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Issue #210, Epic Road Trip, July 2, 2018, Prince William Forest RV Park, Virginia

July 2, 2018 We had only about 2 hours of driving yesterday with a lunchtime stop at Culpepper near a Dick’s sporting goods where we got new sandals for Orion. Paige bought 99 cent sandals for him some time ago at Wal-Mart, but those fell apart almost immediately, so after several tries of fixing them with sticky velcro (which we have an abundant supply of) we just decided to get new ones. He absent-mindedly left his sunglasses sitting on a pile of shirts, and just as we were about to leave, he said, “wait! My glasses”! so we had to go back in and get them. We were right next to a large grocery store called Michael’s foods, and since we had stopped around noon, Paige went in to get supplies for our first night at Prince William Forest RV campground (where we are now); and right outside this guy was selling $2 hot dogs as a charity fund-raiser for “The Miracle Foundation”, so we ate cheap hot dogs and chips and sodas with high fructose corn syrup. My iPhone map barely works now, so we are having to use Paige’s phone for our main navigation needs.

We made it to the Rv park in the early afternoon, where we found the sun beating down on our little spot with no shade. Fortunately, we are right next to the swimming pool, and perhaps not so fortunately, the bathrooms are right next to us as well. We set up the awning to provide a little shade and while the kids swam, Paige and I crafted an itinerary for the next four days that we have here. To give the kids some ownership in the process, we each listed places/things we would like to see in Washington, and then out of that list put together a plan of action. On the 4th, we will be at Mt. Vernon, as there are a lot of activities going on there that day, and I continue to make my way through Ellis’s book.

After I made the reservation for Mt. Vernon and we had settled on the other spots, I took a short exploratory bike ride through part of the Prince William forest that we can access here, riding on very shady and empty roads to reach the small creek that flows through the center. It’s actually a pretty extensive park, developed in the 30’s during the depression, and it felt quiet and peaceful (and pretty humid as well). I sat by the creek for a bit, listening to my ears continue to ring. Paige was in the pool when I got back, and soon the kids were, too, trying out these new squirt guns that Paige had brought at the concessionaire stand - that promptly broke a bit later. So I jumped in with them and we all swam together for awhile - I even did some laps, which felt great.

While Paige made dinner (a delicious chicken and olive creation that took over an hour) the kids went back to the shop to request refunds for the squirt guns; a gal appeared a short while later with three new ones, so their charm and respect must have done the trick.

Last night I compiled all the haiku I’ve written since June 15 at Collier-Seminole State Park in Florida, up to 2 days ago at Monticello, and posted them to Facebook. I think I will combine them later with imagery, but I felt it conveys the essence of what I’ve seen so far.

I had a rough night in the Cricket - What is new? I had to turn around at one point because the air was blasting on my head and I was in agony; then I had a series of extremely weird dreams, including a nightmare that started well, hanging out with Patty (who was brewing beer) and a young Cali, until a puff of smoke appeared on the horizon, then we were in a firestorm, running for our lives - then I woke up with a start, with the air conditioner emulating the firestorm.

camped near the bathroom
avoiding strangers’ glances
who come to use the loo

solo/group kukai
jonathan machen