Currently the temperature is 91oF, the humidity is so high you need a snorkel to be outside, and the bugs are sometimes so plentiful they get stuck in your teeth; but lucky for me, I am perched safely away from the elements in an air-conditioned campground store that is to be my working home for this summer.
I am attempting right now, with some difficulty, to type this blog as I bump my way along the I75 in Georgia. Looking up from my keyboard I can see that we’ve just passed Perry which, if I remember the map correctly, puts us somewhere in the northern region of the state (more than likely I am wrong about this though).
We have just ticked over in to hour five on the road today, having started out this morning from The Villages down in Florida. There is very little to say about my surroundings right now, except that according to the last three billboards; the way and the truth belongs to Jesus Christ; seat belts save lives; and there is chicken ‘worth stopping for’ at the upcoming Gas and Go. The most picturesque views from today have actually come from the grass verges down in Florida where spring has truly sprung in the form of vivid lilac, violet, and fuchsia-coloured wildflowers.
With it being a new year and all, the tradition of setting myself goals, targets, and new projects invariably raises its head. Come on, we have all at some point gotten on the resolutions bandwagon and then inevitably failed to stick with at least half of them by the time we hit February.
With that in mind, last year I began my Happiness Project, and I wanted to share that experience with you today.
The past few months have seen me take a break from writing and constant travel in order to don a new hat for a while, that of a small town blue collar American worker. It seems that almost a traditional part of the full time RV lifestyle involves some form of ‘workamping’ – putting in a day’s work in exchange for room and board and hopefully a wage of some sort, if you are lucky.
There have been times this year, fleeting moments, when my homing instinct kicks in.
A particularly cold snap in the weather that makes you inhale sharply. A low granite grey overcast sky in the morning. Soft green grass that I can run my hands through. Watching Doc Martin on TV and hearing familiar tones and lilts in the characters voices. Eating custard cream biscuits.
I see or hear or smell or taste things that instantly transport me home, just for a second. And it makes smile and I am happy.
In the past year and a half of our full time travels, Loops and I have managed to visit 29 National Park Service locations. They have varied in type, from historical sites to recreation areas, scenic trails to monuments, lakeshores to parks; each unique in their offerings.
When we pull in for a two day stay at North Cascades National Park though, it somehow feels further removed even from the other National Parks we have visited.
We find ourselves situated at the base of rugged mountainous terrain. There is a glacial river flowing through the park, ice cold to the touch and almost biting enough to freeze you just by looking at. The land is forested by pine, perfectly suited here in the harsh and wintery landscape.
As we enter Washington I feel in a state of discombobulation, but I can’t quite put my finger on the reason. I can’t decide if it’s just me in an emotional flux after a disagreement or two with Loops recently, that I’m feeling the pull of home but also feel the added stress of the responsibility with AJ’s upcoming wedding and housesitting, or just that I’ve enjoyed being in Oregon so much that I am not really sure what it is that Washington will have to offer.