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Last summer I embarked, with the littles, of course, on a 3,000 mile trek across the country. Now most of you may think this is no big deal, but it was a HUGE deal to me. See, I loaded up our 35 ft. motorhome, packed the littles and the dog into it, attached the car which was weighed down with bikes, and away we went.
I was terrified. Seriously terrified.
I had driven the motorhome many times before, but I always had back-up in the form of a 6 ft. tall good-looking soldier. I had never been responsible for EVERYTHING, meaning all the “man” things he did. I handled the set-up and break-down of the inside.
So what was I afraid of?
- I was afraid I wouldn’t hook the car up correctly and it would go careening off before we even left the neighborhood. I was obsessed with watching the car in the backup camera.
- I was afraid I would forget to do something vitally important when we were setting up or breaking down at a campsite.
- I was afraid I would go under a bridge that wasn’t the right height.
- I was nervous about our safety at campgrounds without a man around.
I know I really screwed up though when I had to make sure the then 9 y.o. little went to counseling when we got home. She and the then 7 y.o. were amazing at handling the inside set up and break down. I think a little too amazing. She became neurotic.
You might be wondering why we decided to do this trip. Well The Man was planning a year long vacation in the desert and all of our friends had just moved. We decided we would visit a couple of those friends to ease into this deployment. The prep kept the littles and their mother occupied.
So there we were, all ready to go finally. I banned any talking until I managed to make it to the highway and set the cruise control.
Our first stop was at a campground in Lake Charles, LA for the night. I didn’t need to worry about unhooking the car because we weren’t heading out anywhere. I did have to plug in the electric though so I could run the a/c. Our motorhome has a refrigerator and pantry so I am sure I just whipped something up for dinner. I probably fed and walked the dog and then collapsed on the couch with a beer.
The next morning we headed off to our first destination….San Antonio, TX. This part was a little more stressful because the resort we stayed at had smaller “spots.” Unhooking the car for the first time was a challenge and I was doing it “illegally.” I missed the sign that asked all campers to hook and unhook before heading to our spot. Oops.
We settled into this resort for a few days and all was well. I wasn’t too nervous there because it was a family friendly place. There were lots of moms. I get apprehensive when we show up a campground that has more men than women and children. The door on the motorhome isn’t like a house door and my dog was 12 and deaf. Plus, not every state we traveled through is recriprocal with AL’s weapons permit and I certainly didn’t want to have a felony on my record even if I was defending myself.
The best part of the trip was the journey to our next stop in OK. My battle buddy was heading north to Nebraska so we caravanned. It was nice to know someone was with us. We spent the night at a fun resort and let the kids swim and eat pizza. The next morning we trekked off to Kansas where we parted ways. The littles and I spent a couple of nights in Platte City, MO while we visited friends at Fort Leavenworth, KS.
We had 1 more family to visit and they were in Iowa. Off we went. The campground we stayed at was the most primitive. There was a water hook-up, sewer hook-up, and electric hook-up but that was it. There was no pool to entertain the littles with. It was pitch-black at night. The littles spent a couple of nights with their friends and I had to navigate from my car to the door of the motorhome alone, worrying if there were critters, big or small, lurking. I learned to carry a flashlight after that.
In spite of my nervousness, fun was being had by all. The kids were enjoying the heck out of the trek and visiting with friends. I was gaining confidence with each overnight stay, gas fill-up, and highway adventure. We had gotten things down to a science. The countryside was beautiful, even if all we saw was corn LOL
When all was said and done, we logged about 2,800 miles. There were no catastrophes (unless you count the 18 wheeler that clipped my side mirror) and we returned to our humble abode 2 weeks after we started all in one piece. I am not sure I would do it again alone, but at least I can say I did it.