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.
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.