wet in a hurry and notched a lot of firsts together. It was a success, propelling us into a whole new Life.
I want to be straight-up honest here — a KOA, as campgrounds go, is the equivalent of those Holiday Inns of my childhood. It’s a predictable stop, a relatively consistent experience with amenities always close-at-hand. We spent our subsequent escapes at state parks because that’s what we prefer, but for a maiden voyage a KOA, this KOA, was the perfect choice for us.
Expect a few more header images from that weekend in the coming days. Good memories.
I can’t explain what prompted the thought, but the other day it occurred to me that I haven’t seen Ann Coulter lately. She was all-kinds-of-visible during the presidential campaign five years ago, and yet I didn’t register a single sighting this time around.
Not that I go looking for her or anything. She’s conservative (by some definition) and plenty smart, but she (or her shtick, at least) is too relentlessly unpleasant for my tastes. And I’m willing to consider that she simply may have been showing up in places I don’t go.
Well, curiosity got the better of me and yesterday I went looking. I learned that some time ago she morphed from pro-Trump into anti-Trump, virulently so. Her trademark angry-bitch act went from unpleasant to positively vile — directed not only at the former president, but at his supporters as well.
The more I read about Coulter’s conversion, the less I wanted to read.
I can’t really write her off, though. I didn’t sign up in the first place.
Since I got booted from Facebook last week, Deb has been sharing my blog posts to her personal page and reading me comments from my former Facebook friends and followers. Along with atta-boys and kind compliments, which I truly appreciate, lots of you have asked that I enable the “comments” function here on Ubi Libertas blog.
There are a couple of reasons I haven’t done that and probably won’t.
The first — and I’ll be candid here — is that I don’t want the hassle of moderating comments. I’m not into herding cats, figuratively or literally. I don’t want to deal with my natural compulsion to respond to or acknowledge every remark. And as passionate as I am about free speech, there’s always the chance that an Ann Coulter-type will show up with an angry-bitch routine, and I’d have to either compose a pithy retort or eighty-six it.
In sum, it’s just easier for me to leave comments turned off. If that makes me lazy, fine.
The second reason is that I don’t envision Ubi Libertas blog as interactive. I haven’t set it up as a forum, and I don’t fancy it becoming an echo chamber or a clubhouse.
That, it seems to me, is what social media are for. I’m glad to engage in that public square, too, which is why I have personal pages on MeWe, USA Life and CloutHub. Soon (Dan Bongino says Monday) there will be an Ubi Libertas page again on Parler.
What’s more, and to make the most of Patriots’ voices, we should set about planting a field of beans, not a hill of beans. If you have something to say, pull up your social-media page (and your pants) and say it. If you find what I say here worthwhile, great — share it. And yes, you could even start a blog of your own.
If what I say here stays here, provided it’s worth a damn, Ubi Libertas won’t accomplish what I hope it will. In the same way, if what you believe stays locked in your head, or if you preach only to a like-minded choir, you’re robbing the great cause of Liberty of your voice.
So find your voice and use it. There will be risks. I encourage you to embrace them.
Take care of yourselves, Patriots. Stay calm. Stay sharp. Stay free.
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