October 9th, 2017 was the day Einstein lead me off on our great adventure to discover our country. After much planning and research about what to take, how to store it, good places to camp, and how to be safe, we hit the road.
We had planned to leave Saturday, October 7th and spend three nights in Ohio, visiting family. Because the solar generator didn’t arrive until Monday, we had to alter the plan. Once the generator arrived, we piled into the truck and off we went, leaving at about 8:00 in the evening. It was dark and I don’t like driving the DC beltway after dark, but I felt we should be on the North side of DC the next morning, to avoid rush hour traffic. We pulled into a Cracker Barrel and spent the night in their parking lot. The next morning Einstein and Emma had breakfast, water, and a walk. I went into the restaurant for breakfast. Perfect. (Thank you, Sue!)
The next day we arrived at Sherry Ziccardi’s. She is a gracious and loving hostess and friend. She had the bedroom all made up for me, but understood that I was trying to get used to sleeping in the trailer. It was a good night. The following morning she sent us on our way with bags of leftover stuffed peppers, corn on the cob, apples, and bottled water.
We arrived at a campground near Goshen, Indiana just after dark the next evening. The “RVing Women” convention I was there to attend was being held at the Elkhardt 4H Fairgrounds, but the gates wouldn’t open until the next day. There were several others from my chapter (Mid-Atlantic chapter) at the campground. We talked a while, getting to know one another. The following morning, we all caravaned to the Fairground. Arriving together assured that we would get campsites together. It amazed me that a fairground had over 250 full hook up campsites right there on the grounds. There were maybe 350 campsites all together. Impressive. I was located with the Mid-Atlantic chapter of the RVing Women organization. The women in the group were amazing. From the very beginning; helping me, watching over me, teaching me a new card game, which we played and played and played. Maureen (Reen) made me coffee every morning and often we had breakfast together. During the day we all attended seminars on tire safety, RV maintenance, fire safety, how to take care of holding tanks, and so much more. We participated in chair volleyball, which was a blast.
The Mid Atlantic chapter had a spaghetti dinner together outside on picnic tables. In one of the buildings there were vendors selling all sorts of great stuff for the RVing life. Two different evenings there were dances and I actually danced! I stepped out of my comfort zone and just flat out enjoyed every moment. A bunch of us went to the RV museum. Some of us went on a tour of the Newmar Motorcoach factory. Goshen is where most RVs are made. There are an untold number of factories/assembly plants. It was great to see exactly how they’re made. I understand that its a great place to live and work, with plenty of jobs. Newmar, in particular, is a Mennonite company.
It was difficult to say good-bye to my new friends. I am still amazed at how many women hit the road to explore and have adventures. I was very encouraged and inspired. Finally, on October 23rd, Einstein ushered us into the truck and we set off on the next leg of our adventure. I felt warmed by friendship and equipped with knowledge about what to do and expect over the coming weeks and months.
…forgot. I bought a hat in Goshen. Einstein barked at it for five minutes.