Enjoy the road
“Enjoy the Road” is written in red dry erase marker on the white board on our RV refrigerator. We bought our rig in May in anticipation of our nine-month RV trip around the country. Our daughter Carly wrote it there the first day she saw it, joking that it was her “Refrigerator Wisdom.”
It got me to thinking about some classic music and literature on the subject. We hope to discover “The everyday kindness of the backroads,” that Charles Kuralt experienced, explaining that those kindnesses “more than make up for the acts of greed in the headlines.”
Although I was disappointed by Jack Kerouac’s “On the Road” with the drug- and alcohol-fueled speed with which the beatniks crisscrossed the country, I did appreciate the adventurousness of the characters.
Perhaps Tom Cochrane’s 1991 hit, made popular again by Rascal Flats, more accurately reflects my idea of enjoying the road: “Life is a highway, I want to ride it all night long.”
Enjoying the road in an RV has a romantic feel about it. The phrase holds both literal and metaphorical meaning – both of which we lived on the first two weeks of our trip. Our first weekend on the road was indeed an adventure, and lesson, in RVing.
On Friday, we were all packed and ready to enjoy the road, to ride it all night long as the song exhorts. At least until we got a flat. Which happened before we even pulled out from the house.
We just finished hooking up the tow car when my husband Tom discovered we had a flat on the motorhome! He very patiently unhooked everything and scheduled a tire fix at the shop downtown. We decided to meet at a truck stop on I-26 near Orangeburg once the tire was fixed in order to save a little time. Our 9 a.m. departure time got pushed back to 2 p.m.
We arrived late and at dusk to our destination in the foothills of Mt. Pisgah, just a few miles from Asheville. We had to hook up in the dark, but the spot was absolutely beautiful and secluded – a real gem in the Hominey Valley. During the first two days of our trip, we experienced some outstanding hikes on Mt. Pisgah. We hiked to the summit the first day – a strenuous climb rewarded with breathtaking views – and to the Graveyard Fields Trail upper falls on the second day.
The first two weeks of our travels have been full of mishaps and joys: A fire in our home in Charleston thankfully contained to the microwave, an attack by yellow jackets, a cracked rear brake rotor requiring replacement and stranding us a few extra days in my hometown, an amazing hike and meal by the fire with an old friend of Tom’s, a trip to Amish country with my Dad and his lady friend, history lessons at National Historic Parks like Hopewell Furnace and Valley Forge, and an open mic jam session in South Philly.
As we hiked in the Shenandoah National Park, on a trail from President Hoover’s fishing camp, I contemplated the Great Depression and the difficulties the people of the Hoover years faced just to survive and it made me realize – of course there is always something. No matter how perfect our marriage, how adjusted our children, how fat our checkbook, how rewarding our work, or how fulfilling our friendships – none of us are immune from mishaps and tragedy.
The day after the flat tire and in reference to the several mishaps that we had that first day, I wrote in my journal, “…it’s actually fun to adapt to circumstances. I hope I feel that way nine months from now!”
We can either enjoy the road no matter the obstacle, or we can let the road beat us. We can face life’s hiccups, mishaps and tragedies with a positive attitude or let them pull us into misery.
As for me, I plan to enjoy the road no matter what it brings! What about you?