Friday, June 3, 2011

We finally made it!

Wow, the last week has just been a blur, & I’m finally able to get caught up with my blog! We were still hauling off stuff last Saturday, so we spent all day Sunday just loading up what was left that we were taking with us. We finally left our house for the last time at 5pm & headed for my parents’ house. We were dangerously overloaded, but Jeff aired up all the tires & drove slower than usual for the 2-hr trip south into a good headwind. It was a good travel day, weather & traffic wise. No scary moments thankfully. But when I say we were loaded, I mean floor to ceiling to the door! I felt like the Clampetts moving — it just didn’t show from the outside.

Of course, the weather finally turned extra hot & humid (normal Plains' summer weather), so unloading the trailer just enough to sleep in it Sunday night was a disgusting chore. I’m so tired of needing ibuprophen just to manage to move without complaining.

Unfortunately, we spent too much of Memorial Day reorganizing, repacking, & storing our stuff for our journey to NC to workkamp. We left all the ‘winter’ stuff & much of the boondocking items at my parents’, so we’re hauling much less with us for the summer.

The two cats did surprisingly well traveling. I expected to hear complaints all the time, but they both settled down & slept for the most part. The “backseat” of the pickup is filled with a large soft-sided dog crate for Kira, a smaller (Kira’s soft-sided puppy crate) for Boots (the 20# Maine Coon), and a large, hard-sided cat crate for TK (small, half-Manx). They all have room to sit up, turn around, or lay down comfortably. And with our smell & familiar items in the trailer, the cats also felt at home in the trailer.

After filling up the gas tank, we headed off for NC Tuesday morning at 9:30am. We made a quick Wal-Mart stop for some basic supplies. For lunch, we spent a very relaxing half hour eating at a roadside park.

The temperatures continued to hover around 90º all day long so we didn’t want to stop to sleep without A/C until it got cooler. Well, that didn’t exactly happen. There was some nice sunset color showing in my side mirror though. DSC03502

Jeff finally got enough itch rubbed off his feet to stop driving at 10pm. I was proud of myself for staying awake with him. We found a place to park along the side of a truck stop parking lot & managed to go to sleep pretty quickly although it was still “warmish”.

We woke up about dawn to some fog & cooler temps so hit on the road quickly. It was still a warm day but the wind wasn’t as strong as the day before.

About 11am, we turned off I-81 at Marion VA onto VA-16 heading south. Gorgeous, fantastic, beautiful scenery!

We discovered that 75% of all the Christmas trees sold in the US are raised in this area. Tree farms were everywhere.

Now anyone who uses a GPS knows that they can send you down strange roads. I have a GPS receiver hooked to my laptop using DeLorme Street Atlas software. I had the route programmed in so everything was going great. . .until we got to a spot where our road separated with two highways. I didn’t realize we needed to follow the highway that turned to the left, but Jeff turned right to follow the highway we were on initially before I realized we needed the other highway. Oops! Of course, he couldn’t (wouldn’t?) turn around, so we ended up on an alternate route to the campground. It was a solid road, but definitely narrow, windy, hilly, and remote!

We are SOOO happy that our little Casita with it’s high-axle just follows right along wherever the 4x4 pickup truck takes it! We most definitely took the scenic route to the campground, coming in from the west side of the New River instead of through Piney Creek on the east side of the River. But — we made it just fine by shortly after noon on Wednesday, June 1! Now the 'real' adventure starts.

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