Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A Tiring Start

Having positioned the rig for a Saturday morning getaway, I slept poorly worrying about the driveway and finally, after solving the problems of the world, got up at 3:45 and turned on the coffee. We had received about 6 inches of new snow and I was out on the Kubota plowing at 5:00. Fortunately, the snow was light and easy to move.

Launching at 6:20 AM, we crept down the driveway in 4 WD and low gear. The Town had yet to plow the road but there were tracks from earlier vehicles and we made it to the highway without incident. Because of the weather, I decided to take the long way through Burlington and down Route 7. Traffic was light but it was cold - hanging at around 9 degrees for the first few hours.

We hit some snow down in Addison County but after a fuel stop in Fair Haven (boy did the rig look ugly with snow, ice, and salt/sand), we headed over toward the Northway and down to Albany. The trip down I-88 was long but uneventful and mid-day, we joined up with I-81 and headed southward. Gradually the temperatures rose into the low twenties and aside from a tough west wind, the travelling was easy.

After 11 hours or so, we pulled into a Walmart in Chambersburg, PA where we have overnighted before. It was a tough night, even though we were tired. It was Saturday night in farm country and every good ol' boy ( or girl) with a tuned exhaust system seemed to drive by, with the engine revved up. The trailer was cold. Our one propane heater was cranking bit after a day of frigid temps, the Airstream held a lot of the cold. The dog was happy since the heater was at her end.

I slept well but Mary did not and we decided to start early again, leaving around 5 AM for a 600 mile drive. It's nice to drive down I-81 early Sunday morning - very few trucks - and we had an easy time through the western tip of Maryland and into West Virginia. The ice and snow was still on the rig into Tennessee but finally, we saw 32 on the thermometer. Knoxville, usually a traffic hassle, was easy on a Sunday and mid-afternoon, we were finally on I-75 heading toward Chattanooga.

Last year, we stayed at another Walmart in Athens, TN but this year, I was aiming for Harrison Bay State Park where there was electricity and, as it touned out, water. After a last minute snag with MapQuest directions, we snaked our way through back roads to the park where a ranger with a wonderful Tennessee accent, told me to pick a spot and he'd come by to sign us up.

Only one section is open but there are only a handful of campers. It was great to settle in before dark, walk the dog, and get some exercise. We decided, since we like this place and its solitude (can't imagine it in the summer), to stay for a while. Yesterday, I washed the salt and grit off the Airstream and we did some neat birding. No wifi around and weak 3G, but it is great to have the iPads along this trip.

Today, Tuesday, it's raining pretty hard so we'll take it easy and let the 50 degree rain wash the truck.

Off to Quitman, MS tomorrow where we'll stay at Clarko State Park. Nice to have the long, snowy drives behind us.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


Shawn said...

Was wondering when you would surface again. Sounds like fun. Better than 20 below.

Robert Phillips said...

Amazing how far you had to go to find some warmth! We can enjoy it vicariously.