The alarm went off at 6:30 this morning. Is that any way to start a vacation? We loaded up the food for the refrigerator which we'll fill when we stop tonight and all the odds and ends we forgot to put in the camper earlier. Everything went into the back of the car and we set off only a few minutes later than our planned schedule waving a fond farewell to Camp Kreitzer. It was a misty morning with a pearly sky and interesting cloud cover broken here and there to let the light through -- lovely.
We arrived on time for 8:30 Mass in Winchester at Sacred Heart, which was celebrated very reverently by the pastor, Fr. Krempa, who used to be our parochial vicar 20 or more years ago at St. Louis parish in Alexandria. He's been pastor at Sacred Heart for a long time and, if attendance at daily Mass is any judge, the parish is thriving.
The first senior moment of the trip came shortly after Mass as Larry missed our turn toward Berkeley Springs, a route we've taken many times. I was looking at the I-pad so I was no help and when he "woke up" about ten miles later realizing he'd goofed, we didn't want to turn back. So instead of the relative bee-line to the PA turnpike, we meandered through the by-ways and backwaters of Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania to connect up with the turnpike at Somerset. Larry was frustrated, but I was tickled pink. I hate the Interstates and we had a lovely ride through little towns and past fields of flowers and meadows with browsing cows and horses. We saw a train, a barn painted on one side with an American flag, four wild turkeys strutting in a front yard, farms with tall silos, several houses with dozens of solar panels in the yard, and some charming gardens. We passed through one gloomy section of narrow road with trees making a tunnel that set me thinking about the Legend of Sleepy Hollow and watching for the headless horseman. When we hit the turnpike it started raining and we had some nervewracking stretches with the wipers on full tilt. We arrived in Monroeville to meet friends for lunch only about 45 minutes later than our original plan and the detour was well worth it.
lunch with friends in Pennsylvanis
Is there anything more delightful than catching up with old friends - especially friends of the heart? Jenny and I used to pray and sidewalk counsel together at an abortion mill on Duke St. in Alexandria. We enjoyed lunch at Red Lobster while catching up on all the doings of our kids. We heard all about a year-long trip one of their children took with his family as full-time RV-ers. They sold their house at the top of the housing bubble and with the profits and their savings they bought an Airstream, set off to see the country, homeschooled their children enroute, and had a wonderful adventure! Wow! Before we left, Bert and Jenny took us out to their car and presented us with a treat: a container of soup and a loaf of bread from Panera Pread and a bottle of Pennsylvania wine. It reminded me of the scene in It's a Wonderful Life when Mr. and Mrs Martini move to their new home in Bailey Park. Delightful!
And our camper is our little castle when we're on the road. It was hard to say good-bye knowing it will probably be years before we're able to connect up with these dear friends again. Hugs all around and back on the road. Four more hours and we arrived at our first campground, East Harbor State Park in Marblehead, Ohio on Lake Erie. When we opened the camper we found evidence of stowaways.