In the COVID Bubble - Winter 2021 travel blog

We usually don't come to The Great Outdoors until after the holidays. In 2020 "usually" is not a relevant word. We wondered how many other people are here this time of year, how many other COVID refugees are here escaping the high disease counts in the north. It is very quiet where we are camped. The site on one side of us is up for sale; our neighbor is moving to a much nicer one down the road. Our other neighbor is from Canada. Unless the vaccine works some miracles, they won't be here at all this year. Lots of Canadians normally come for the winter. We're wondering if their absence will be noticeable.

When we ride our bikes on some of the twenty miles of road inside the resort, many of the sites have RV's parked on them, but that's really no indication of whether someone is really here. Many folks leave the their rigs here and travel back and forth in a car or a plane. We rode through the neighborhood with the million dollar homes and it appeared quiet, too. If I had a million dollar home I might not come out of it much either. Here the sign of an absent owner was whether the hurricane shutters were still up. We hear that these folks never leave for the summer without putting up the shutters. With all the hurricanes that have gone by this season, having them up in November may be a smart idea.

Sunday night the rescheduled rocket taking four astronauts to the space station finally went up and we discovered there are many more people here than we thought. We joined about 200 of them on the driving range of the golf course, traveling there socially distanced two by two in our golf carts. Since it took off in darkness, my camera was not adequate to document the event, but once again the light from the rocket and the sonic boom that reached us almost a minute later were awesome. We heard on the news that the crowds in town were lighter than they were on Saturday, which was the original launch date, but in our golf cart we were home again in five minutes. The delayed launch time also caused a massive delay in the arrival time for the astronauts. If they had launched as scheduled, they would have met up with the space station in eight hours. Their Sunday departure meant that they flew for 27 hours before they would be ready to dock. The calculations required to rendezvous are daunting, but as the first stage of the rocket returned to a ship waiting in the ocean, we have every confidence that the mission will be a success.

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