Day 4. I'm writing from the Visitor's Center at the University of Georgia where my friend Tamora is a professor and my friend Emmanuel is a Ph.D. student in astrophysics. He's at a meeting right now so I'm hanging out waiting for him. I slept on his couch last night and took my first shower since Sunday!! The shower in the van is not really working. I'm not sure if I will try to get that fixed, or just take showers are campgrounds and such. That's the beauty of this trip - I don't have to decide! I can do whatever I want! (like not bathe for four days...)
I arrived at UGa. yesterday and met both Emmanuel and Tamora here at the Visitor's Center. Tonight the three of us are joining my friends Mike and Zack (who just got married this summer!) for dinner at a Mexican place. Mike and Zack just relocated to Atlanta a couple of weeks ago, so I get to visit three friends in one fell swoop!
The first pic below is my view from inside the van when I wake up in the a.m. (specifically, this was Tuesday, my first morning). It looks much brighter in this pic than it does in reality. It's much darker and much cozier. I feel safe and protected and all snuggled in, which is a wonderful feeling :-)
The biggest adventure of my day yesterday was when I tried to unhook the electrical cord and the dumping hose from the van. I couldn't get them unhooked! I didn't have the strength. I called my contact at the RV park and his son was on the way to help, but wouldn't be there for another 30 minutes. Then my nice neighbor Bill (pictured here with his little rescue dog "Miss Penney" (said with a Southern accent) was kind enough to undo them for me.
Then when it came to putting the dumping hose back into its housing unit I got stalled. First, I couldn't find the pin that holds it in place. I was positive I put it on the ledge of the door to section with all the hoses and couldn't find it anywhere! AND I couldn't seem to get the hose back into place. Luckily, Bill opened the van door and I had put the pin inside the door (this was after I had searched and searched for at least 15 minutes).
After a while of trying and trying to get the hose into place I called Diane (the owner of the van) and she suggested that I take the cover off and put it back on aligned differently, as well as grab the housing unit from behind and those two things did the trick! When I got that hose in place, and the hole lined up for the pin it was like a VICTORY!! I got a HUGE sense of accomplishment from doing that! Hard to believe that little thing could give me a boost like that. It's making me smile a shining smile just thinking about it!!
I felt like this situation was a good mix of reaching out for help (something I'm really just now learning to do) and doing something on my own.
In South Carolina I passed this GIANT PEACH (it's fake, btw) and James was nowhere to be found. I showed the pic to Emmanuel and said, "This wasn't even in Georgia [the peach state - for those not in the know] it was in South Carolina!" to which he replied, "Yeah, they compete." Ha! And yes, I also took this picture while driving (I know, bad Barb!).
One of the things I've learned already on this trip is that things take much longer than I think they will. This is true about driving, and anything I want to do in the van (cooking, getting dressed, putting on makeup, figuring out where I put something...). I knew that the space was small, and that I'd have limited resources, but I didn't consider the amount of time it would take because of those restrictions. And driving just takes longer. People have asked how many hours of driving I've done each day and I just don't know! Which is weird, because that's normally the kind of thing I like to keep track of (give me data!!). But I can tell you that probably six hours/day is going to be my max. I have an issue with my sciatic nerve sometimes when driving so that limits how much I can do per day, plus it just gets tiring. And it's about the journey, not just the destinations!
So that means I'm not going to make it to Little Rock tomorrow like I had hoped. Instead, I'm going to go to Tupelo, Ms. which is just over five hours. I already made a reservation at the Campground at Barnes Crossing. I'm going to leave here in the morning and should arrive by afternoon so I have time to check out the area. I'm thinking my next stop will be in the Ozark National Forest, which is when the really cool pictures should start coming your way!
Barb Nangle is the founder of Higher Power Coaching and Consulting, an entrepreneur and an eternal optimist. She loves motivating others to become better and better versions of themselves, just as she has become better and better versions of herself.