We should have seen it coming. In our blog a few weeks ago (http://wp.me/s1xeN7-thanks), we listed the top ten reasons we were thankful this Thanksgiving and indicated how well our current Airstream adventure had gone—we were asking for trouble.
It started the next day when we were getting ready to leave our campsite and Ed noticed that one of our Airstream tires was in bad shape—part of the steel belt was sticking through the tread. Ed changed the tire and we drove from North Carolina to Richmond in cold, driving rain, hoping that the remaining tires would not fail. The next morning we drove to the Airstream dealer, an hour north of Richmond, in the cold, rain and rush-hour traffic. As we waited at the dealer, the rain began to turn to snow, and we found out that all four of our Airstream tires needed to be replaced. All in all, a stressful two days but we were still thankful that we did not have a tire failure on I-95.
After Thanksgiving, we headed south and stopped at Occoneechee State Park in southern Virginia. We tried out a campsite for size when the wheels of the Airstream slipped off the side of the slightly raised site and we heard a loud bang. We parked in another campsite and found that when the Airstream slipped off the site, the wood edge of the site smashed into the folding trailer steps. Ed managed to get the steps open but they were badly bent.
Continuing south we stopped at Santee State Park in South Carolina. We had dinner with our daughter Adrienne’s mother-in-law, Alana, who was also headed south after Thanksgiving in Richmond. Adrienne, her husband Al, and Alana had all been sick over the holiday so we were congratulating ourselves for getting out of Richmond, apparently germ-free. The next day, Tuesday, Ed worked on the Airstream, including removing the steps, trying to straighten them out, and reinstalling them. He didn’t feel well at the end of the day and by Friday he was diagnosed with bronchitis.
As indicated in last week’s blog, Patty tried to avoid getting sick herself, something we thought may not be possible when living in a 25-foot tin can with an infected spouse (sort of like sharing a Petri dish with bad bacteria). Unfortunately Patty did become sick with a slightly less serious cold, but she too spent much of last week coughing with a sore throat. Our nights became a cough competition—if our own coughing did not keep us awake, each other’s coughing did.
We stayed at Salt Springs Campground in Ocala National Forest last week, northeast of Ocala, FL. It was formerly a private campground so it actually had sewer hook-ups—a luxury and something rarely found in public campgrounds.
Due to our illnesses, we spent most of last week resting/rusting. Fortunately, Ed started to feel better by the end of the week and even got enough energy to go kayaking one day, just so we would have a few more photos for the blog. Here are the photos from last week.
A view of Salt Springs—since the Feds took over, they have made a lot of improvements to the springs in recent years.
Mullet swimming in the clear spring water
Ed kayaking in Salt Springs—it leads to Lake George on the St. Johns River.
A great egret–a common sight when kayaking in Florida.
An anhinga—another of the many birds we typically see when kayaking in Florida
Anhingas swim underwater to catch fish so they often are seen drying their wings.
A turtle sunbathes near the spring.
An early Xmas present—the reindeer delivers a variety of medicine for Ed (not sure why he got children’s cough syrup).
This week we returned to where we started our trip in June, staying at Paynes Prairie State Park south of Gainesville, FL. Continuing our recent streak of unfortunate events, there was a storm Saturday night and we lost both power and water. Fortunately, they were both back in operation by Sunday afternoon so, hopefully, this streak has finally come to an end. Stay tuned.
[Editor’s Note: The title of this week’s blog is from the novel of the same name by Nigerian author, Chinua Achebe. It is one of the most acclaimed modern African novels—Ed recommends it.]