Summer ’19: Part 8, A Right Turn to Charlottesville

Coming out of Shenandoah Valley National Park, we had a couple of days to kill before visiting a friend in Raleigh. It offered our second chance on the trip to pop over to Richmond and extend the summer’s Civil War theme. (Did you know that Richmond, the capital of the Confederacy, is only about 100 … More Summer ’19: Part 8, A Right Turn to Charlottesville

Summer ’19, Part 7: Lost in Appalachia! Naked and Afraid on the Blue Ridge

Comparing this summer’s travels to our marathon journey last summer, I’m struck by how much less the narrative is about how we survive the family dynamic on the road. Harper’s Ferry could have been a disaster – with our aborted attempt to camp. When you are with family, moments of adversity become magnified. Discomforts amplified. … More Summer ’19, Part 7: Lost in Appalachia! Naked and Afraid on the Blue Ridge

Summer ’19: Part 6, Raiding Harper’s Ferry – but NOT the KOA

Leaving Ocean City, it had been a week since we last camped, so we were itching to build a campfire and let the kids run around in the woods. With fresh motor oil, new headlight bulbs, and a middle row of seats in the Westy, we looked for someplace a little less urban. We skirted … More Summer ’19: Part 6, Raiding Harper’s Ferry – but NOT the KOA

Summer ’19, Part IV: The Civil War and Amish Intercourse

Leaving Pittsburgh, we had two days to get to Ocean City New Jersey. Our first stop was Gettysburg. Again, we took the Pennsylvania turnpike, even though it’s merely the old tracks of General Lee’s artillery brigade. Fortunately, the country roads, where the Amish ride in carriages, are paved. In Gettysburg, we cashed in a free … More Summer ’19, Part IV: The Civil War and Amish Intercourse

Summer ’19, Part III: The Food Issue; Meaning, Food is an Issue

The journey from Jamestown, VA, to Pittsburgh, PA, ended up being the longest drive of our entire trip. So far, most of our route has been along two and four-lane back roads – and very little interstate. The Westfalia enjoys the back roads for their lack of high speeds and little traffic. Our son likes … More Summer ’19, Part III: The Food Issue; Meaning, Food is an Issue

Westfalia Wagon Train

I recently read a good book by Rinker Buck, a journalist who set out to cross the Oregon Trail in a covered wagon pulled by a mule team – in 2012. In it, he recounts how the original pioneers embarked in overloaded wagons, with poorly trained animals, and unrealistic expectations of how much ground they … More Westfalia Wagon Train

Key Westy

In the last exciting episode of Don’t Make Me Turn This Van Around, we added a second van to the family. Have we jumped the shark? Um… neither of these vans are jumping anything. With the new (to us) Westfalia in the fleet, Monica wasted no time in setting up a dress rehearsal. Less than 24 … More Key Westy

Spring Training

Spring Training has come to our house. A year ago, Monica was just toying with the idea of running a marathon. Today, she’s got her eyes set on getting competitive. She doesn’t think she’s going to the Olympics or anything, but she’s loves getting faster. She’s working with a group of seasoned marathoners and a … More Spring Training