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NoVA, Flexibility, and Improvisation


Left Charleston SC on Monday, May 24th and drove to Leesburg VA in Northern Virginia (NoVA). Arrived at my daughter’s house in the late afternoon. Parked the Casita in their driveway and settled it. A couple of my grandsons helped me get things set up. When I lived in Charleston visits were at least 2 times a year. My last visit was about a year ago, the longest interval in 7 years.

Our Memorial Day excursion was to the Harpers Ferry National Historic Park in West Virginia. My America the Beautiful Senior Lifetime pass got us in which saved us $20. So far, it has almost paid for itself. I got mine after the price increased from $10 to $80. For seniors (age 62 and older) it’s a one time payment, just don’t lose it.

Harpers Ferry is located where the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers merge and is where abolitionist John Brown raided the US Arsenal. Not sure if it is still taught, but it was when I went to school.

We all (son-in-law, daughter, and grandsons) drove there for the day. The adults enjoyed the history, sights, and buildings…

St. Peter’s Catholic Church
Notice the slate roof tiles
A cliff across the river from downtown Harpers Ferry. There seems to be something written on the cliff, but I cannot make out what it says.
I don’t remember washing diapers by hand, but I do remember cloth diapers. For some reason, this reads like an Ikea ad, if they made diapers. Build your own.

While the grandsons enjoyed…

  • The cicadas (they were emerging when I was in NoVA. The sound they make was loud and constant, and, I heard they are edible)
  • The Shenandoah River
  • The ice cream
More cicadas
The boys searching for good skipping rocks. They found many and made good use of them. The river is a little less deep now.
The search continues. The shore was littered with small clam-like shells.

Flexibility, Improvisation

Left Leesburg Tuesday morning and headed west, toward Rapid City, (was not planning to get there in one day). Called an RV park to reserve a spot, but they did not answer the phone. Drove to the place only to find they were closed. Decided to keep driving west until it got dark and I found a suitable rest stop. You cannot camp at most rest stops, but you can stop for several hours to rest (hence the name). Since I’m pulling a trailer I have to park with the big rigs. By “suitable rest stop”, I mean one with a slight uphill slant. My trailer rides slightly nose down behind the tow vehicle because the hitch is pretty low (I drive a Ford Transit van). If I don’t want to unhitch and level the trailer, a slight incline is needed. I found one at around 8pm. Perfect. Parked and prepared for some rest.

The first opportunity for flexibility came because my campsite choice was not available, as described above. The second came after I tried to sleep and two big-rigs pulled up on either side of me and left their engines running all night. The brain, and a good pair of ear plugs, can usually filter out a constant drone. These rig’s engines however, would frequently change their tone and volume when something (maybe an air conditioner) would turn on. After a bit, I was able to fall asleep. Not a good restful one, but enough to keep me from falling asleep while I drove the next day.


After a night at a rest stop, I decided to reserve some sites before reaching them. Tonight (Wednesday) I am in Awana IA, Tomorrow I will be in Mitchell SD. The next couple days will need less flexibility and improvisation (hopefully). We’ll see.

2 comments on “NoVA, Flexibility, and Improvisation

  1. Shannon says:

    Glad you got to a safe place tonight. Sleep well, love you and love reading about your adventures!


    1. Ken says:

      Thanks Shannon! Miss you guys a lot!!


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