Monday, May 4, 2009
We made it out of the house and into the RV. The house was piled with collections of clothes here, pans there, pantry items and boxes on the floor [ow!] which eventually migrated into the RV. I remembered the wine and the toothbrush charger. Forgot the dishrag. An advantage to the RV is that many things can be left in it for the next trip, but not food or anything a mouse likes to chew on, or the stuff you use in the house for which you have no duplicates.
We did NOT leave on time. It always takes longer to depart than we think. I made it to First Saturday Mass, impatiently listening to the homily...and then finally when we did leave, realized those extra 10 minutes that morning wasn't a blip in the overall time it took us. Typically, I 'stow' everything in its place for a short trip. But stuff for 5 weeks or more takes considerably longer to put away. Determined to leave before time turned into the next day, we finally just stuffed everything into paper bags and lodged them immovably anywhere we could. Dennis did a great job immobilizing boxes and bins with pressure rods. [Being knocked out by flying objects while going down the road is counter-productive.] As Dennis drove, I moved things around and put stuff away. Made the bed. I also brought him, the driver, food and drink. And I took a short nap.
Got down to Knoxville in one day, in spite of advice to travel around 250 miles a day, we doubled that. Dennis did all the driving [though we did stop SIX times, grrrr]. A long first day isn't so bad. Perfect day for travel: cool and slightly overcast.
Its a beautiful drive down the Shenandoah Valley. Its not craggy Appalachia, nor the rolling Piedmont of horsey Virgina, but in between. Hilly farmland with lots of flatland surrounded by mountains on either side. Settled by a lot of Germans, you can imagine them being reminded of home in this environment. Everything is lush and deep green from the recent rains. Black Angus stood out against the bright green pastures.
We did what all campers hate to do: arrived at an unfamiliar campground in the pitch black darkness. Dennis had called ahead several times to let the campground know we were late - its better than waking em up at midnight, searching for the lot with a flashlight, making a lot of noise waking the other campers. So he knew to "drive straight ahead, past the dumpster, park in the pull-through next to the brown rig". Dennis unhitched the car, situated the levelers, plugged in the electricity. I immediately cooked a bit of meatloaf since we hadn't eaten anything except a salad. Then it started to rain and we conked out.
Suddenly it was Sunday. Still raining. We had freshly ground and brewed coffee and artichoke quiche. The Traditional Latin Mass we were attending wasn't until 1:30 PM. At first I thought this inconveniently late but it turned out to be perfect since we slept so late and worked a bit at organizing the RV. After a bit of puttering, we got ourselves showered and into Sunday Best [RV style], put the dog in the car and followed the GPS to our next destination.
Dennis driving south down I-81, through Virginia's Shenandoah Valley.