South for the Winter

My first cousin lives near Richmond, Virginia, which is conveniently located along I-95 and a perfect stop on the trip south.  So I left my BFF in Suffolk County, Long Island at 4am on the 27th, headed to Jackson, New Jersey in the Mini Cooper to pick up the RV from the shop, hooked up the car, and drove to Richmond.  It took me about 11 hours from start to finish.  I knew that the Baltimore Tunnel doesn’t allow propane through it, so I had to plan a detour around that.  Otherwise, there were no issues, but I was really surprised that the tolls between New Jersey and Virginia for the rig totaled $54.45.  Ouch!

I just loved the few days I spent with my cousin.  Betsy and her husband have a lovely home and sheep farm.  Among many other subjects, we chatted about our mothers, who were very close sisters.  I found it very comforting to be with family and talk about family.

We spent a terrific day in Williamsburg and Jamestown, including lunch at a colonial tavern.  It was fascinating to see the authentic homes and shops in Williamsburg, and the ongoing archaeological dig in Jamestown.

Scene in Williamsburg, Virginia
Scene in Williamsburg, Virginia
Outline of first church in Jamestown
Outline of first church in Jamestown

Archaeologist William Kelso discovered the location of the Jamestown Fort in 1994, and the dig is ongoing.  Mr. Kelso was actually present at the site when we were there!  And there’s a fascinating museum filled with artifacts found there over the last 22 years. If you’ve never been – I highly recommend it.

Leaving Betsy’s on Sunday the 30th, I had another long driving day.  I like to leave really early in the morning so I can get a few hours of driving in before everyone else is on the road.  So I left Virginia at 4 am, and arrived in Monroe, Georgia at 3 pm, much earlier than planned.  550 miles in 11 hours is very good time for an RV towing a car!  I found that I was comfortable going at least the speed limit (which was often 70 mph), and was even passing slower vehicles.

About halfway through the day, I had my first road crisis.  I heard a big thud against the truck, and then a tinkle – the right side mirror had shattered.  I pulled over to have a look, but could see nothing that might have caused it to break.  It seemed almost as though a rock had hit it.  That mirror is extremely critical when driving the rig, and I debated whether to stop somewhere to have it fixed.  But I limped along, hugging the edge of the road to minimize merges to the right, and I made it to Georgia with no other incidents.

The plan was for Eric and I to meet up at the Roberts Family Cemetery, where we intended to boondock for a few days while we cleaned up the cemetery.  But when I got there, I found the entrance locked:

Locked Entrance to the Roberts Family Cemetery, Monroe, Georgia
Locked Entrance to the Roberts Family Cemetery, Monroe, Georgia

After a quick phone conversation with Eric, we decided to meet at the campground where we had intended to go after boondocking.  Thankfully, the campground had space to take us early, and we settled in for the night.

View from my campsite near Monroe, Georgia
View from my campsite near Monroe, Georgia

After being away from the RV (aka “home”) for about 10 days, I really missed it!  It felt good to be camping again, and also felt good to be back with Eric, my RV buddy.  And, it’ll be relaxing to be in one place for two and a half weeks.

It’s very exciting to be in a place where Eric’s family has lived for 200 years!  Eric has fond memories of the town of Monroe, where he was born, and I can’t wait to hit the courthouse and bury myself in the records there.  But our first mission is to visit the cemetery, which is in the middle of private property formerly owned by the Roberts family for over one hundred years, and lost in the Great Depression.  Next post will be all about the cemetery!

3 thoughts on “South for the Winter

  1. Great description of our visit Chris!! It was so fun to hang out together while sight seeing, having wine and talking about our families past and present!
    I had JUST gotten up at 4:00 to put a light on for you in the kitchen, when I saw your RV lights going down the road!😂
    Enjoy staying put for awhile!!
    Love Betsy!!
    ( can’t wait to hear about the cemetery!!


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