First phone call in the AM, surprised to have one available, pick it up early PM, pack, take off early next AM for Virginia Beach, VA! Would we remember how after all those months?
Print off our Packing List, contact postman to hold our mail, family email stating that Prairie Schooners were on the road again, Mapquest of destination & possible sightseeing in the area, make sandwiches, roll underwear(our slang for packing the suitcase because I roll everything!), hook up the Saturn, eat a "casserole" supper to clean out the fridge, and off to bed for a good nite's rest!
Early morning fog greets us as we cruise down the highway in this 37 foot, $245,000 Winnebago Journey. A "diesel pusher", Papa Jim's name for his favorite units! A quiet one, too, without a lot of noisy vibrating stuff! A camera on each side shows what he is turning into when the turning signal is on & what is behind when signals are not on. Always been black & white pictures, but this one has color! Watching the $$$$ roll up as you fill the 90 gallon tank with diesel is frightening, but we were pleasantly surprised to average 9.5 mpg even driving thru the mountains!
Under DOT rules he can be driving for 11 hours each day with a stop every 3 hours. What do you do for those hours on the Interstate??
- We watch license plates trying to get one from every state.
- We have a "train game" with points for the first one to spot a train!
- Playing radio roulette.
- Audio books from our local library make the miles fly by. This trip we listened to and can recommend "The Good Husband of Zebra Drive" by Alexander McCall Smith, one of the #1 Ladies Detective Agency Series. Also "The Shepherd of the Hills" by Harold Bell Wright, a gift from granddaughters, and "Mornings on Horseback" by David McCullough, a biography of Theodore Roosevelt.
- A sermon from the Daniel series that we missed last week.
- Sing-a-long with our favorite music CD's & cassettes
Road Construction Season was evident the entire way! It is always interesting to watch the changing scenery as we roll across the states. The flat fields of Iowa, Illinois & Indiana change into rolling hills of Ohio, into mountains of West Virginia and into the coastal plains of Virginia! The wildflowers in the ditches are beautiful this time of the year! Each of the cities we drive through or around has its own personality. Charlestown, WV is built in a valley along the Kanawha River offering 3 bridges to cross with large amounts of industry along the navigable river. But its gold domed capitol building stands out against the mountain backdrop! Wonder what it is like to live in a valley and only be able to see mountains all around you! Plainsman like us might have claustrophobia!!!
Weather is another hazard on long trips. The unit has a "weather band" radio to help us be informed. We drove through some heavy rain in the mountains in West VA going and coming home. The rain caused many mini-waterfalls along the side of mountains! We had to pull off the road during a storm near Peoria, IL on the way home. Near Sandstone, WV a hazmat team was setting up a detour around a trailer that had rolled with a tank that contained radio-active material. The town was being evacuated. Later we found out that that there had been no leaks in the tank! We drove over & through the Hampton Roads Bridge &Tunnel beside the Chesapeake Bay. Later we drove across a draw-bridge over the James River.
Delivery! Unload, unhook, deal with inspection and paperwork! This unit was sold. Meeting the buyer was a new experience for us! They were appreciative of our delivering it, excited to see all the bells & whistles and made us feel like we were an important part of this purchase! While waiting at the dealership we had the opportunity to do some Winnebago PR with 2 other customers that were waiting to talk to a salesman. Another young couple from England purchased an older small motor home to use while touring the states.
Job finished! We climb into the Saturn and take off for our sightseeing adventure!