However, you’re never going to appreciate the value of a gas-efficient car until you’ve driven an SUV towing a trailer. There’s just no comparison to that, because if we were able to get seven miles to the gallon we were lucky. It seemed like every time we turned around (pretty much every hour and a half or so), we were either filling up or looking for a place to fill up.
Still, all things considered, it WAS cheaper to drive. It also helped that we found such a reasonably priced state park to stay at. Of course, I’m getting ahead of myself. I’ll start at the beginning!
Free parking's where it's at
Originally, we planned to leave Tuesday after work, drive a few hours and then spend the night at a Wal-Mart along the way. We were making fairly good time and around 10:30 that night, Steve asked me to start calling Wal-Marts in the Richmond area. Apparently, though, either nobody who works there knows about overnight RV parking or it’s not a question that gets asked often, because I couldn’t get a straight yes-or-no answer from three stores I called.
I did, however, luck out when I researched online and found out most travel centers have dedicated overnight parking for RVs and trucks. When I called the Flying J in Carmel Church, VA, I was greeted with a warm southern accent saying, “We sure do offer overnight parking.” Which was as good as a reservation as far as we were concerned!
|Boondocking in style|
|I'm a big fan of you Flying J|
I was a little worried about sleeping soundly after we pulled up next to a truck that apparently was going to leave its engine running all night. But I managed to convince myself the sound was like a white-noise machine designed to lull me into a deep sleep. Wouldn’t you know it? That mind game worked. And I actually appreciated the hustle and bustle of the travel center. It made me feel safe -- much better than the time we were the lone RVers in an empty Wal-Mart parking lot.
|A little close for comfort, but we made it work|
The next morning my alarm went off at 6 a.m. and we were out the door about 15 minutes later. There was a long day of driving ahead, but thankfully we were past all the congested metropolitan areas of the East Coast.
|'Let's get this show on the road!'|