Our 6-week family camping road trip began one week ago when I couldn’t find my passport. Now, a week in, we’ve already seen and learned so much. We’re traveling by car, pulling our beloved, yet-unnamed travel trailer staying in spots up and down the east coast.
Normally, we blow a tire on camping trips. Imagine having to pull over on the interstate, with a 25-foot trailer behind you, having to get out of the car, jack up your trailer, change the tire, and get back on the road. All while entertaining two young children inside the car so your husband can concentrate on the tire repair. Not fun. This is usually our tale.
This trip, however, (so far!) we have not blown a tire – so far!
Upon our first night, we were so excited to arrive in West Virginia to a delightful campground, complete with a lighthouse. We have no idea why there is a working lighthouse in West Virginia, away from the ocean, but it was there. We had mountains, and lush, green grass on our toes as we set up the camper for the night. Inside, we were preparing dinner when I felt something wet on my foot. HMM, what liquid did someone spill on my clean floor?
I looked down at my feet and there was a pool of water on the floor, certainly more than juice that could have spilled from a cup. It’s a leak.
By now, my husband heard me saying, ‘leak! There is a leak!” and came into the camper to assist. We determined the hot water tank was leaking.
The quickest solution to this problem is to turn the hot water off. We let the tank drain what is had remaining in its tank and soaked up the water that had leaked out. We’ll call to get it fixed, we said to ourselves. Or stop somewhere along the way.
When you need something like this repaired in your home, you call someone and they come to fix it. If it’s a repair in your car, you take the car to the shop, leave it, and pick it up when it’s fixed. But when you drive your home around, well, the repair is complicated. We haven’t been able to find anyone that has the correct part to fix it so we’ve been without hot water for a week. It’s REAL camping.
We’ve been heating hot water on the stove and putting it into the tub for the kids, and my husband and I are braving campground community showers.
The good news is that this is the worst of our week. The rest has been amazing. We camped in Pennsylvania and got to see where my husband spent his summers boating on an amazingly huge lake. We went boating one day.
On our way to our next stop we took an early evening break and saw the famous Groundhog Day groundhog, Punxatauny Phil! The real deal. He lives in a library.
The kids are learning about geography as we cross state lines, and when we make pit stops. Did you know the New River Gorge in West Virginia is on the back of the Virginia quarter? We didn’t either.
And, we’ve seen the American side of Niagara Falls. That passport will come in handy tomorrow as we head to Canada to see the falls from the other side.
Read Part one of the series: Our Family’s Epic Summer Road Trip Starts Now, Maybe