…go north in the summertime!
Our original plan had been to head south from the Carolinas and travel along the Gulf of Mexico, but the July heat in 2011 was stifling, even along the ocean, much less further south.
Here’s the beauty of the RV lifestyle: you can change your mind. You haven’t committed to two weeks or three or — if your European — a month in one area. You can fold up your house and go someplace else.
That meant north for us.
So we said good-bye to the best key lime pie in America and the Atlantic Ocean,to head inland.
This fisherman was pulling traps from the Roanoke Sound…
… and we passed unfamiliar agriculture. We guessed this field was tobacco…
… and this might have been cotton:
All of that made us hungry, so we stopped at a little local restaurant named Langley’s Town and Country Restaurant in Nashville, North Carolina. It was a popular spot, and we couldn’t avoid hearing nearby conversations. When the man in the next booth said to the woman he was having lunch with, “Was he a Yankee?” we didn’t hear her reply (but could guess it) when he said, “Well, what did you expect then?”
So we kept our heads low and ducked out, but couldn’t help noticing the next-door business: bail bonding. You just never know what you’ll come across next!
We boondocked for the night at a closed Wal-Mart…
…and drove through fog — the famous “smoke” of the Smokey Mountains:
And when we stopped for gas somewhere inside the Tennessee border, we noticed a converted van parked at the side of the lot. A woman hunched inside next to a rolled up window with a sign taped to it. When she thought she was being watched, she quickly rolled the window down. The sign simply read, “We are stranded.”
On down the highway, we glimpsed this wanderer:
And although I don’t have a picture of it, an unexpected, amazing gesture made our travels through the South especially memorable. The spitty rain that hovered around us meant Ellen kept a small umbrella in the pocket of the passenger door of the Winnebago. It was a handy spot to leave it in case the rain came down while we stopped.
Imagine our surprise when, after making a quick stop at a rest area, a big rig pulled alongside and honked its horn. When we looked up, he was holding up that umbrella! It had fallen out of the door pocket and the trucker remembered our RV when he found it lying on the ground. We followed him to the next exit ramp where we pulled to the side, he got out and ran it back to us, and we offered our profuse thanks.
All of that for an umbrella! There really are thoughtful people in the world, aren’t there?!?