Retreat Preparations, Repair Research, Winter Plans, and Free Camping

This morning I spent a few hours at the art studio gathering supplies for my annual Watercolor Spiritual Retreat at Marie Joseph Spiritual Center in Biddeford, ME this weekend. This will be my 5th year participating, and I'm so grateful to be able to attend.  It's a wonderfully creative and restorative weekend in the company of some exceptional women and a calming touchstone in the midst of a busy modern life. The insurance adjuster, Bob D. from TEC Associates, Inc in Spencer, MA met me and Steve at Wild Thing late morning. He was knowledgeable and supportive, and I'm confident he will help smooth this process. From his list of shop recommendations, I contacted RV's R Us in Oxford, MA about the repair. They were my first choice because, in addition to getting the body repaired, I also want to build a relationship with an RV repair shop for ongoing service to Wild Thing. The owner, Mike, was great and the shop seemed perfect,  but unfortunately, his bodywork shop is booked until mid-November.  I'm hoping to be back on the road heading for Arizona by then so the timing just wouldn't work. I did schedule to have his shop adjust the brakes on the trailer in early November but will need to find an alternative for the fiberglass body repair.

My next call was to Hazard Marine in Webster, MA and they are a possibility for the bodywork. Since my camper is made from molded fiberglass with gel coat, it is very similar to the body of a boat, and this shop has experience with this type of repair. They requested photos of the damage to evaluate before I bring the camper in for service, so I drove back to the storage facility and snapped some pics. I'm waiting to hear back from them and hoping they will be able to make the repair in the next few weeks. There is a whole lot of "hurry up and wait" at this stage of the process and patience has never been one of my strengths, but I'm trying....This little mishap in Montana is costing me quite a bit of time and energy. I'm glad that it was a minor scrape and that Wild Thing has a great insurance company, Amica,  behind her, but the whole process is quite time-consuming.

On a positive note, I was able to fix the light over the stove today! I replaced the standard bulb with an LED array and it lights the area much better than the original single bulb. The LED should also last much longer.

I have been doing a bit of planning for winter travel and I learned recently about another resource for free camping called .  Having the solar panels to provide power to my batteries will allow me to take advantage of dry camping or boondocking on public lands and BLM sites where no services are offered. I plan to try several of these sites in late November and early December when I get to the Tucson area. Steve has booked a flight in late December to Tucson and will join me for Christmas week. I've made a reservation for us at Catalina State Park so we'll be close to the action and have full hook-ups during his stay. We visited this area in February and had a wonderful time exploring the Saguaro National Park, the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, and the surrounding areas. We're looking forward to spending much more time in this beautiful part of the country. Now I've just got to get the Wild Thing repaired, packed, and back on the road!