A reoccurring thought I’ve had in my mind as we travel from place to place is, “Could we live here?” Some places, sure. There’s beautiful scenery, a city nearby to explore, climate is livable. But Elko, Nevada was not one of those places. No offense to Elko, Nevada; it’s an ok place. I don’t know if it was the vegetation or poor air quality stemming from a fire to the north, but my husband was allergic to Elko, Nevada. Like ferociously allergic. We slept with the windows open and he went for a 5-mile run the next morning. When he got back it was all sneezing fits and swollen eyelids. His nose was a faucet and he was just miserable. Sorry, Elko. You are crossed off of our possible future snow-bird-when-we’re-old list.
Military bases are a unique place to camp. Most of them have an RV park in them and they are usually neat and tidy with free or cheap laundry. We are lucky if there is a playground or shade. Some larger bases have a Commissary (grocery store) on them and the food is usually cheaper than the nearest Kroger or Safeway. Camping is much cheaper, too. Somewhere between $10-$30/night for a full hook up (Petaluma KOA was $90/night as a reference). We have to fill a prescription at the pharmacy while we are here and I’m pretty sure it will be free. Camping is reserved for active duty military or retired veterans only. We are lucky to fall into both of those categories on this trip.
When you arrive at a military base, you are greeted by a soldier, sailor or airman in uniform. Today, at Hill Air Force Base, the airman checking our ID’s was carrying an A-4 assault rifle. He waved us through the gate and we easily found the fam camp. The boys were very excited to see a splash pad and awesome playground with shade! The friendly host pulled up in his golf cart and showed us to our site.
Sometimes we hear loud aircraft flying overhead. On many bases, they play taps (colors) at sundown and reveille at the start of the work day. When we hear it blasting over the loud speaker, we stop what we are doing, put our hand to our hearts and face the flag. It’s unique and I feel privileged to be a part of it. The campgrounds are safe. You will not find any drugs, loud music or loud people. (Maybe some loud dogs). There is no worrying about someone breaking into your car or stealing your bikes. I’ve become accustomed to the assault weapons at the gates and frankly, I enjoy the safety these bases provide. I sleep very well at night. God Bless America!