Olean, NY

We spent an anxious two weeks in Olean, NY. We originally thought we’d spend just a few days, or possibly a week in the area, with the intention of spending a bit of time near Fred, Jake’s father figure.

We got COVID tested pretty soon after arrival, and then planned to quarantine until results came back so that we could see Fred as safely as possible. He’s 86.

But then life happened in the form of a funeral for Jake’s grandmother, and we decided that we would attend her graveside service. I didn’t know the woman overly well, but I do know that she loved cemeteries. COVID gatherings are weird, but it felt appropriate to attend a graveside service for her, at the cemetery she had chosen to rest.

COVID Test Tears

Getting COVID tested is highly uncomfortable. We pulled up our vehicle on our scheduled date and time and were soon on the receiving end of a nasal molestation procedure that left me feeling as if my brain had been mauled. Would I submit myself willingly to another COVID test? Yes, sure. But I will be a little bitch boi about it next time too.

We were negative for the Novel Coronavirus. We did catch a flat tire on the Jeep though.

When not spending time with Fred in the most responsible manner we could get him to agree to, we spent time fretting over the election and tracking the results of the election. Election day itself was a mix of dread and hope. I tried to hang out with hope as much as possible, which took the form of creating democracy themed snacks.

By the morning after election day, we were both filled with more dread than hope – but as it often does, hope slowly chipped away at the anxiety in our souls. Jake created quite the spreadsheet to track incoming data to help ease his worries. I turned my phone on airplane mode and read a book under the blankets in bed, reminding Jake to only update me if the news was positive news. We all handle stress caused by things that are not within our control differently.

We also enjoyed a Halloween in Olean, where Jake drove me past the areas that he reported to be the prime candy getting streets. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing all of the creative methods of candy delivery that Coronavirus has given rise to. While COVID has caused a rotten bouquet of hardships across many of life’s domains, Halloween does not seem to be one of them. COVID has increased the efficiency of candy distribution: stroll up the sidewalk, place candy receptacle at the bottom of a long chute, and receive candy. No need for awkward small talk. Get candy, move along. Perfect.

On my yearly day after Halloween run – which is the best day to run out of the entire year – I found that the kids of Olean are fairly careless with their spoils. I returned to the rig after an eight mile jaunt, much of which was not even on viable trick-or-treating streets, with pockets full of abandoned candy.

During our stay in Olean, we parked Dyna atop a hill at an RV park called Lake Lane Campground. We set-up house on a rainy day that showed the campground to be a bit of a mudpit. The campground is also not designed for rigs our size, and getting into a site with the hook-ups we paid for prior to arrival took a bit of coaxing. But shimmy in, we did. And if we didn’t look at the ground, the views were pretty decent.

While the campground owners did, upon seeing our behemoth size, try to talk us into taking a site offering 30A and water only, our insistence on 50A/H20/sewer and dance to get up into a spot proved worthwhile. It snowed twice and dropped below freezing on several evenings.

The campground had ducks, which were endlessly entertaining with their waddling in pairs from pond to pond. We enjoyed the ducks a lot.

With the weather officially turning from chilly Fall flavored to oh shit it’s gonna snow now, huh?, we’re headed South. Slowly still – we do want to hang on to the ease of the shoulder season of RVing that allows us to not commit to any plans to stay in any particular place.