The trip to FL took us five days of driving and four nights of rest. We arrived to our destination park on time and in one piece! Each leg was between 250 and 300 miles which turned out just right for us and Lily. We stayed a night in VA, NC, GA, and Tallahassee, FL before settling in on the gulf coast at a beautiful campground which will remain unnamed until we depart. Chris drove the entire way which allowed me to occupy Lily with “Crinkle” the peacock, stories from Wind in the Willows, and various items for sucking. I pumped every so often and fed her from the bottle which allowed us to keep on truckin’. She slept a fair bit and cried when she needed to and overall she’s the best of travel buddies.
Thursday had Chris up at the crack of dawn shoveling the camper out of nearly a foot of snow! He and John worked at a good pace to clear off the driveway, truck, and camper roof and we headed out by 10:30. Through NJ, PA, MD and VA we passed snow-stuck trees and enough billboards to last a lifetime. The truck traffic was pretty heavy making it difficult to travel above 55mph because of the draft created when they pass. This was of course fine because we are in no hurry and it afforded me the chance to gaze across fields of hundred(or more)-year-old farms and out to the mountains lined up all around us. We stayed just beyond Washington D.C. that night in Stafford, VA.
We awoke to the beginning of a snowstorm and so packed it up early and got on the road. We drove out of the snow soon enough and into some beautifully sunny weather. The landscape slowly changed to groves of pine trees with perfectly straight, bare trunks with an umbrella of needled branches at the top. I began reading the adventures of Mole and Rat from Wind in the Willows, a most excellent book given to me in 1988 by my Nana and Poppop that I never read until now. We arrived in NC at our campground a bit disappointed by the proximity to I-95 but nonetheless enjoyed the sunset and crescent moon that night. Chris met a man who had converted an old Harvard University bus into an RV and was in his twelfth month of still “working on it” at his campsite.
Saturday was our earliest start around 9:15. We were only twenty miles from the SC border which meant every other billboard was for South of the Border. We got a kick out of the one that said “You never sausage a place” with a huge 3D sausage on the board. I’ve got to admit: they were right. I-95 flattened and straightened out in SC. The highway is lined with soft pines and swampland. I would guess we were passed by about 100 RV’s that day with license plates from all over. Before heading to the KOA in Savannah, GA we went to the Food Lion for some groceries. They had very little organic produce and a tiny natural food section but we found what we needed minus soft taco shells which all included hydrogenated oils. It was pretty comical that we wheeled our cart out into the parking lot right to the camper and loaded up our fridge, freezer and cabinets right there. The KOA was beautiful and Chris was even able to wash the rig clean of all the salt mess.
Southern Georgia and northern Florida are swampy. On the map it looks like a child took blue tempera paint and dragged their fingers from I-95 out to the Atlantic in squiggly lines. We listened to a talk from a Center for Action and Contemplation seminar called “The Great Chain of Being: Simplifying Our Lives” which reminded us to live in the moment and that what we are looking for is right here. We began to see palm trees and live oaks as we made our way through probably some of the most rural land I’ve seen: nothing but highway, hitchhikers, and trees for miles. Tallahassee being the capital of Florida is equivalent, we decided, to Montpelier being the capital of Vermont…times change. We stayed at a modest RV park there and made use of our new sewer hose set up after giving up on our so-called ten-foot model which didn’t cut it at most sites. We asked for pull-through sites at each stop so didn’t have to unhook the truck (a common complaint of travel trailers). We got full hookups at each campground so never had to do the dump-on-the-way-out process. Even amongst many enormous motor homes, we are really happy with our choice of rig.
Our last day of driving was only 150 miles so it went quickly. We crossed into Central Time, gaining an hour, and we enjoyed the longer first day here with a walk to the gulf where we were greeted by beautiful green water and bleach white sand. We’ve already begun the process of unkinking our necks and stretching our legs and vow to walk to the beach each day.