Snowpocalyse

Ashland, Virginia is a really pretty area. The countryside is thick with tall pine trees. While we were in a fairly populated area, it felt very rural. Even the shopping centers were surrounded by pine forest. Walmart never looked so good. We were staying at a very well run and commodious campground, Americamps, and were looking forward to a couple of days in one place without the activity involved in moving the Airstream. There was even a craft brewery, The Center of the Universe, just steps from our Airstream door. What more does one need?

We were sorry to go, but the news media was full of alarming reports about the coming storm. It was the Snowpocalypse. I consulted the woman in the campground office and she agreed that things were going to be crazy. She was concerned how long it would take for them to clear roads since they just don’t have the equipment for it. Also, no one that far south knows how to drive in snow and ice. With this in mind, we reluctantly hitched up and headed to our next planned stop.

We had reserved at a KOA in Greensboro, North Carolina. As big fans of Longmire on Netflix, we were seduced by the cheery way they answered the phone, “It’s a beautiful day at KOA!” I hope this will prove to be the nadir of our campground experiences.

We got settled in as the first flakes of snow were falling. A brief trip to the supermarket to stock up essentials displayed a populace in full panic. The shelves were completely empty of meats, water, milk and other essentials. There people were out of their minds frantic. That was scarier to us than the storm.

The next two days were the toughest part of our trip so far. We were socked with eight inches of snow and ice and below freezing temperatures. Not having expected winter weather, we were woefully unprepared for deep winter—no mittens, boots or heavy coats. Life in an Airstream in the extreme cold and ice is a little dicey. Our trailer kept us warm, but it was a lot like living in a tin can. A tin can on very slippery ground. It was pretty miserable. We were burning through propane at a fast pace keeping warm. The manager and owner of the campground took a powder and were nowhere to be found. We ended up unhitching the truck and heading to a local U-Haul place to refill our propane tank. As the cold worsened, the pipes in the campground bathroom froze. We were very happy not to have de-winterized, but that made us dependent upon the now freezing public facilities.

img_1470

After two days waiting out the storm and for the roads to be cleared, we hightailed it out of there. The road from the campground was a sheet of un-plowed ice and snow. We held our breath until we reached the highway hoping we would not end up in the ditch.

Advertisements

Greetings from the Road!

At long last, I am finally posting! The picture above seems ancient, from way back in November–several centuries ago! Newer images will follow.

Those of you who know me well will not be surprised to hear that I feel guilty that I haven’t written a blog entry to date. I promised everyone I would. There are two reasons for this. The first reason is that new experiences have been coming at us so fast and furious that there has been no time to process all of the information, emotions and ideas. The second reason is that we have been incredibly busy. Every minute of every day. I guess those two reasons are closely related, almost redundant, but all the more compelling for it.

IMG_4452.JPGIMG_2514.JPG93968037-4B63-4D9D-AE59-B998CFF4B96D.JPG

But I won’t bury the lead here. Don’t you want to know as you read this if our adventure is what we dreamed it would be? In a word, yes. YES! I won’t say there aren’t moments of stress (mostly due to our newbie status), but life on the road in our Airstream is everything we had hoped. Our little Airstream house is comfy and cozy. We have all the things we need including each other and, of course, Dakota. We are developing our routines and creating those comfortable expectations of life. And I have to say when I wake up in the morning, my first thought is tremendous happiness that we are here and there is much more ahead of us.

We took off on our big trip on January 3rd. December was a month filled with preparations. We almost didn’t get to go at all…due to big snows in CT followed by thawing ground. The Airstream was very visible in our yard and, as with all small towns, much remarked upon. After the big snow and then the big melt, the Airstream was deeply mired in our yard. Many up and down the road said we would never get it out. Even if the ground froze hard so we could pull it, it would then be frozen in place. Popular sentiment was that we were…in deep trouble. But with a little help from a new friend and Jim’s innovation, we were able to finally extract it and move to safer ground.

Safer ground was not without its own dangers as a dented bumper would attest. Our first destination upon leaving was the Airstream dealership (the Mother Ship) in Lakewood, NJ for some fine-tuning and repairs. Thanks to the patience and support of the team there, we were soon good as new.

img_1449

Because of the seasonal cold, the Airstream was still winterized. That means none of the water systems were working. We couldn’t use the sinks, shower or bathroom. Our original plan had been to de-winterize in Ashland, VA.

First lesson in life on the road, plans are made to be changed. The cold and snow dogged our heels. While we really liked the countryside around Ashland and our campground, horror stories of impending snow and ice forced us to flee south to Greensboro.

Want to know what happens next? Sign up, the next installment will be along shortly…

img_1458img_1455