Two weeks ago we left a perfectly good campground in Carlos, Texas. Why? A central Texas summer is not something many people enjoy. And things had become a bit dicey for full-time RVers. The Corps of Engineers and BLM had just closed all their campgrounds and boondocking areas. Many state parks had closings scheduled, “until further notice”. Most National Forest campgrounds had closed. What felt like a fairly safe way to ride out this storm – life in well spaced campgrounds with trails and roads to hike or bike, with water, sewer, and electricity – had suddenly become a serious game of musical chairs. Kat found our chair, but it was 900 miles away. We covered that distance in just three grueling drives.
Kat says that I had mastered “social distancing” before social distancing was cool. Nonetheless, it has not been much fun. Here’s some mood music for sheltering in place. That instrumental lead-in now seems spookily prescient. Of course it’s by The Greatest Rock ’n Roll Band in the World.
This was our easiest Atlanta crossing ever. Here and there a merge of Interstates brought a bit of congestion but our speed rarely fell below 60. It was that way for most of the trip, with a few exceptions for that housefly of “essential industries”, highway repair work. Texas remained largely open but Louisiana had been shut down by its sensible Democratic governor. Alabama and Georgia were half-open. Mississippi was wide open, but unlike elsewhere the highway patrol was active, and that was a good thing. Just outside Clinton, MS an old Suburban passed us on I-20. She was pushing a white Toyota sedan (not pulling, pushing!) at 65 mph. She’d push the fool for a minute and then let him coast away, then ease up on his bumper to push some more. Just as we were exiting at Clinton three flashing blue lights surrounded pusher and pushee. Somebody done dialed 211 and reported “Morons rollin’!”
Our new home for the foreseeable future is the Top of Georgia Airstream Park outside the faux Bavarian village of Helen. There is room here for at least 100 ‘Streams, but only 25 – 30 sites are occupied. A dozen or so other fine old trailers are stored here, empty except for the inevitable mice. We have a Wal-Mart not too far away in Cleveland (GA, not OH) and a large Ingles grocery for things like chewable meat and nicer produce and pastries. Helen is a touristy resort town but it’s now almost abandoned. Later today we hope to order takeout from the Hofbrau Haus. A big ol’ Reuben on rye sounds so good. So does an order of German Wings, two smoked pork shanks with a “delightful German raspberry barbecue sauce”. I hope he doesn’t go broke before we get there.
And now, here is some relaxing mood music for your shelter in place, courtesy of The Beachboys. Brian Wilson and Mike Love wrote the song over the weekend after the JFK assassination. But it fits in now.