We woke to a bright, hot day with Harvey parked in the driveway looking ready for the off. We were too, though I discovered that the final delivery in the blinds saga was due at our old house today, so we decided to wait until the UPS man had done his rounds before heading North. That meant more time in the pool in the sunshine and more time to phone home and do our last bits of packing up. It was a gentle start to the trip. The Guske windshield blinds came around two thirty so I drove back into Georgetown and retrieved them from Joe the painter who had already covered the downstairs in a rather fetching shade of cream. It looked very crisp, but somehow, not like our house any more. Goodbye street, and back up to Bethesda for another round of farewells and thank yous and plans to meet again. Margo and Greg, you looked after us royally – it was a terrific weekend.
Finally after all the planning and wondering and hard work, the three of us were sitting in our old motorhome with the big engine rumbling into life. Philippa and I confessed later that we were both nervous. A year ago we hadn’t even heard of these big old buses, but now we were pulling onto the Beltway in ours. Tom slipped into his old travelling groove and made movies with lego characters behind us.
Rush hour starts early in these parts and the road was packed. Actually, all our RV holidays have started like this; fighting traffic on a big road somewhere, wondering about what lies ahead. It was hot – 93 as we left Bethesda and I was very glad the dash air conditioning now works. I had tried testing it in Michigan but the outside air was so frigid it was impossible to tell if it was on…
Soon we were rolling north on I95, with the trees getting more dense around us and a hint of blue-green hills in the misty distance. We crossed into Pennsylvania and the green landscape was scattered with red-timbered farmhouses and white picket fences. The landscape brought back memories of travelling around PA in Greyhound buses when I was at Penn State.
We completed our first hundred miles in York, the home of my old roommate John, with his AMC Gremlin and unshakeable self confidence. We dipped into the workaday outskirts of Harrisburg which I remember only as a bus station. All was going well until the point where we had to turn off the main road and go to the campsite. The trusty sat knave didn’t have the street that we needed so I guessed roughly where our destination might be. I was only wrong by a factor of about ten miles… Another twenty minutes and we were pulling into the campground and making supper.
Our space backs onto the river and there were fireflies twinkling across the grass as we pulled down the shades for the evening. Tom was happy and excited and exhausted, and PT and I are cosy in our little den at the back, listening to the wind in the trees. We are on our way.