We had to be at the hot tub at 10 am all packed and ready and since you had to look for everything ten times and not doing the dishes is not an option, it creates some tension. I guess it takes time to get used to a new lifestyle. In the end the kids had their smorphs (graham cracker, chocolate and roasted marshmallow sandwich) and they did have their oatmeal in the morning and the parents had their wine in the evening and coffee in the morning. Life is good.
The town of Hot Springs was a backpacker paradise. The local grocery store has the widest selection of backpacking food I have ever seen. Powdered mixes in plastic bags. Look almost the same but with different labels: cream of broccoli soup, hot chili stew, camomille tea… I wonder how they made camomille tea into white powder?
It was raining as we went to the tubs. It was in the mid 40s F and I was hoping that the hot springs were indeed hot. The tubs were on stilts again on a walled off platform on the river bank with no wall casing the river. So you could see forest, the river and nothing else. I thought that our children would refuse to take off their clothes but I was wrong. Timofei was the fist in the tub followed by Yelisei. Go figure. The cruel thing is that when they come back to tell you that your time is up they also pull the plug!!!!! And the water starts to drain very very fast! Not only do we have to dress ourselves, but we have to dress our children as well. That was the fastest we dressed in history…
Now we had to change our plans because of the heavy rain in South Carolina. So we are going to Georgia and the kids are starting to ask every ten minutes are we there yet?
Someone was asking if we should make reservations at the campgrounds and I said NOOO!! Why would we?? Who goes camping in the sticks where we are going? We found out today that everybody goes! Especially on Easter weekend. Luckily, sometimes people don’t show up… Tonight we are going to South Carolina to a campground with only nine spots, hoping for an Easter miracle.
Last night was not too bad. Hot shower, and drinking water out of a faucet right next to our site in the Uwharrie National Forest, North Carolina. The unfortunate thing was that there seemed to be a monster truck convention nearby. As our site was by the entrance, we watched every model of off-road vehicle parade. Otherwise, it was better than yesterday, but still cold at night. We are just realizing that our expectations were way too optimistic. It did not click in my brain that if at night it is near 40 F, then winter sleeping bags are necessary. I guess it was wishful thinking. And I expected full on summer right outside of NJ.
But for now every 4hr drive south seems to gain us only 1C degree at night. The boys are troopers though! On Friday morning they spend 45 mins in the car warming up and Yelisei kept saying ‘Mama, aw!’ and showing me his red fingers. So I would warm them up with my breath. Only then we figured to turn on the car and blast the heat. Soon we realized that we also forgot to put gas into the tank, so we only have 1/4 left. But that was on Friday. Today everything was much better. Full tank of gas, only 10 mins car warm up. And for tomorrow we got oatmeal and milk, so we will have something warm for breakfast instead of cereal that we have ben having. At night we will put on our long johns and zip our bags together with Renzo. It has been only twice that we put up the tent but we are already talking how nice it would be to have an RV. No packing – just take off the breaks and go.
Also, we took our double stroller, which was unnecessary. The boys nap in the car and we just keep unpacking it and packing it back in. Generally the process of waking up, having breakfast, and packing is three to four hours. The same goes for unpacking. So the way we are set up now, we don’t have much time for anything else. But I was obsessed with the idea of camping along the way and with going south. But so far it has not been warm enough and almost all of our time is consumed by packing and unpacking and driving in between. Timofei has been asking to go to a zoo and I said that if we pass one then we will go. We passed five already and did not stop, because if we did, we would not make it to our next unpacking destination.
That said, it is now 75F and it is totally green and the sky is blue, the air is fresh and my family and I are happy!