Life After Hang-Gliding
When we left you last, we were in recovery from our flying adventures. I am happy to report that Pat’s scabs from his close encounters with the sand dunes are gone. We did manage to get right on the road the next day, although a little stiffly. Made a stop for a night in Williamsburg. I will say that I was a terrible navigator through the Hampton Roads area. The one area I actually lived in and I managed to get us going the wrong direction on the interstates not once, but twice. Getting off and back on the highways and u-turns are not preferred in big girl Lucy, but Pat is pretty good at maneuvering and patient as well.
We have met some extraordinarily friendly people on this trip. Once of them was at the Williamsburg campground. We chatted up this guy as he walked by our coach, and after dinner he came knocking at our door offering Jackson a huge baggie of t-bones from their steak dinner. Jackson gave that place two paws up and set to work on the biggest bone. Our next door neighbor offered us an entire watermelon, and if not for Pat’s melon allergy, we would have taken him up on it.
Virginia is beautiful this time of year, but have to report still hot. We had a 2-night stay at Shenandoah River State Park and enjoyed a drive on Skyline Drive. Two bears bounded across the road in front of us in broad daylight and that night I counted 7 rabbits on our evening walk. Jackson wants to chase them really, really badly – the rabbits, not the bears!
Jackson loved the river and I was thrilled to find blackberry bushes hidden among the Queen Anne’s Lace. Ate a few right off the bush and it took me back to my childhood trips to Alabama. We always went blackberry picking and I’m happy to report that this trip did not include the childhood chiggers.
This stop was a nice chance to rest up in a very peaceful setting. Of course we have learned that the unexpected pops up right about then. The night before we were bugging out, we woke up at 3am to an odd smell. Did we leave the gas on perhaps? No….I apparently left the bathroom faucet dripping slightly. Normally no big deal, but we have a holding tank that is finite and when full, it fills up the shower pan. And when that is full, you can guess what happens next. We were “smelling” the grey water which had filled the shower, overflowed and was making its way throughout the coach floor. Yuck. 3-4am turned out to be mop up phase and figure out what the heck we are going to do.
In the AM we go into action. Step 1 – GO DIRECTLY TO DUMP STATION. Step 2 – Skip on down to the campground laundry and wash all those wet towels. Step 3 – Soap up and hose down the area rug that fortunately managed to soak up most of the overflow. The good news is that “things” seem to happen at the best times for us. This campground did not have a checkout time until 3pm and we had planned a short drive for the next day. I mentioned the heat – well that hot, hot sun managed to dry out our rug almost completely before we had to leave. The day is saved!
Next stop post-flood is Gettysburg. We have 3 nights here thank goodness. I wanted to see where Lincoln delivered his famous Address. Merely 10 sentences in length, and the message still resonates today. “…that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom – and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
Pat tries to look presidential while I put my arm around Mr. Lincoln.
We took an auto-tour of the battlefields for several hours and in the middle of a rip-roaring thunderstorm. Learned that this battle was a 3 day event and one Union General got his appointment because Lincoln liked to say his name – Schimmelpfennig. This same general gets to hide next to a pig trough for a few days to avoid Confederate capture.
I liked this view with the cannon. Also had to take a shot of the monument marking the supposed spot of the Gettysburg address. There is controversy over this spot, but close enough for me. Almost got a clear shot with no one blocking the monument, but couldn’t wait out this lady, and it was raining again.
We had a great lunch in downtown Gettysburg and it is actually one of my favorite meals so far. The special at the pub was a hamburger topped with mac-n-cheese and bacon. Just couldn’t resist ordering it and it was delicious!
Final word on Pennsylvania. Found out we love, LOVE pretzel rolls. We ate up the first batch and had to go back to the little grocery store for more. We’re hoping to snag more on the return trip.
Boot Camp Graduates
Pat and I have the pins to prove we are official RV Boot Camp graduates. This 3-day course along with the Escapees 56th Annual Escapade was the main reason for our journey this time out. Goes without saying that we made it safely to Vermont and now have a total of 9 states on the travel map.
For those of you curious about boot camp, we learned about all the RV systems in our house on wheels. That includes electrical, water, sewer (yes, the favorite) and propane. We also learned about safe driving practices, weight (coach and our “stuff”), as well as personal, tire and fire safety. Our homework is to equip the coach with proper detectors and practice going out our emergency exit window in the bedroom.
The best part was meeting quite a few couples who are now full-timing and love it. Seems the key is getting along with each other, taking things at a slow pace and being handy. Tons of maintenance involved with hauling around your whole house and things just seem to break. Or maybe I’m just good at breaking them.
We wish we had more time to really explore Vermont. It is beautiful and land of Subarus, Creemies (that’s an ice cream cone for those not from ’round here), farms and mountains. You just can’t beat being sandwiched between the Adirondacks and Green Mountains.
Lake Champlain is stunningly beautiful and we enjoyed watching the sailboats and ferries. Everyplace was landscaped and the flowers were gorgeous. Can’t believe this is July here! Pat and Jax pose in front of the flowers and I take an artsy shot sitting under a tree relaxing.
I’ll leave you with a shot of our boy Jackson.
He is very, very tired, but perks up nicely every morning. Jackson is hearing “Killing Me Softly” and we’re happy to be on the road again. See you on down it.