Whew! I finally made it on the internet long enough to write a little about my travels. Thanks goes to my friend Whitney in New Jersey for welcoming into her home for a couple days!
Travels began on May 3rd (via a ride to the airport from Sara). We flew out of Austin to arrive in Atlanta, GA where the VW Camper RetroBus was waiting. Her name is "Daisy" and she is a lovely shade of HAPPY Yellow! I love her. Normally, she is a happy-go-lucky lady, but just like every person on the Earth, she has her moody times along with the regular nuances that you have to become accustomed to in order to get along with her. One such example is the unlocking sequence must occur in order because if you try to open any other door besides the slider, you may break the key off into the lock. Luckily, this has yet to happen! Once the slider is open, you may open the passenger door - get in - then open the driver's side. It's quite easy once you get the hang of it :-)
Daisy only tolerates 200 miles per day before she becomes exhausted; sometimes it's sooner if you are jaunting thru the multitude of hills in Virginia (where it took about 5 hours to travel that distance). She gets about 10 miles to the gallon and currently, fuel costs on average $2.85 in the Northeastern United States. Camping spots (most primitive tent sites) in the State and Nat'l parks range from $15.00 to $25.00 per night. But the sites have been prime - even if we aren't sleeping in a tent, and it's been truly wonderful.
Everywhere we travel w Daisy, she gets the thumbs-up, the peace sign, or any other Happy approval from those around her. The most common question is "What year is she?" The answer is 1977...she was born two years after me and we are meant for each other! She even has "REDUCE - REUSE - RECYCLE" painted in green on the inside portion of the slider door which I find very kewl...
So far we've explored Brasstown Falls in South Carolina, driven thru the Smokey Mountains, had ice coffee in Cherokee, North Carolina, seen Davy Crockett's birthplace in Jonesborough, Tennessee, hiked through the Brushtree area of Jefferson Nat'l Forest, walked a few feet on the 'official' Appalachian Trail, and been to the Natural Bridge and Caverns near Roanoke, Virginia. I've spent one (long) day in each of the following big cities: Washington, DC; Baltimore, Maryland; and New York, New York. I've done so much walking that it's easy to sleep from 10pm to 8am every night...
There has been quite a bit of card playing, horseshoes, picture-taking and iPod listening; some book and magazine reading, and even a few episodes of Northern Exposure on the laptop; some pretty COLD nights and many warm/humid days; occasional 50 mph gusts of wind and a couple of rain storms. All-in-all, the trip has been a dream come true!
I will post additional picutures when I return home, as I currently have no way to upload them from my digital camera. BOO-HOO!!!
What I would like to share with you is one of my morning scribbles while I was camped in Virginia, near the Natural Bridge. This will hopefully give you an idea about how lovely the experience was.
This morning, May 9th, I am sitting on a mossy fallen tree that lies over a running stream. I am surrounded by beautiful forest. I hear birds chirping and the water gurgling past rocks, trees, and other natural debris. The sun is peeking through the green coverage and should illuminate me soon. There is a moth spinning its wings while flying around me - probably wants the tasty sweater I'm wearing - it's near 40 degrees. I see a daddy-long-legs sitting on the leaf of a plant. I haven't seen one of those for years! I used to play with them when all the other little girls were freaking out ;-)
These prime camping spots are a blessing. They are nestled down into the mountains and are fairly frequently difficult to locate. The signage isn't the most traveler friendly at times. Luckily, I don't have plans of where to end up next, which makes it better in the long run and makes Life full of fantastic surprises!!!
What I have come to realize more vibrantly than ever, is that I am a WILDERNESS Girl...through and through (not to be confused with a country girl). The big cities simply drain me. I enjoy visiting them, but they do not energize me like the trees, streams, and nature does. When I am out there away from the concrete, I am FULL of Life. I am connected. I feel at Peace. I know within my heart and soul that the wilderness is where I am supposed to be. Interestingly enough, I am an Earth sign; charted Capricorn years ago. But since I am on the Aquarius cusp, I find my self as "the wanderer" - a gypsy. I am coming to terms with these aspects of myself and accept my soul for what it is. The more I have fought it in the past, them more unhappier I became. So no more fighting...I'm gonna roll with it!
AND Roll on to the Catskills and Woodstock, too!!! Oh, I just can't wait!!!! :-D