You've seen the photos and videos of the beautiful, pastoral mountain vista, with lush emerald grass fields and majestic pines, painting an idyllic setting for the family in the tricked out travel trailer. You watch scenes of the children happily playing on swings and slides and the family smiling and laughing, sitting around a camp fire cooking s'mores, while a large dog slumbers nearby. You know the one I mean.
Well that's not the one I live in.
First off no grass or trees, but weeds aplenty and they grow well. At one time gravel was probably put down in the spaces but it has long since been driven over, shoveled under and piled in corners. The road is dirt, not too bumpy and the spaces are roomy enough, but the trailers are a mixed bag of all different sizes, ages and styles. Almost all of them have skirting for cold weather insulation. This skirting ranges from the nice, custom, heavy duty vinyl that's color coordinated and firmly affixed to the trailer to pieces of plywood, OSB and insulating foam (blue or white) attached with screws and/or expanding spray on foam adhesive.
Nearly everyone has a satellite dish, and some have two with cables running everywhere. Heavy duty extension cords run from electric pedestals, under trailers and through the sides of the RV pop-outs, and used to power who knows what. Some folks have large buckets with tomato's and other vegetables growing. Some have work areas for car repairs and many have mud rooms built over the front door to catch the filthy, muddy boots and work clothes and to keep freezing air from blasting into the trailer.
When an RV pulls out the empty space is swarmed over by various tenants set on recovering left behind items like plywood, insulating foam board, water hoses and structures like mud rooms and sheds. The only item no one takes-generally-are left behind used sewer pipes. The manager hauls these off.
There isn't a sense of community here.
It's as though you really don't want to make friends since this isn't home and you really are transient. Everyone is from somewhere else. Sometimes a couple of people will work together on moving something, vehicle repairs or hauling something off but it really isn't that kind of community. But, considering the options for RV living in Tioga, this place is as good as any and probably better. They are constantly working on various improvements, but a very short outdoor working season means the priorities are handled first and after that it's putting out fires. This isn't a place you want your children to live in for very long. People with families go back home. If the family comes they don't stay long.
I haven't minded too much. Tioga the town is a welcoming and pleasant place.
Our 5th wheel RV is a nice size (32ft) for extended living with room to spread out, lots of storage and everything works. If it were set up in one of those picture perfect sites it would fit easily, but it is going into winter storage. I must say I am looking forward to being back in Catalina just for the space alone. I will miss Tioga. Chuck will be pretty well set up in his townhouse in Dickinson since after this much time he has figured out what he really needs to be comfortable is a bathroom, refrigerator, washer/dryer, plenty of food and drinks, laptop, TV and movies.