Originally posted to ontheroadagainagain.com on May 5, 2016
After 2½ weeks of hopscotching around the country celebrating my 75th, it felt strange to be back home (in the Ark). My road trip started two months ago from home in Arkansas but was interrupted by flights to both coasts with a couple stops in the middle.
This feeling was new to me. Usually I’m instantly comfortable when starting out in my home on wheels. Was my dis-ease related to the whirlwind travel, suddenly realizing my age or what?
Yesterday I had trouble focusing enough to plan even my first day on the road. And getting on the road didn’t have the same thrill. Of course, rather than starting afresh from home, I was rejoining a trip in the middle . . . and in a strange city . . . and the interruption included major highs and lows (story to come).
Today’s first stop was the Vidalia Sweet Onion Museum in Vidalia, GA. A simple place with a docent that really knew her stuff. I had heard that Vidalia sweet onions were legendary. Today I learned why. I don’t even like onions, but these are peel-and-eat sweet. The growers are so protective of their specialty that they sought and won both state and federal protection from anyone who might “counterfeit” the Vidalia sweet onion.
Naturally the next stop had to be a nearby eatery to taste Vidalia onion rings. Good call. They’re better than Hackney’s – a Chicago standard against which all others are measured.
Although I was headed for Macon (more on that tomorrow) I was ready to stop. 50-100 miles is my usual limit for a first day and today was really a “first day.” Not only that it was a loud day. The exhaust gasket blew earlier on the trip so as I drive I sit right above poorly muffled explosions bursting at the rate of 300 per second.
I was aching for a place to park for the night. But for the next 150 miles there were no RV parks. None. I don’t think I’ve ever driven more than 50 miles without finding a place (not all of which I was willing to visit) but today there were NONE. Not even a Walmart parking lot.
Rather than a 50 mile day it had stretched to more than 200. As the afternoon wore on I just prayed for a safe place to spend the night. My prayers WERE ANSWERED. Right now I’m sitting on my patio 50 feet from water’s edge as motorboats buzz by in the distance.
How does this work? All day I’m grumpy. I ask for help and next thing I know I’m parked in Eden. Think it’s time to light a campfire and roast a brat . . . and reflect on why I’m so blessed.