As fulltime RV nomads we are supposed to pack up every so often and, well, be nomadic. For all we know, (which ain’t much) it might be a law. But the COVID-19 pandemic has kept us grounded longer than we’d like, especially since RV parks and clothing optional resorts closed their gates to newcomers during the shutdown.
That was alright with us because we were hunkered down at Shangri La Ranch and we could at least continue to walk around naked any time we wanted. But something happens in Arizona’s desert every summer — astonishingly, without fail — that causes us to flee. What is this thing that makes us willing to travel in a coronavirus-changed world? It’s called HEAT. Temperatures in June often reach 110 F or higher in that region. Even with both of the Toaster’s air conditioners running, our little home on wheels becomes a “Toaster oven” (HA!).
So we quickly packed up on Memorial Day weekend, one of the best party weekends at a U.S. nudist resort, to beat predicted 109 F temperatures coming later in the week. It was sad to leave in the middle of such a big weekend, but we are definitely social distancing nerds and it just wouldn’t be the same. It was even sadder to put on clothes.
We were headed for the higher country of Bisbee, Arizona but stopped in Tucson for a week at the Pima County Fairgrounds RV park. The first morning there I sprung out of bed naked, heading for the door until Julie said “Stop! You’re not in Shangri La anymore!” Sigh.
We have yet to find a clothing optional RV park at a county fairground, but no matter we love staying at these places because they tend to be quieter and cheaper. Plus, you usually get the entire place to walk around and explore.
On Sunday, just like hundreds of times before in this nomadic life, we packed up to move on to Bisbee. The Toaster has slide-out rooms that give us more space when we are parked. When we’re ready to go, we press a switch and the room extension slides in, kind of like a Transformer toy. This time something else came in with the slide.
I wrote a NUSA Sun column about our encounter a few years ago with vicious yellow jacket wasps at Sun Meadow Resort in Idaho, an encounter that included Julie getting aggressively stung. And in 2018 while sitting at Eden Resort’s Tiki Hut, I unintentionally trapped a yellow jacket between two fingers. It was one of the most painful stings I’ve ever had.
So, when I looked up and saw a wasp hovering around inside after we brought in the slide extension, I warned Julie, “Watch out, there’s a wasp in here.”
“No,” she said. “There are two. No, wait, three. No…oh my god!”
Wasp after wasp kept popping over the edge of the slide like it was blowing nightmarish bubbles. I quickly ducked under the growing swarm and smacked the switch to extend the slide again and hopefully get the nightmare back outside.
We opened doors and windows so the wasps could escape. There were at least 15 of them by now. The ones that didn’t escape died violent, vengeance-fueled deaths at the hands of a flyswatter shaped like a cute, little frog. The Croak of Death.
I then went outside and climbed up our step ladder to peer over the top of the slide. Inches from my face was a smashed nest crawling with befuddled and vengeance-fueled wasps. I quickly hooked up a hose to the water spigot and blasted the nest and wasps off the other side and out into the parking lot.
Within moments wasps began gathering at the site of their former nest, wondering what the hell just happened and formulating a plan to dismember me. We quickly pulled in the slide and got the hell out of there.