Saturday, May 07, 2005

Day 1 Road Trip

Today Steve and I packed up our twin toddlers, Catherine and Elisabeth, and an ungodly amount of vitally necessary stuff and headed to Annapolis.

We picked up “Winnie”, our 24-foot-long Winnebago camper van in Annapolis, after waiting half an hour for the rental place employee to show up while there was no other employee that apparently knew anything; then got our mandatory orientation to all the systems and components on board. The RV has a good amount of storage and seems like it would be comfortable for our week on the road with 2 queen-sized beds, a full kitchen and dinette – if we didn’t have to somehow fit in the two portable cribs for the girls.

I started driving first, heading east. Our first task was to get over the 4-mile Chesapeake Bay Bridge. Since the camper is 9 feet wide (mirror to mirror) and the lanes are only about 12 feet wide, it takes a lot of concentration to keep it centered in the lane. It’s 12 feet high, so we were warned not to take it over any covered bridges when we get to New England. Other than catching the wind fairly easily, it seems to handle like any big ungainly truck.

Across the Delmarva peninsula over the eastern shore of Maryland (only about 30 miles from our place in St. Michaels, but we didn’t stop) and east we went across the state line into Delaware on the 2-lane rural highway the Washington DC and Baltimore crowds take every weekend to get to the beach. The land is extraordinarily flat and the roads are straight and level with lots of little crosses by the roadsides. Although we have had a very cool spring, seldom remaining in the 60s, summer seems to be coming on strong and the trees are in full leaf and the winter wheat is well up.

Just after 6PM we pulled into Cape Henlopen State Park, a large sandy campground with pines and lots of sites with wide spaces on the side of the road where it was easy to pull off in our rig and park. While it seems big to us, there were several enormous bus-sized vehicles with multiple slideouts that dwarfed our vehicle.

Getting dinner and ready for bed involved some gymnastics, taking out the two carseats from the dinette, setting up the dining table, eating dinner and trying to feed two active toddlers who preferred to be running around, then taking down the table, making it into one big berth, and setting up two portable cribs on top and installing the girls in there under a series of raucous protests. Perhaps after a week in here we’ll finally figure out a system that works well – until then it’s all a little awkward.

Finally we’re settled in for the night and the campground is quiet. The only sounds we hear are Elisabeth’s whiny protests from her crib about how badly her parents are treating her.

Steve (the sailor) likes the fact that we don’t have to worry about anchor lights, the camper won’t sail around the anchor and jerk it in the middle of the night, and we don’t have to get up in the night periodically to check the anchor to be sure it’s not dragging. Today was his birthday - I'm afraid it was too hectic for much celebration to take place, but Happy Birthday, honey!


Dawn - Pink Chick said...

For some odd reason the tune "on the road again" keeps popping into my head everytime I head over to your

Vertical Man said...

I keep hearing 'Route 66' though you're nowhere near...

Have a great trip!

Wil said...

LOL! You're going to have an awesome time! Take lots of pics please!!!