Settling In


Our new summer home is a radical departure from past summers when if we were not traveling we lived in a marina environment either on the boat at dock, or in the Trek in the marina parking lot.

Summer site at Montezuma

Now we live at the end of a dead end road in the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge.


The Trek faces southeast and shading the site patio in the morning.  Trees and tall grasses make us almost invisible to cars entering on the Refuge road.  The sun sets in the evening through the trees just in front of the marsh beyond.   Our nearest neighbors are a pair of Ospreys nesting a few hundred yards away.  They entertain occasionally with their calls but are invisible to our view out the Trek’s front window.


Osprey neighbors atop pole to left of trees

Sunset view

We settled in, put the awning out and bought two extra outside chairs so guest have comfortable seating.  The extra chairs let us set up an afternoon patio on the opposite side of the Trek so we don’t have to drag chairs to get out of the late afternoon sun when sitting outside.


The feeling of being settled in for a long time rapidly got us a bit too complacent and lulled into not being as watchful of the weather as we normally were on the boat or when traveling on the Trek.  We badly misjudged an approaching storm that as it passed over Seneca Falls became a microburst causing major damage in town.  We found ourselves in 40+mph wind and rain getting soaked to the skin trying to retract the awning.  The wind decided to help and the windward end of the awning became a giant sail flying up until with a snap the windward support arm that had been acting like a spinnaker pole broke free from the awning roller and came crashing down.  Without the arm holding the awning out the roller crashed back against the Trek, dropped down, and plastered the awning tight against the Trek body.   Minutes later the wind was gone and we had a mess on our hands.


Wet clothes and shoes got spread out to dry.  Then after a bit of obligatory beating myself up for not taking action sooner in the face of an oncoming storm I sat back and figured out a way to roll the awning back up and secure it for travel so we could get it repaired.  A new end cap and return spring are on order and soon we’ll be back to normal and have the awning back to provide a bit of additional shading.


A dowel holds the broken awning in place for travel.

Now with that lesson fresh in our memory, we’ll continue on with the adventure of being full time volunteers—which is proving; as you will shortly read, to be an interesting, enjoyable, and healthful experience.


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