Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Great Escape(e)

The deal was set. The boss would allow Gene to travel provided he make himself available for work via cell phone and internet air card.

A giddy sense of freedom washed over us as we contemplated finally being on the road. Sure, working would cut into sightseeing time. That just meant we’d need to linger longer to see an area. Objective One: South Carolina.

We’d never toured SC and our “See all of America the Beautiful” map of the US did not have South Carolina colored in. That map is an RVer’s bragging map. Much like a Scout’s Merit badge Sash the map proudly displays your travel accomplishments and invites conversation. We only have about 13 states colored in. (We choose not to color just by driving through. We color only if we have spent at least a few days and done some sightseeing. But there are no rules or Map Police. It’s your map after all.)

Being giddy with the freedom of our escape from the routine it was quite appropriate to land our first night from our home town at the Raccoon Valley RV Park in Heiskell, TN (Knoxville area). Operated by the Escapees RV Club the park was our first Escapee (abbreviated SKP) campground. Hugs and hand shakes are common in the Club. Gene got his first SKP hug when he registered.

The Park is clean inside and out. A giant lending library of books, videos, DVDs, jigsaw puzzles and travel info is available in the loft above the Rec Hall.

Every day a Social Hour is held in the Rec Hall. It is a chance to meet and greet, ask advice about the area or RVing, and visit with others of like lifestyle. Some folks vacation in their RV, others use theirs for multi-month adventures, and others live in the “rig” as their only home. Most are mobile but frequency of travel can very widely.

At our first Social Hour we provided the entertainment as we were the only new folks on display. We enjoyed the chatting. Then it happened. One in the group was a fellow we had previously met at the Timberline Campground (not an SKP park) in Lebanon, TN. It is said to be startling how often one bumps into the same folks again and again all over the nation. Like flotsam on the wave or “dust in the wind” we drift N-S or E-W with the seasons and our own whim. Gathering at Escapee Club campgrounds (there are 19) would help explain repeat meetings.

We off-loaded a couple DVDs and books for the library and took 1 book with us in return.

We left after only 2 nights fleeing the freeze in TN for a warmer SC. We hope to try as many Club campgrounds as our travels permit. But we certainly will return to Raccoon Valley for its friendliness and great facilities. Perhaps that combination of quality facilities and quality folks explains how we keep running into each other at Escapee campgrounds and events all over the country.

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