(updated) Rambling Over Coffee: Willy-Nilly over real star id, passports and... I must make a decision on reservations

From one of our hiking and camping trips

Regular readers might recall today was the day I needed to have my mind made up about whether or not I'm doing another cross-country camping and hiking trip this Fall.  My destination is out west where certain locations need reservations and permits so being all willy-nilly and just winging it doesn't work.

Thanks ok because my personality is not a willy-nilly-er kind of person.

adverb: willy-nilly

without direction or planning; haphazardly.

I would be traveling solo so safety is first and foremost in my mind.
I'd be doing dispersed camping (or boondocking) all the way out there (so, kind of willy-nilly-ing it) but once I arrive in that area I'd like to set up camp and stay put for about 3 days, and I'd like to do it in the campground area for my safety (and I think they have showers there, which would be amazing by that point in my travels).

But they are so busy in that part of the country that they open up reservations 6 months out 'to the day' so assuming I'd want a reservation on September 8th, I'd need to jump online and get it made March 8th or it probably won't happen.

Thus, my rambling post about how I really should have made my decision by now.

Update: I didn't make the reservations. For many reasons I didn't go into here, I think I need to put this trip on hold.  Do something closer to home this year.

How far in advance can you renew your passport?

I'm married to a guy who isn't a procrastinator so much as a "I just didn't think about it" kind of guy.

He procrastinates for 30 seconds and after that, the thought is LONG gone. He's a "SQUIRREL!" kind of guy. 

Over the last few years I've told him he is going to need to get his "Real ID" driver's license.  The one with the star on it that proves you've waited in line with 100,000 forms of id to prove who you are so you can fly domestically after October 2020.

The last time he had to renew I suggested he get it done.

He was going to fly to business meetings in February; I reminded him in December that he should go his star id and be done with it.

I gathered my paperwork and went to get MY real ID in January.  I asked him to come along.  I've got the paperwork, I'm doing mine.  Come with me and get it done.
I reminded him.  He won't be able to fly to his meetings in November unless he has his 'star id'  or a passport.

He told me he'd just use his passport.

A couple days later I got his passport out of the firebox.

It just expired 3 days previously.

So now he has no real ID.
No current passport.
Unless the government pushes back the 'real ID' flight mandatory again, he will not be able to fly to his meetings this Fall.

He's seriously concerned and pondering that for about 3 minutes before... squirrel!  He completely forgets all about it.

About a week later he's heading in to get a haircut on his day off.  I suggest he stop by and get some passport headshots made.  If he will just get the photos, I will do the paperwork.  I will fill it out online for him and we can print them and send it off.  He only has to get the headshots for me.

He comes home with a fresh haircut.  No photos.
I have no plans to fly and my license didn't expire until 2023 but I went and got MY real 'star' ID.

And my passport didn't expire until next June but I just filled all MY paperwork and attached the headshot and sent it in for renewal on Friday.

I looked online to see how far in advance you can renew your passport.  I couldn't find a 'for sure' answer on the gov sits but I see "9 months" thrown around quite a bit on other sites.  Mine doesn't expire until next June but I sent it off anyway.  Because when you are married to a SQUIRREL! person I think you somehow try to compensate by being overly prepared and wanting to have all your ducks in a row.  As if that somehow equals out their being 'willy-nilly' (that word again!).

Ying and yang and all that.

But me having my real id and passport isn't going to help him get to his meetings this fall.

Update:  I just mailed off my old passport and the renewal application on Friday.  I paid $8.50 or whatever the charge was for tracking.  Guess that makes ALL the difference on the speed of delivery as well because I'll be darned... by 2:30 pm today - Sunday - it was already delivered in Philadelphia. That means it made it there in less than 2 days!?  It's taken up to a WEEK to mail a letter to my family members only 400 miles away (without paid tracking).

Now, let's see how far in advance you can renew. Maybe they'll turn me down as it's too far ahead? 

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