Sunday, September 8, 2013

On the Road!!

This is the inside of our camper.  We managed to fill it up rather quickly!
 
Our family going away party - one of many tearful goodbyes!
 
September 2nd - the day before we left was a grueling day. We had spent the week saying goodbye to friends and family - and the never ending wave of “stuff”. We thought we were on schedule and had only a few things to do. We were wrong. By the end of the day, we were literally just throwing things in the trash, or into a bag and tossed it into the trailer. But at least it was over. The house was empty and relatively clean, and we had already been sleeping in the trailer since all the furniture was gone.


September 3rd - my 51st birthday was the day! After another tearful goodbye to my dear Addy, we pulled out of the driveway to begin our new, full time RV-ing life. We had been preparing for this day for months, and had been dreaming of it for decades. We had the trailer and truck both serviced and looked over, blood work and check ups for us both had been completed, our paperwork and affairs in order.

Ready to hit the road!
 
However, we are the Lemons, and nothing is sweet and easy when you’re a Lemon! So we had made it as far as Huber Heights on I-70 when we first heard the truck engine make a strange noise. “Was that us?” asked Noel. “I’m not sure” I replied. It only lasted an instant. But I began to pray. “Please God, don’t let us break down” - over and over.

The noise happened again, and again, and it got really bad as we started through the hills of West Virginia and Pennsylvania. It sounded like a clacking noise, as if a fan was hitting plastic or something. And I noticed that puffs of black smoke emitted from the tailpipe in cadence with the noise. More praying. And by this time I had a stomach ache and found myself urging the truck uphill - the only time the truck made noise was when we were climbing hills. “I think you can, I think you can” I was urging the truck.

We made it to the campground - Hidden Springs Campground in Pennsylvania - near Cumberland, Maryland. Our dear friend Retta met us at the campground with an amazing dinner - and a few wine coolers for me! - and we enjoyed the evening catching up.

The campground has no wifi or internet access, but our Camping World/Good Sam RV membership came in handy and they gave us a referral to a garage that works on diesel. Noel left bright and early to take the truck in, only to find out that Tri-State Fleet only works on semi-truck diesels. (Gee, thanks Good Sam!) They referred Noel to a mechanic a few more miles down the road. They were too busy to look at it that day, so Noel left the truck with the repair shop, and started to walk back. He finally made his way back to a gas station, where he called our friend Retta, and she thankfully picked him up and brought him back to the campground.

We spent the day at the campground. The weather was beautiful, we took a walk, there is a nice swimming pool here so I got some sun, we organized the trailer a bit, and did a lot of reading.

 

September 5th - Retta picked us up and we drove into Cumberland and caught the Amtrak train to Washington DC - it was a comfortable ride and even had a dining car where we had breakfast, and my beloved coffee! We arrived at Union Terminal and took a cab to the Holiday Inn near the Capitol Building. We got checked in and then walked a few blocks to the Holocaust Museum. My back was already hurting from the walk, so we rented a wheelchair and Noel kindly pushed me through. It was heart wrenching and moving, and I couldn’t help but think of what my parents had witnessed during the war - my father, though not Jewish, had spent months in a concentration camp, and my mother, who couldn’t have been more than 10 or 11 when she had fallen into a pit of dead bodies in the middle of the night as she ran away from a German soldier with less than admirable intentions. I couldn’t help but tear up when I saw the gruesome video coverage - what a shameful time in human history.

We made our way back to the hotel, where Noel settled in to watch some football, and Retta and I took a taxi over the Lincoln Memorial. We walked the area of the reflecting pool and visited the various monuments and memorials. I had not seen the WWII memorial or the Martin Luther King memorial - they had both been built since my last trip to DC, and once it got dark we took a cab back to the hotel.

The various monuments around the Washington reflecting pool.
 
We stated at the Holiday Inn Capitol, at 6th and Avenue C. It was a nice hotel, with a great shower, but the lumpy pillows and the cockroach I killed in the bathroom left me with a bad impression.

I was also in a bad mood because I had lost about $180 in cash. I was carrying the cash in my pocket thinking it was safer there than in my purse. So much for thinking! It must have fallen out when I pulled money out of my pocket to pay the taxi or on the train. Boy was I mad!

So after some much needed coffee, we took a cab to the National Zoo. It’s nice that the museums and the zoo are free - our tax dollars hard at work! The zoo was a lot of fun - lots of animals, and the weather was perfect. We borrowed another wheelchair, so anytime I needed to sit and rest, Noel again was a doll and pushed me around.
The National Zoo - I think if you click the picture it will make it bigger.
 

While at the zoo, the mechanic looking at the truck called - he replaced the EGR valve - cha-ching - there went $500 bucks. This was turning into an expensive first week on the road!

The train ride back to Cumberland was uneventful, we picked up the truck and said goodnight to Retta and are now settled in the trailer for the night.

 

1 comment:

b and bb cole said...

I love being able to "travel" along with you Anna. Wishing you all SOOOO much fun and happiness on this venture!