Yesterday, the Diamond-Shield technician came to our RV to inspect the front left quarter panel to see if the paint had cured enough to apply this protective sheeting. Diamond-Shield is a clear plastic like sheeting which protects the paint from rock dings and paint etchings caused from bug splatters and bird poop, and other environmental impacts. After his inspection, he recommended that we wait until Monday before the Diamond-Shield is applied. He was worried that if the paint was not cured enough, it would pull off as he applied the sheeting. Not wanting to have to return to the paint bay to repaint this panel if that should happen, we agreed to wait. Ugh!
On the positive side, we now know that we will be able to return to the road and continue our journey of exploring the US this Monday. Also, even if he had been able to apply the sheeting on Friday afternoon, we had already made the decision to stay put and hunker down here in Red Bay, Alabama on Saturday. We had been watching another massive cold front working its way toward us, bringing high winds, possible tornados and tons of rain. We certainly did not wish to be out on the road as it slowly passed over Alabama on Saturday. Thus, we are only postponing our departure one day by waiting until Monday morning to have the Diamond Shield applied.
Today, Saturday, as copious amounts of rain was belting LeuC throughout the day, Mary Margaret and I spent our time planning our escape from the Tiffin Service Center this Monday. We have decided that our goal will be to arrive in the Washington D.C. area by May 24th. Mary Margaret has two sisters who live there. One of them, Gaby and her husband are going on a cruise during the end of May and early June so she wanted to arrive in time to see them before they left. Also, we wish to participate in the celebration of our niece’s eldest son’s high school graduation. Katherine, who is one of the daughters of Mary Margaret’s other sister, Lonie, also lives in Washington D. C. with her husband, Morgan, and their two boys. We figure that by spending two weeks in the D. C. area, we would be able to do the above plus spend time visiting Lonie, her husband, Rich, and Lonie’s youngest daughter, Sara, who also lives nearby with her young daughter, Finn. Lots of family in that area and what a great way to see them again and catch up.
With this destination and timing in mind, we rolled up our sleeves and poured over our various resources to determine where we wanted to stop and explore as we headed north. Of course, with the knowledge that we needed to go north, we decided our first stop would be south of us!
Two days drive to the south is where our former brother-in-law, Larry, and his wife, Ruth, live. They were kind enough to drive to New Orleans to visit us last month and we have been anxious to swing by their home in Marianna, Florida.
From there, we will head east to explore the famous Okefenokee Swamp and the Suwannee River which flows from it. The Okefenokee is the largest “blackwater” swamp in North America and covers roughly 700 square miles. It is mostly located in the southeastern corner of Georgia but does extend into the northern edge of Florida. We plan on camping first at the Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park for a few days and then move on to the Stephen C. Foster State Park. The difference between these two state parks is the former is located on the Suwannee River in White Springs, Florida while the later is located in the heart of the Okefenokee Swamp in Georgia.
From there, we actually do turn north and head up to Savannah, Georgia. We will be exploration that wonderful and historic city using the Fort McAllister State Park as our base. We then move on to Charleston, SC. We will be staying at the James Island County Park.
Our next major destination will be the Jamestown – Williamsburg, VA area. We last explored this area way back in the 1970’s. Jamestown was the first permanent English settlement in North America, founded in 1602. Williamsburg is home to the Colonial Williamsburg Historic District which is the restoration of a colonial American city, with exhibits dozens of restored or re-created buildings related to its colonial and American Revolutionary War history.
From there, it is just a short hop up to Washington D.C. We will actually be staying nearby in Reston, VA at the Fairfax Lake Recreation Area.
In total, this trip will be a bit over 1500 miles and will take us a bit over 5 weeks to reach Washington D.C. We are very excited and are anxious to start. Whoo Hoo!