Heading North, part 2: North Carolina

While we weren’t the least bit tired of traveling or being on the road, we were a little tired of being tourists. The weather, though it had stopped raining, had turned colder and we weren’t inspired to head to any of South Carolina’s beaches. We also decided not to head in to Charleston but instead chose a leisurely morning at the campground and then got back on I95 heading north. We reasoned that the East Coast is a lot easier for us to come back to if we want to see anything that we missed.

We had a nice day, but little of it is blog-worthy. Nice conversations in the car, taking our time over lunch at a rest stop, not feeling hurried or pressured to see and do all that can be seen and done.

The increasingly colder weather was helping us process the change of seasons happening for us as well as in the world around us, and the hours in the car gave us plenty of time to start talking about what comes next.

Year-round campgrounds got harder to find as we headed north, but we found a KOA in Enfield, North Carolina that was still open and we stopped for the night. It was a bit drizzly and cold cooking dinner outside, and we woke up to the first frost we’d seen since Yellowstone. And, though we didn’t know it at the time, this was our last night in Home Sweet Pop-up.

Campground Review Enfield/Rocky Mount KOA:
Price: I forgot to note how much we paid, but the website shows a rate of about $35-$40 per night for a pop-up the size of ours.
Location: There isn’t much locally, but it is convenient to I95 and according to the website they are the only KOA between Fredriksburg, VA and Point South (where we’d stayed the night before). I imagine most of their business is overnight stays as people travel up and down I95.
Facilities: This one one of the smaller KOAs we’d stayed at. The pool was closed for the season. Use of the kitchen cost extra, so we braved the weather with our camp stove. The bathrooms and showers were fine.
Site-description: Grassy-field style.
Neighborhood: Practically deserted on a cold weekday in the off-season.
Website: http://koa.com/campgrounds/enfield/
Comments: The “free wifi” was time limited (an hour, I believe) and restricted by a code to one device, so no getting on with both a smart phone and a laptop. I hope that they have since changed this policy.

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A beautiful but cold morning waking up in North Carolina

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Heading North, part 1: South Carolina

Despite all of the twists and turns we encounter in more than 12,000 miles of road, we often talked about our big trip having 4 main turns. We started by turning WEST in Pennsylvania, and though we wove around to see sights and visit friends, our general direction was west. When we reached the Pacific we made a giant left turn and started heading SOUTH along the West Coast. When we reached Mexico, we made our next big left turn and started driving EAST. Now, in Daytona Beach, we’d reached the Atlantic Coast. It was time for the last big left turn. Time to drive NORTH.

There was a vague restlessness in our camp that morning. After nearly 3 months on the road, moving every 2-3 days, we had developed some pretty good routines for breaking camp and getting on the road. But that morning, nothing seemed right. We were tired, a bit irritable, and lacked motivation. Eventually we had packed everything, hooked up the trailer, and buckled the kids into their car seats. We got in the car, looked at each other, and Staffan said, “North?”. It was then the reality started to sink in. NORTH was the last big turn. Once we made that turn, we were heading home. Something monumental was ending. For a brief moment we considered going west again instead, though we understood all the reasons why that wasn’t really an option. With heavy hearts, we made the last big left turn. North.

Not long after we got on the road, it started to rain. We’d been traveling for about 3 months but had only encountered rain a few times, and never in ways that interfered with our plans. Now the skies opened and the forecast assured us that this was not just a passing shower. It was almost poetic how the weather matched our moods, as if nature was mourning with us.

When we reached the Savannah, Georgia area, where we had tentatively planned to stop for the night, the rain hadn’t slowed and the wind blew cold. There were still several hours until bedtime, and while we had a small DVD player with us for such situations, we didn’t think it would keep the kids happily entertained and contained in the camper for that long. They seemed calm and content to be in the car and so we kept on driving.

We stopped for the night at the Point South KOA in Yemassee, South Carolina after a monumental yet uneventful day.

Campground Review Point South KOA:
Price: $44/night, which we felt was a little high for the off-season
Location: There’s not much in the area in terms of tourism but it is a beautiful area and the campground isn’t far from I95. It’s about 50 miles from Savannah and 60 miles from Charleston, so it could be reasonable to stay there and take day-trips to both cities.
Facilities: Most of the “extras” were closed for the off-season so it’s hard to comment, but we found the bathroom facilities to be perfectly adequate and they had a nice playground.
Site-description: Mixture of sand and grass, not strange for the Lowcountry. Plenty of trees.
Neighborhood: We didn’t have too many neighbors on a chilly, rainy weekday in November. Mostly retired long-term Rvers
Website: http://www.pointsouthkoa.com/
Comments: They advertise all kinds of other activities, like pizza delivery, wine tastings, and a coffee house, but on our one-night stay, we did not see or take advantage of any of these.

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