On the Road Again

Life at home had filled our lives such that waking up in the same place each day felt normal. Family, friends, holidays and special events had kept us wonderfully busy. With a long awaited, mid-February epic Birthday party in the rear-view mirror, the call of the road was strong. New adventure machines were ready to roll so we tucked the vintage Ford Ranger under the space-blanket and boarded the 25 year newer Ford 250 with a light and modern fifth wheel in tow.

See ya in 6 months or more, Ranger

With about 60 minutes of experience towing a 9k pound trailer under our belt, we cut our teeth on our lest favorite stretch of road – the I-95 corridor from Baltimore to Virginia. Aggressive drivers honed their urban combat maneuvering skills, cutting in, off and around our lumbering 50 foot rig. The difference between 2002 Betty and 2020 Super Duty (Boss) is 20 years of drivetrain and sound insulation development. What we lost in the big window trucker feeling, we gained in power, stability, finger touch driving and The Groove on surround sound Sirius XM.

Traffic break Southbound on I-95

When you have had all of the DC traffic that you can take, sometimes the only thing that will get you right is a Yelp 5-star Mexican lunch at a quirky venue. The slow cooked port tacos and tri-sauced enchiladas at Poco Loco in Thornburg, VA did not disappoint. (Get an order of Churros to go!)

Poco Loco – It is actually awesome … and a little weird.

South of Richmond, the heavy-traffic portion of the gauntlet ended and the strong-winds-and-rain test began. At one point, all the tail lights of the cars and trucks in front of us disappeared as visibility suddenly dropped to 20 feet. We eased off the accelerator but generally kept our speed up as we barrelled into a white out hoping that everyone around us had the same idea.

March showers on I-95 in North Carolina

Extended roadtrips often means finding a convenient overnight en route to an awesome destination. While Walmart, Cracker Barrel and Rest Stop parking lots are free, they also tend to be loud and kinda creepy. Enter Harvest Hosts, a membership network of wineries, distilleries, farms, golf courses and other businesses that allow a self contained RV or two to boondock one night on their land for free, with an implied agreement to patronize their store. For a little more than $20 we enjoyed a flight of Hinnant Family Vineyard wines and a take-home bottle of Loggerhead Muscadine Red. Walmart or Wine? Hmmm, tough choice. Ashley did a great job for us on her first by-herself pour.

Ashley pouring a flight of North Carolina’s finest

Hauling 18,000 lbs of machine out of the am DC snarl made for a long day. The beltway is no picnic in a sporty sedan on a good day. Tackling it on the morning rush and then plowing in to bad weather coming up from the south was tough. Yet, the journey has begun and we are back in our element. The sky lit up in spectacular fashion over the grape arbors as if to acknowledge the moment. Cheers!

Sunset on the Hinnant Family Vineyard, South Carolina