This post will be mostly travel related. The Big Tent Season at Atlanta Opera having ended, the return to Valdosta was uneventful and the home routine was quickly re-established. BUT WAIT. At the end of the Atlanta visit, I received word that the R-Pod 180 (Roxy) had arrived at Horizon RV in Lake Park and was ready for me to come for the final walk-through and bring her home!
It was a balmy Wednesday morning when I traveled a bit south and met Roxy! Jason did the walk-through and I was, of course, overwhelmed with the amount of information necessary to be a successful RVer! Having taken somewhat copious notes, Teddy (Tacoma) and I drove Roxy from the Horizon lot next door to the almost abandoned outlet mall parking lot. It was time for back up practice. Knowing that I would need to end this trip home by backing into the driveway at Princeton Lane, I was determined to persevere and gain understanding.
Armed with knew-found knowledge, I confidently approached the target. After about ten tries (maybe more!) and almost taking out my neighbor Fred’s driveway lights, Roxy came to rest in almost the right spot, well, close enough!
The next few days were spent learning all I could about being an RV owner/operator. Then it was time for the first test! Having convinced Moxie that the camper was not evil, we spent two practice nights sleeping in the new digs! It was quite an accomplishment!
The next level of difficulty would come with a short two night trip to a local campground or state park. We chose Reed Bingham State Park in Adel, about 35 miles from home. The trip was uneventful except for the loose sway bar that produced a horrifying dragging sound as we pulled up to the camp office. After checking in, I analyzed the problem and it seems that I had not put the appropriate cotter key all the way through the sway bar attachment. Realizing this, it was a quick fix and we were off to our site. The camp is set up in loops and we were at site 16. The ring road around the camp was one-way, so not much chance of error. HAH!
Yes, I saw the number 16 on the post. I dutifully pulled into the center of the site only to discover I was parked in the middle of the road, right next to where I should have been. Did I simply back up and enter the site properly? HAH!
One more one-way trip around the loop and into the site perfectly! I went about the business of setting up, chocks, stabilizers, unhitching, leveling, electric hookup, water. It all went well, I and felt like I was understanding quite a bit about this new world! Moxie and I spent Sunday and Monday evenings walking the park as well as eating and sleeping in the camper. All in all it was a successful test. I only needed about eight backup attempts to return Roxy to the home driveway.
Now I was ready for the ultimate test – a long haul, multi day bona fide RV adventure!
With the Covid mess, the relatives who usually assemble at our home for the holidays decided against air travel. Aija’s mother, Valda is 97 and it’s important that her children spend as much time with her as possible. We even do a weekly family Zoom meeting to help accomplish this purpose. At any rate, an opportunity presented itself – I could take the camper to Silver Spring, MD and pick up my brother-in-law, Dainis, and bring him home to spend the holidays with his mother.
Thus began the adventure that I am currently pursuing. As a matter of fact, as I write this, I am sitting in the middle of a field on the property of the Cartersville Country Winery close to Timmonsville, SC. This is my first stop on the way north. All indications are that a huge storm is on the way to the east coast – OF COURSE! Actually this first leg of the trip went very well.
BUT DIASASTER WS LURKING AROUND THE CORNER!
After driving to my site, I went to unlock the door, only to discover that I did not have my camper keys! I did make two stops along the way. one for gas, and one to use the facilities in the camper! I can only assume that either I left the keys in the door and they wiggled themselves out during the ride, or I accidently pulled them out of my pocket to get my car keys or money, or something. I diligently searched the interior of the truck, but nothing appeared!
The extremely kind host at the Winery, managed to drill out the lock without damaging the latch and I was able to gain access to Roxy. This gives me a great reason to add a numerical keyless lock upon return to Valdosta.
So I kept the camper hitched to get an early start on leg two tomorrow. I had tracked mud all over the floor and so out came the mop. Next was a shower for yours truly! I had hooked up the water and turned on the water heater, so a good shower ensued. Next, into the PJS and think about dinner. I opted for Jasmine Rice with Turkey Sausage and Cheese – excellent, although I’m not quite ready for my RV cooking show! I set the thermostat at 68 and the furnace did its job. I settled in to watch some TV and I thought I might as well document all the vagaries of the day.
Bless you if you’ve actually read this far. I’ll be turning in tonight wondering what tomorrow might bring. I’ll be on my way to Prince William Forest RV Campground in Dumfries, VA, then a side trip minus Roxy, into Silver Spring to pick up and bring Dainis back to the csmper.
I’ll let you knowhow it all goes. Peace. – Jim