~Friday, March 5, 2021~
Day 264 (Travel Day)
This is kind of a momentous day. We are sad to be leaving Florida after calling this “home” for about 9 weeks. But, we will be back and who knows…...it could be a possible contender to settle down. Moving north, we’re headed to our savior of an RV park in Statesboro, GA. It was quite an eventful drive as we saw aftermaths of 3 accidents…..one that appeared to be a highway construction related accident, a car flipped over on the opposite side of the highway (causing at least an hour long backup) and the one hitting too close to home…...a burned out 5th wheel trailer. The only thing Jeff and I could surmise on that one, is that maybe something fell on a dimly lit burner on the stove, causing the fire. I wouldn’t think something would catch on fire spontaneously (wiring, etc) without being used. But when you’re towing it, you would have no idea. So many things can happen as a result of being in a hurry too. Who knows, but think this happens more frequently than we’d like to believe.
After the 3-½ hour drive we made it to our spot at Parkwood. Dotted with quite a few leafless trees, and about 5 long rows of trailers surrounded by lawn, and very neat, it’s an acceptable place. Our spot is about the 3rd row in from the modestly trafficked road. But, we are just grateful that we didn’t have to stay in a Cracker Barrel parking lot. The manager had asked me what brings us to Statesboro, and with trying not to use the “we couldn’t find anything else” statement, I simply said we were on our way to Charleston, South Carolina. Apparently, we’re missing the Annual Botanical Garden Show in about 2 weeks, but might see the beginning bloom of the azaleas. For the next 3 days, without the sightseeing temptations, this is a perfect opportunity to get our tax prep done and plan out as much of our future lodging as possible. With our limitations in keeping up on the news, it’s nice that our dear friends are looking out for us. Our good friend Mimi said she’d just heard on the news about how most of the popular campgrounds are booking up already for the summer. And that’s newsworthy? This just validates what we sort of already knew. And we certainly could do without the stress of last minute bookings.
Normally when we arrive somewhere new, we launch immediately into setup mode. But today was the exception since I was already in the middle of booking a reservation on the drive and wanted to keep going. Sometimes the planning goes really smooth, and sometimes, not so much (like last night) ….but no matter what, it is time consuming. So we spent about 2 hours at the picnic table just hashing out our bookings for the next 7 weeks. All went pretty smooth with having to adjust our route slightly with the Greenville, SC and Tallulah Gorge, GA route to get the accommodations we wanted. The good news is we didn’t have to “settle” on anything. It wasn’t like our first or second choices weren’t available and had to settle on a number 3 or 4. We really lucked out, but still have a ways to go.
Then for the setup before dark. In the process we met our neighbor from Missouri who has been at this park for about a month. She and her husband, on a whim, sold their home, put their belongings in 3 storage units and hit the road to Georgia. While staying in Statesboro with the occasional visit to see their children and grandkids, they’re trying to figure out where their next home will be in the peach state. We love hearing everyone’s stories about where they’ve been, and where they’re going.
As we were trying to dial in our stay in the Great Smoky Mountains and looking at the U.S. map, we had a discussion about the differences between the western side of the U.S. vs. the eastern side. In the west you have big lakes, big mountains, big cities, big deserts and lots of wide open space. There’s also more national forest, and BLM land allowing more opportunities for boondocking and in turn saving money. With the vastness of everything, you’re also experiencing more nature based activities. In the east, everything is smaller. There isn’t the enormousness of land, the population is more dense and if you think about it, since this is where colonization all began, it’s still the more “occupied” territory in the U.S. Though you can still be out in nature, the east is more about learning history, visiting museums, memorials, parks, etc. We’re also finding that the lodging near those popular areas is quite expensive. This has actually been a little surprising as we were thinking that things would be cheaper than California. They’re not. And with the surge in RV’ing, and the demand so high, prices are going up. The consensus is that the places that people normally frequent, are becoming harder and harder to get into. And especially with COVID, people are sticking closer to home and doing more camping. The whole dynamic has completely changed, so you really have to be on your toes so you’re not left stranded.