We packed up and left Advance, NC about 10:00 after getting up a little later than planned. No matter, we weren’t in a hurry to start with. I almost drove off with the awning still extended, but Lynette was outside and caught my goof. No, I wasn’t going to leave her. She had to drive the CRV up to the registration parking lot so we could hook it up to the RV. There wasn’t enough room at the campsite.
We stopped near Thomasville, at the North Carolina Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial. There were over 216,000 men and women from NC who fought and 1,620 gave their lives. This is very personal to me, because I lived outside Fort Bragg during that time. It is the home of the 82nd Airborne and trains Special Forces operators there. Many of the kids I went to school with, had fathers in the Army. My step father also served and spent two tours over there. Two of my uncles also served multiple tours in Vietnam, and they were changed forever. I remember one of my classmates was absent one day, and when I asked another friend where he was, he replied, “His dad was killed yesterday.”
It is sobering to know that each brick represents a young person, a family, a friend.
One of my greatest regrets in life is that I did not serve in the military. Thank you to all who did.
From there, it was on to Williamsburg. When we stopped to get gas, it was also a great time to eat some lunch. No fast food for this duo. Ham and cheese sandwiches on artisan Italian bread, served in our own dining room. Sure beats waiting in line or waiting for food at a restaurant. After a quick clean up, it was “on the road again.” (sing it Willie)
There is a toll bridge outside of Richmond that took us from I-95 to VA 895. I am not usually a wimp, but this thing scared me to death. Imagine sitting six feet off the ground, the height of my butt from the ground in our RV, in a 38 foot bus that is 8.5 feet wide. It looks a lot different when you are the one at the controls. We are going up what looks like the climb you make on a roller coaster just before it dumps you off in a near vertical drop down the other side. This road however, just for fun, makes a hard right turn once you get to the top. I kid you not, this thing must be at least 150 feet in the air. It is a single lane, so there is no one to lean on for moral support. My legs are weak, I have stopped breathing, and then Lynette says, “Hey honey, look at the water down there.” I am past the point of being terrified, but I have to keep concentrating and thinking, people have survived making it across this bridge before. I would love to include a picture of it here, but that is not to be. I also plan to find a different route home.
The rest of the day was a downhill slide from there. It may have had something to do with the bridge. When we got to the campground, I found out where “The People of Walmart” live. The car battery was also dead. The campsites are almost on top of one another. There are also people who live here full time in what appear to be mini office trailers. The one next to us even has a “No Trespassing” sign in the window. Fat chance of that. Lynette swears when she went to take the dog out, someone was peaking out the window at her. I now have the dog walking duties, my choice.
We decided to go to IHOP for dinner since today was their first day serving pumpkin pancakes. I look forward to these every year and I think it is about the only time I go to IHOP. We were seated next to a couple who played You Tube videos on their smartphones. This is not what I wanted to hear after driving most of the day. We had our waitress move us to another booth, and after a few minutes, were serenaded by “the baby” who was not happy. My sweet bride just kept looking at me, reminding me that this was part of the adventure, relax, it’s going to be alright. She even sang the ‘Bob the Builder” song to me. “Can we do it, yes we can.” I think she was trying to make up for adding to my terror on the bridge.
Oh well, a quick stop to get some groceries and back to the RV park. It looks better in the dark.
Tomorrow we are off to see some of the places that we have read about since grammar school and now get to see. Lynette was right, all of this is part of the adventure as we are RVingthecountry.