Greetings from the Asphalt Trail!
You may recall that after our trek to Montana this past spring, I decided I wouldn’t blog on future trips because it was so time-consuming. But things changed when we decided to take the plunge and go full-time. I decided that blogging was the best way to stay in touch with everyone, so I am retracting my former declaration. Now that I’ve eaten my words, I wanted to let y’all know what we’ve been up to since my last post.
For starters, a few days before we left home this past October, Harry injured one of the bursea (bur-SEE) in his right knee while we were moving our mattress out of the house. Bursea are small, fluid-filled sacs that cushion the bones, tendons and muscles near your joints. Bursitis occurs when bursae become inflamed, and it is very painful. Harry had just gotten over a hamstring injury in in the same leg a couple of months earlier, so 2018 was definitely not his year.
After hobbling around for several days, Harry finally agreed to go to the ER to get his knee X-rayed. The diagnosis was bursitis and a touch of arthritis. The prescribed treatment was physical therapy. Since we were planning to stay in Mt. Pleasant, a suburb of Charleston, SC, for five weeks after leaving home, Harry did his PT there. After roughly fifteen sessions of PT and a series of daily exercises he did at home (read: motorhome) for nearly two months, he is now basically pain-free, with the exception of nighttime, when his knee aches due to lack of mobility. Thank goodness for Tylenol and Bio-Freeze.
One of the questions we are frequently asked is how we get our mail. The answer is simple. We utilize a Certified Mail Receiving Agent recognized by the USPS. CMRAs are legally allowed to rent their address to individuals or businesses to use as their permeant residence.
On November 28th, we left Mt. Pleasant and headed for the Florida Panhandle. Two days later, we became legal residents of the Sunshine State, obtaining insurance, licenses, tags and titles for both vehicles. Florida is one of a handful of states with nomad-friendly policies. With the state’s close proximity to our home state of Georgia, Florida was the obvious choice for our “residence.”
We are staying in a little town called Eastpoint on Florida’s “Forgotten Coast.” The Forgotten Coast is a trademarked term that encompasses the coastal communities from Mexico Beach to St. Marks. The phrase was coined in the early 1990s, when the area was largely undeveloped and uninhabited. I expect some politicians were behind the new slogan as a way to draw residents and tourists to the area. For the most part, they have been able to stave off the big-box stores and fast-food chains. The downside to being home to mostly mom-and-pop stores and restaurants is when you need something from Walmart or Home Depot, you end killing half a day.
We will be in Eastpoint until the end of March. Ordinarily we would not sit still for so long, but Harry needed time to convalesce, and we needed to get Moho organized. Since Harry was in so much pain right before we left Georgia, things were getting tossed into the bays and our car helter-skelter. Our Jeep still looks like we live in it. We recently started cleaning out the bays one by one. Harry has already amassed a sizeable donation pile of duplicates and “why the heck did we bring this thing?” items. At the rate we’re going, the USSMOHO should be in shipshape soon, and hopefully she’ll lose a few pounds in the process.
Someone recently asked me if we felt like full-timers yet. My answer was “sort of.” In the beginning, it felt like we were on vacation, and MOHO was always called “the motorhome.” But recently, I’ve noticed that we’ve both been referring to her as home. And just like we did in our sticks and bricks house, we have daily routines. We do chores, cook dinner most of the time, do our best to exercise daily.
Another person asked me how Hemingway was handling being a full-time RVer. The simple truth is he isn’t faring well at all. Back in Ellijay, we lived on a four-acre wooded lot, and he roamed the woods all day, going who knows where. Harry used to swear he had another family somewhere in the development. As Hemi got older, he started staying closer to home, but he still loved being outside, except when it was extremely cold, raining, or there was snow on the ground. Now, he’s cooped up in the RV most of the time, and he’s quite miserable. He isn’t the only one, as we are the ones forced to endure his nightly mewing. I have tried to harness train him so he can get fresh air and exercise, but so far, only one of us is excited about that idea, and it isn’t the cat. I was hopeful that in time he would adjust to his new reality, but after two and a half months, he is still not a happy camper. So, we have made the difficult and heart-wrenching decision to give our sweet kitty to another cat-loving family who is anxious to welcome him into their fold. He is leaving us at the end of the week, and I can barely stand to think about it. But loving someone as much as I love Hemingway often means making sacrifices, so I am forgoing my love for our boy so he can live out his golden years in the great outdoors, the place he loves best.
Another question that often pops up is where will we spend the summer. When we leave here in late March, we are going to Jacksonville for our six-month doctor/dentist appointments. We’ll also do some sightseeing while we’re there. From Jacksonville, we will be cruising up the eastern seaboard to Maine. There are many places we plan to stop along the way, including parts of Virginia, Massachusetts, and Philadelphia, to name a few.
Once we hit the road, I will start blogging in earnest, again with the intention of letting the reader “see” the places we visit with my posts. I received so much positive feedback from everyone regarding my writing style, I’ve decided that I will continue with the same format, even though one of you (you know who you are, ha ha) thought my posts were too long. My goal is to educate my readers about the places we visit, and to make you want to visit those places yourselves, or at least feel as if you have.
Unless something exciting happens around here, which is highly unlikely—so far, our biggest wow is that in mid-February there will be a food truck* on site at the campground where we’re staying—I’ll be signing off until we are NOBO (north bound) on the Asphalt Trail. Sorry, I just can’t seem to stop myself from using those Appalachian Trail references.
Happy New Year, everyone!
Captain Nemo and Moho Mama
P.S. As Harry pointed out, I can no longer be called Georgia Jan, since I’m now a Floridian, and Florida Jan just doesn’t have the right ring to it, so I’m reverting back to my original trail name.
* In case you’re wondering, the food truck owner’s oceanfront restaurant was destroyed when Hurricane Michael blasted the Florida Panhandle. Allegedly, there is an irksome little law in Florida forbidding an oceanfront business from rebuilding if the establishment is completely destroyed. The former restaurant, known as the Pesky Pelican, was extremely popular with the locals. It came highly recommended to us by the woman who purchased our MINI Cooper, so we were bummed when we learned the eatery had been wiped out during Michael’s wraith. I don’t know if the food truck will be known as the Pesky Pelican, but if the fare is half as good as the locals claim the original Pelican was, Captain Nemo and I will be among the first in line to place our orders once the (to be named) food truck is open for business.