Sent from the road, but not lost at sea!

Vicki Shurly’s dispatch from the road; Alabama and the Tennessee River | Photo by Vicki Shurly

(Remember when our librarian was lost at sea at the start of the pandemic last year? Read all about it here. Well, she’s traveling again! This time in their little “Cottage on Wheels”, as she l ‘Call. Keep reading for Vicki Shurly’s Dispatch from the road, where she and her husband Bob are traveling south. She sent this to me several days ago, so at that time I believe that’ they could be in Alabama. I love following their adventures on Facebook … -jb)

Bob and I certainly know how to plan a vacation. After our episode “Lost at Sea” in the South Pacific as the pandemic hit the world last year, what could happen on a simple road trip in North Georgia and Alabama with our cabin on wheels ? Ahh! To explore the foothills of the southern Appalachians!

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After 14 months of pandemic, fully vaccinated, we had to get by. Then, as we were getting ready to leave, a fuel crisis erupted in the south. This is what thrillers are made of, but all too real – cyber attacks and ransomware, cyber gangs and gasoline shortages crippling parts of the country.

We tried, but canceling our reservations was in vain. What to do? Well, we survived weeks at sea on a ship with a damaged propeller and no port of call. How could anything go wrong with so many Walmarts, Waffle Makers, and truck stops called Love’s along the way? Really how can you go wrong with a truck stop called Love’s?

Against any friendly advice, we left the Old Mission Peninsula in our Jeep with our chalet on wheels walking behind. Gas? Well surprise! It really did not pose a problem. We are a little further west than the main affected areas, avoiding urban centers where so many people compete for limited supplies.

A few stations have had paper signs stuck to their pumps warning that only regular is available – no mid-grade or premium grades. Fortunately, our Jeep is content with consistency. Just to be sure, we made a pact not to let the tank go below halfway, agreeing that even a station where we couldn’t get gas meant we would turn around.

In fact, to be perfectly honest here, it was more of a pushy wife and a husband accompanying her out of the house. At 13 miles per gallon towing from the cottage, that meant a lot of stops. Still, we arrived in Tennessee, just north of Nashville, with northern Georgia and Alabama only a few hours away.

Vicki Shurly's dispatch from the road;  Their “chalet on wheels” |  Photo by Vicki Shurly
Vicki Shurly’s dispatch from the road; Their “chalet on wheels” | Photo by Vicki Shurly

It almost seems normal before Covid. The campsite offered a picnic dinner and a live outdoor concert (to switch from the virtual) – country music, of course. It is, after all, Tennessee. Bring your own chairs, keep six feet away on the lawn, sit back and enjoy.

Having dinner? Comfort food – fried chicken steak, corn, real mashed potatoes topped with milk sauce and yeast roll.

The strangest thing that has happened so far on this trip? We haven’t been to a restaurant since the beautiful Grand Pacific Hotel in Fiji 14 months ago. So where did we finally venture inside for the first time? Somewhere exquisite? Delectable? Five stars? You hope so! No, it was Wendy! Why? We’re not sure, except it was a bit safe. I guess we have to slowly get back to normal. We will get there! We all will!

Vicki Shurly's dispatch from the road |  Photo by Vicki Shurly
Vicki Shurly’s dispatch from the road | Photo by Vicki Shurly

Read also (the last part of their pandemic adventure last year) …

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