For almost a week now we have been trying to outrun the weather. We left the night before we had originally planned on leaving in order to get ahead of the snow and since then we have been on the run. Apparently we choose the coldest week of winter to start our travels. Don’t worry- we manage to keep the bus warm and toasty with heaters and plenty of blankets. The cold unfortunately means it’s very difficult to much outdoor sightseeing with Aurora. Our goal right now is to get to someplace warm- so we are trying to aim south. But really, I think it’s cold ever where right now- some Arctic Blast or something.
We are starting to acclimate to bus life. Each day things seem a little more familiar. We made our first cup of coffee on the bus Monday, in the Poconos. There was just enough snow to transform everything to a winter wonderland. Using google maps to navigate, we chose a route that avoids highways.
This way tends to take us through more farm land and forests. It also tends to take more time. Which is fine- we aren’t in a hurry. Though we are pretty much on schedule with what we planned.
When we left the Poconos we headed to Elkton, MD to visit my friend Thomas, from Phoenix. He is teaching a SOC 100 class at Cecil Community College and had asked us to speak to his class. So Tues and Wed nights we camped out in front of Thomas’ place. We presented to his class while we were there and he a great response from the kids. A number of students stayed after class to for more time for a question and answer session. It was wonderful to inspire those kids to travel and expand their worlds. While we were there we ate some great crab at Woody’s Crab House– because that’s what you eat in Maryland, crab cakes.
From Maryland, we continued on to DC. We didn’t want to park the bus in the city so we decided to camp at Greenbelt Park- which is only about 12 miles from the city. We took an Uber (with some complications) from the park to the city to do our sightseeing. The first place we went was Union Station to check the baby car seat.
From there we walked to the Capitol building but unfortunately there is a massive restoration project going on. The distinctive dome is encased with scaffolding- destroying the iconic view. The turf in the mall is all being replaced as well, so photo opportunities weren’t as plentiful as I had hoped. It was bitterly cold, so we walked only as far as the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History and before we went inside.
This morning we decided since everywhere was cold, we would stop worrying about the weather. We headed towards the Appalachian Trail. It had always been our plan to try and follow the trail south. First, as we drove from Maryland to Virginia, we drove down along the mall and out passed all the memorials we didn’t walk yesterday. Then we got on 50W and drove towards Skyline Drive and Shenedohah National Park. For lunch we stopped at a quaint tavern, The Red Fox Tavern and Inn, that has been operation for four centuries.
After seeing a T-Rex at the Smithsonian yesterday we were really excited about comparing it to the dinosaurs at Dinosaur Land, in White Post, VA. It was disappointing to arrive and find they were closed for the season.
When we tried to enter Skyline Drive we were told it was closed from mile 5 to mile 30 due to ice and snow. Even not on the scenic drive the landscape out here is stunning. Rolling mountains, dusted with snow. We were going to drive on to Laury and get on at the entrance there but by then it was starting to get late and we decided to look for a place to camp and see how we feel tomorrow.
Initially it was my intention to try and blog everyday. But the reality is it just doesn’t seem to happen. I’m working on keeping up through other forms of social media. If you follow me on instagram you can see not only my photos, but my attempts to understand how to use hashtags. In the end we are having a great time. Our country is beautiful and we are enjoying the opportunity to explore it. We are excited for everything between here and home on Ometepe!