Sun On Our Faces

As we headed to Aiken, the sun came out, the snow and ice disappeared and we could shed a few layers. It felt so good to be warm again. The sun felt warm on our faces.

Having had a few bumps in the road so to speak, Aiken State Park was our first real opportunity to settle in a bit. We were the only campers there. Besides the rangers and the campground host, we had the whole park to ourselves. It was a beautiful park. Our site was a back-in and Jim handled it perfectly. We were so incredibly happy and, even without water yet, I cooked a lovely dinner and we enjoyed the quiet and serenity. Looking out the windows there was lush green vegetation in all directions.


On day two Jim decided to try to de-winterize the unit. This was not a completely successful undertaking. Rather than discover the expected pink anti-freeze, when we began to operate the system, the toilet began leaking and we deduced that somehow the Airstream had not been properly winterized. That odd leak we experienced back in December took on new meaning and we realized it was the result of the toilet valve bursting. Oops. Clever as he is, Jim figured out how to get most of the system in operating order, we just didn’t have use of the toilet. Good enough for me, I could finally wash dishes in the sink rather than a bucket. It may not have been perfect, but we were reveling in what we had. I even took a shower in our own shower!

I had always been fascinated with Aiken, SC. Ever since reading On a Street Called Easy, in a Cottage Called Joye by Gregory White Smith and Steven Naifeh, I had wanted to visit Aiken. It sounded like a fabulous place. I loved that book for all its romance and the idea of chucking it all and making a new life. Somehow that resonated with me.

Aiken is big horse country. The roads around Aiken are lined with horse farms. Huge fenced paddocks and wide fields are dotted with long-limbed horses. Every other field hosts an assortment of jumps including cross-country fences. Every house features a horse trailer. It would seem naked without it.

We were very happily enjoying our stay in Aiken and now we had a social opportunity as well. My former colleague, Robert, and his husband, Milton, had retired to Aiken two years ago. I am not sure Robert ever expected us to drop by, but we had kept in touch and, please note, giving me your contact information can be dangerous.

We arranged to have coffee our second morning in Aiken. We had a delightful visit with Robert and Milton, saw their beautiful home and met their dogs, Lucas and Shorty. It was great fun. We tentatively made plans to have drinks and possibly dinner that night, but the sometimes capricious hand of Airstream life intervened.img_1487

After we left Milton and Robert, we began what would become an all-day attempt to find someone to repair our burst toilet valve. We called the closest Airstream dealer back up in Columbia, but he said they were way too busy. After many calls and finally coming to terms with both the fact that we were not going to make it to our next planned stop in Atlanta and we were going to drive three hours out of our way for a repair, that first fellow called back at the eleventh hour and said he would fix us up the next morning. Hooray! As the nav system says, “re-calculating…”

Our disappointment at missing Atlanta and the Atlanta Frosts was balanced by our relief. Just between us, we believe one of the people we talked to during the day called the first guy up and told him to help us out. They all knew each other. No matter. However it happened, we were thrilled! Ironically, I never did see Aiken, the town. This is fair warning to Robert and Milton that we will be back someday!


15 thoughts on “Sun On Our Faces

  1. I don’t envy the lack of amenities. It sounds like you two are enjoying yourselves, working toilet or no. Looking forward to seeing your continuing adventures. You should post a map with your route, adding to it as you go. Would be fun to see how far you’ve driven.


  2. Funny this should arrive today -I just came back from the craft store. I am armed with tons of pink wool and hat instructions – I am going to figure this out and make hats for everyone! – If not, everyone will have pink scarves at least!

    Our congressional district voted for HRC but kept our inept Republican Congressman. Every Wednesday night there are over 100 people protesting outside his office. John and I have been going – the # of people are growing each week, I keep hope that in 2018 we can turn the seat if we live through this all.

    Thanks for the update. I knew Robert from my Dell days, I am so glad to hear he is doing well and he looked great.



  3. We all know that the “facilities” will matter no matter if home or in
    You just got hit hard “out of the gate” – better times ahead – odds in your favor at this point.
    Really enjoying the “sidesaddle experience” – let me know if you find some fabulous yarn or Quilting stores during your venture.

    Enjoy and thanks for the great entertainment : >


  4. Hi Nomads! Happy belated birthday to Jenny and so nice to read your adventures. Looking forward to the next installment–what’s the next stop? Hope you will swing though Beverly Farms this summer or whenever you are headed back east. Keep having fun! Xoxo Shawna


  5. Great to see the trip going well – and HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Aiken is beautiful (stayed there a couple of years ago when going to the Masters in Augusta)… Also great to see the picture of Robert… Again – Happy Birthday!


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