First Frustrations; then, Getting Reacquainted

Note: I started this a week ago, and then never got back to it until today.

Thursday, March 7 And just like that, February is over and here it is over a week into March. And I am out in the world in Van Morrison again! I’m headed to Jacksonville, Florida, to spend a week with the Canadian. We haven’t seen each other in…sheesh…a year?… A lot has happened in that year. It will be good to see him. But also strange in a way. I am happy though, and looking forward to reconnecting with him.

But last night and today–! OMG, what a clusterfuck. It was a rough start to the trip.

To start with, I once again vastly underestimated the time it would take me to get to my first stop. Which would not have been that bad, if I had not had it in my head that I was just going to the other side of Nashville before stopping. That had been my original plan, until I changed it based on a fellow RVer’s recommendation. That plan had me driving an additional two hours farther to stay at a city park on the Tennessee River. It sounded delightful, especially as opposed to staying in a truck stop and then doing a WeWork day (which would have been my first time using a WeWork office and honestly sounded pretty cool), but the peace and quiet of a wooded park on the banks of a river seduced me, and plans were changed. Apparently WITHOUT recalibrating in my brain the extra two hours it would take to get there, however. This resulted in my getting to Nashville and thinking I was almost done for the day, only to realize that no, I had at least two more hours driving. I was already tired, and it was a blow.

But I stopped for coffee and persevered. Eventually I found the park, arriving at just past 1 a.m.

BUT because of the aforementioned disconnect in my brain re timing, I had neglected to inform the park that I was coming in that late. And I couldn’t open the pdf receipt/instructions to see what to do for late arrival, if there was a gate code, etc., or even what my site number was. I sent a frantic message to Sir to see if he could open it and he came to my rescue – but their instructions were to call if I was coming in after hours. I did call; they weren’t there, of course. Meanwhile, he looked up the park in Google streets, ascertained that there was not a gate, and gave me directions to find my spot. (He’s my hero.)

Have I mentioned how poorly I see in the dark? Well, my spot was not marked well (or at all, it turned out), and even with the help of a friendly young fisherman we could not figure out which one was supposed to be mine. The park was almost empty, except for his crew and a couple of campers that clearly belonged to other fishermen, so I pulled into an empty spot and climbed wearily and defeatedly into bed. This was by now the early hours of Friday morning, and I had to be “at work” at 8:30.

8:15 a.m. I sat bolt upright in the pitch darkness of the van. When I am camping on the road at rest areas or truck stops I always put up window covers – they might as well be blackout curtains. I had fifteen minutes to figure out where I was supposed to be in the park, move the van accordingly, ascertain if wifi would work well enough, and get myself set up to work.

Or so I thought. About 10 minutes after I sent a “good morning” message in Teams to my team, and wondered why no one else was on, I realized that I was in EASTERN time. My work is in CT. Fuckity fuck fuck and shit. But at least I had a cushion of time to work out my logistics. I slowed down and took a look around.

And upon reconsideration, I realized I didn’t want to spend the day – and that night as I was supposed to – there at the park. It wasn’t a bad place, but…well, different strokes for different folks. It was not to my liking, with a four-lane interstate roaring past on two sides. Not the woodsy peace and quiet I had envisioned. So off I went, using the roaming wifi on my phone as a hotspot to keep up with work stuff on the fly as I moved from rest area to truck stop, trying to figure out a place to land for the afternoon, when I knew I’d have to be settled to get some focused work done. It was scattered, and way off ideal, but I managed it. Aside from spilling an entire cup of coffee in back of my seat, there were no real mishaps.

Meanwhile I was in constant contact with M, my Canadian, as he traveled south from Cincinnati, where he had landed for the night. We had planned for him to meet me at that first campspot later that day, and then to rent a hotel room near there, then to caravan onward Saturday to his hotel and my next camping place, but of course that plan was shot by my restlessness. But while I think I’d have been happy to just push on all day Friday to Florida, I didn’t want him to drive that long, and he wanted me to have a comfortable place to work, so he found a hotel a couple hours further on from where I’d started. I went there and checked in, set up work shop, and waited for him to arrive.

Which he eventually did – and we promptly set about getting reacquainted.

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