The drive from Brantley Lake to Santa Rosa is long and boring.
But first the good news!
My first dump is an amazing success! This is no time for humility. I am very proud of this accomplishment. After breaking camp at Brantley, I pull over to the dump station on the way out of the campground. I can’t avoid this procedure any longer. Good. No one’s around to watch.
Okay. I can do this.
The yellow gloves are nowhere to be found. Hey, it’s a new sewer hose and if I’m careful, my hands won’t touch anything yucky. I mentally run through the steps that Barney (Old Fat Man) had gone over with me. I get my new Rhino-flex out of the bumper and extend it to its full length. I step on the little metal pedal that opens the hole in the ground and put the dump end of the hose in it. I attach the other end to the Casita, open the black water valve, wait . . . then open the gray water valve, wait . . . make sure everything has run out of the hose, rinse thoroughly with the garden hose, pack up, and we’re done!
Nothing dripped onto the ground and nothing on my hands! Taa-daaaa!!!
My next accomplishment is when I use my brain instead of listening to my GPS which tells me to turn left to go north as I drive west out of the campground. I avoid about an hour of correction there.
The gas gauge tells me I’d better get some gas soon.
Texas and New Mexico have already taught me not to let the tank get down to a quarter tank. In Georgia I used to drive around on E all the time. Gas stations are every 500 yards in my old neighborhood. Not so in the West!
Which brings me to another accomplishment of the day . . .
It looks like my only choice for the rest of eternity is a little Fina station on the other side of the highway across four lanes. It’s a busy place with several cars out front. This is going to take some tight maneuvering. I cross over and turn in wide after waiting for an SUV to get out of the way. I pass the pump as far as I can and still have the hose reach the PTVs gas aperture. This leaves the Casita sticking out at an angle across the entrance to the neighboring pump. I’m close to the parked vehicles at the front of the store, but there’s room to get by the rear of the Casita.
One thing I’m learning is I can’t be too worried about being in other people’s way.
The guy in the Kia is going to have to cut me some slack. As I stand at the pump, I pray the red pick-up doesn’t back up into the Casita. A lady comes over and asks me if I want to buy some tamales. “No, thank you, ma’am. Not today.” When all finished, I perform a beautiful exit involving a U-turn to go the right way on the highway.
I congratulate myself profusely to the crew.
By the time we reach Roswell, I remember we need groceries. Everything on this trip is on the other side of the road! On my side are abandoned buildings and useless places like welding shops. Again no problem. Well, I did leave my wallet in the PTV (I suspect Bridget pulled it out of my purse. She was messing around with it on the way.) I had to walk all the way back to get it so I could pay.
Somewhere along the way Bridget did a bad thing . . . again.
I notice Bridget is not whining. Oh, she must be sleeping.
I look down at the floor of the PTV. She’s chewing my hat!
I was planning on making this a perfect hat by lining the brim and the very top with a heavy material to block the sun’s rays (a design like Old Fat Man’s).
I’ve had this hat for two years and it feels good on my head. I like this hat.
Finally we arrive at Santa Rosa State Park!
I am a bit disappointed with what I see, but that may be because it’s the end of a long drive, the good sites are reserved, and I’m beginning to feel the heat attack me again, in spite of drinking water all day. The crew and I collapse in the air conditioning.
I’ll tell the story tomorrow of getting settled into Santa Rosa State Park.