Wednesday, July 1, 2015

As I write this, we are about four weeks into our trip, and I have only one measly blog post to my credit in the last month. 
I promised myself and you, our readers, an update at least once a week and I have been negligent in my duties.
In preparation for our trip, we spent 10 days at Jenn's mom's house near Asheville, North Carolina. 
During that time, we were able to prepare the van for the trip, check the tires again, put the jeep in storage, and properly outfit our feet for a summer of fun hiking.
Once we were ready to leave, we decided to stick to Shunpiking for as much of our route as possible. 
What is Shunpiking, you might ask?
Shunpiking is a method of travel in which you avoid major interstates and highways as much as possible during your trip. This method of travel allows for a richer experience and slower pace than typical travel involving interstate highways. 
Never having attempted a cross-country trip of this type using this method before, I was unprepared for how enjoyable traveling in this manner would be. I am now loathe to use the interstate even if it's convenient. 
When you carry your house on your back like a snail, taking the road less traveled becomes less of an inconvenience and more of a pleasure.
We fell in love with many small towns in South Carolina and Georgia, most notably was Greenwood, South Carolina – a town that I fervently hope to return to in the future.
The town is host to a myriad of creative topiary sculptures- ala' Edward Scissorhands. There's even a 3-D jeep topiary with plants inside on the bench seat.
We spent our first night Boondocking at the Walmart parking lot in Athens, GA. We were planning on turning south towards Macon, but the navigator wasn't accustomed to Shunpiking and either she or the driver missed a crucial step in the directions. We still had a lovely time and we're glad to have spent the night in the hometown of the B-52's. There's even a State Farm insurance agent named Rhett Butler in Georgia- which just tickled my funny bone. 
We got up fairly early (for us), laid out our yoga mats in the shaded parking space beside our van, and did our morning routine. Doing yoga in a Walmart parking lot was a first for us and I'm sure we ended up on someone's Twitter feed. 
We headed out on our first full day of travel, and before we had gone 10 miles, found a roadside stand selling Georgia peaches. We had bought a bag of peaches in Myrtle Beach that were hard as a rock, and were assured by the farmer that they would ripen nicely – which they never did before rotting completely. We bought a full bushel of peaches and a jar of mixed berry jam for peanut butter sandwiches every day for lunch. I think we each ate 4 to 6 peaches a day until they were all gone. Some days, we would eat the peaches for lunch and save the peanut butter sandwiches for dinner. Food is secondary to travel sometimes. Other times, they go together like a hand in a glove. 

Next post, Panama City Beach, Destin, and the frenetic energy of the Gulf Coast.

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