Now that we’ve accomplished all we’ve been needing to get done in Texas since we first started out—HURRAH!—what’s next?
Well, we have about a month before we need to be in Florida for our appointment at the Tampa Airstream dealer where we hope they’ll fix the awning. (More on our Florida plans, below).
I’d been hoping that sometime before Florida we could drive up closer to Virginia so I could visit my son at college, whom I miss painfully. Maybe we could find a camp spot where Tracy and Banjo could hang out for two weeks, and I could rent a car and take a quick trip on my own.
Alas, we just can’t figure out how to make this happen. We’ve had to stay in Texas a week longer than expected while the truck got fixed, and the awning appointment closes that open window sooner, too. Still, a month seems like a long time to be able to find a way north, but not when you inch forward, having to book full weekends in advance. And there were zero campsites open south of Atlanta (about as north as we’d like to go in November). Searching got too complicated, so we turned our attention to just getting from Texas to Florida. And even that hasn’t been easy.
Pre-Covid, RVers wouldn’t have to make reservations outside of Florida, and we could travel as long as we wanted for the day then stop where we wanted and stay as long as we felt like it, then move on. But now that everyone and their brother is doing the same thing we are, it’s all hands on deck to make reservations for every night on the leg there.
Here’s a graphic I created for this trip to help me visualize the gaps in our plans. As soon as I book a campsite, I put it in Tracy’s and my shared calendar, and then I look for a site for the next hunk of time that’s less than four hours down the road (since travel days work best with less driving than you’d think).
This trip to Florida so far includes a Harvest Host stop at a brewery in Louisiana (this I’m looking forward to most!), plus a stay using a new tool called HipCamp, which is as association of folks with land who offer their fields or driveways for camping despite not being in the business of campground-ing. It’s like the AirBnB for campers.
I’m a little cautious about one week I’ve booked in a place called Tate’s Hell State Forest in the Florida Panhandle, where we’ll be for halloween (kids do trick or treat in campgrounds, we’re told, and this year I’m not in the mood), my birthday (I’d love to go to a brewery, but the closest is an hour away), and …. election day. Tate’s Hell better be an ironic name.
Why there during this seemingly never-ending pandemic?
We knew we wanted to be close to the East Coast for winter so we can attend my son’s graduation at William and Mary in Virginia in May. And Florida winter reservations are hard to come by, so we made them back in April before we’d even left our quarantine campground.
I have a feeling we’ll find some surprises when we get there and might be like, “Uh, why did we choose this campground? It’s almost as if we’d never been camping before!”
Seriously, though, I’m really looking forward to three months there. We do have some business to attend to—getting the awning fixed in Tampa and getting solar installed in Naples, and I’ll get dental work done in Naples, too.
But look at our routes! They include the Keys, the Everglades, some beautiful state parks, and being close to several friends plus Tracy’s sister. Plus an AirBnB while the trailer is outfitted with solar. It’ll be a completely new adventure.
And it will be after this election.
You guys, stay safe, and please, for the love of all that is sacred, vote.