Friday, April 26, 2019

#LeapFrogs: A New Journey Begins

After the brief hiatus in Alabama with my mom and sister, we are on the road once again. We made some changes in our travel plans, and our travel gear.

For one, we culled enough stuff to eliminate the rooftop carrier - yaay! - and because of that, also the step ladder - double yaay!

Organization became a big issue for me when we set up camp, so that was a top priority as we set out again. We purchased a small, rectangular folding table - lightweight to carry, but sturdy enough to pile stuff on it inside the tent. We found some cheap cloth storage bins that I thought would be handy for organizing stuff inside the tent, but I think in the next week or so, we'll be hunting for other options, because they're just not sturdy enough. I had thought they'd be good because they break down and fold up, which takes up minimal space in the car. But after the first time, we decided the worked well packed, so we just load and unload them without unpacking. So soft sided isn't going to work long term.

We travel on a very tight budget (entirely too tight to actually make sense), and hotels do not fit our budget. Thanks to generous gifts from very special people (friends and family), we stayed in hotels 10 nights over the course of our first 64 days on the road, tent camped for just over four weeks total during that time. The rest of the time we car camped, and all of that has to change. (This wouldn't be as much of an issue with a small Class C or conversion van - we're keeping our eyes open, but until then, we'll be tent camping.)

Our first stop on our new journey was in Cartersville, Georgia to visit with the kids for a bit. We stayed at the McKaskey Creek Park, a Corp of Engineer property on Lake Allatoona. I'd made reservations in advance, but when we got to the campsite, someone had vomited all over the site and parking area. We went back to the office, and they found another place to put us. The spot cost slightly more, but we had no other choice, so I paid the difference. Because of Tim's National Park Pass (accepted at most COE properties), we got a 50% discount on the current rates, so we ended up paying $14 per night. The increase in price gave us water and electric on our site, which allowed me to work during our time there.

I also took the time to settle into the camping routine, which I'd not done before. Friends have commented that I seem less stressed this go round. Couple of reasons for that: I don't feel like I'm constantly fighting the weather - it's warm enough for me to wear one layer of clothing most days, and we've had many more days of sunshine so far than we did all 64 days before!

And a campfire is always good therapy for me.

The pollen in GA was on high alert the whole time we were there.

Rubbing my hands in the yellow powder and walking barefoot in it as much as possible has continued to serve me well in avoiding any problems with it.

Tomorrow, a fun surprise we found on the road.

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