Day 15 – Florida Roadtrip – Richmond, VA

The next day we went to a Camping World RV sales lot somewhere near I-95. At each campground we walked by these RVs and trailers, I never have been inside one. Some of them are soooooo huge! And cost over $100,000. So we were very curious to see what was inside of those big ones but also what those small pop-up ones look like inside.

The big ones can sleep10 people and have cable TV, air conditioners, heat and a full kitchen as well as a shower and a toilet. The small ones with no bathroom are very small. They can still sleep four and have two gas burners and a sink. Also there is a table to eat for four. I have to say I was jealous about the indoor kitchen. But mostly because you don’t have to put it away…
We had lunch in some small redneck ville in North Carolina.

Once we arrived in Richmond VA, we decided that we were not ready for such a big city yet. So rather than planning for a downtown walk the next morning, we found a historic farm to go to the next morning and to watch some sheep shearing.

For dinner Renzo found a vegetarian Vietnamese restaurant. It was a real dive, but the food was fantastic and the owners were the most wonderful people, an elderly couple from Vietnam.

All the greater then was our shock when we arrived at the motel that we had already made reservations for on the way. The entrance are was entirely packed with dozens of high schoolers on a field trip, apparently some kind of sports team. They were pretty well behaved but we were worried about a bunch of screaming teenagers keeping us up all night.

In the end, the teenagers were quiet and what kept us up instead was some rotten wiring and/or air conditioner that decided to make a lot of noise most of the night.

Day 3 – George Washington National Forest, VA -> Uwharrie National Forest, VA

Had a fantastic Peruvian chicken in a strip mall in Harrisonburg, VA, a town that otherwise shines thanks to James Madison University, not to mention Eastern Mennonite University. After getting a bit lost in strip mall parking lots, we arrived in the more friendly and accommodating habitats of George Washington National Forest.

Our target campground by Todd Lake was closed, but next one over was a winner. Five bucks, nobody else there, exactly what the doctor ordered. The kids paid attention to George Carlin and played with sticks and stones in the mud.

Gourmet dinner made by Ksenia and a professional campfire keep us reasonably warm. By and by, three pick-up trucks with massive campers in tow and a couple with a tent and mountain bikes get set up as well. The campers come with three other kids, one of them in sort of hunting camouflage, and the kid tells us they go hunting all the time – deer, bears, anything really. I don’t like the sound of “anything” too much, but he’s saying they aren’t hunting today. Good, let’s keep it that way.

Off to bed at 8. Red wine helps. Full moon makes it very bright and beautiful. I wake up freezing at 2am – ah well, but everyone else seems to sleep like babies all the way until 6:30.

Heroically minimal complaints from Timofei when he gets pulled out of his warm and cosy sleeping bag into the cold and dressed up for a breakfast in the cold sun. And Yelisei is just hungry. Food and a newly stoked campfire to the rescue!

9:30 and off we are – destination: Uwharrie National Forest, North Carolina.