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  • Writer's pictureSandra

Every beginning is difficult...

Published May 12, 2022

After a somewhat bumpy start the day before and the resulting first night in the Walmart parking lot, it was important to me the next day to find a campground nearby where we could make ourselves at home on the bus, i.e. fill the water tank, unload luggage and stow away and generally just arrive. My choice fell on Lake Fairfax Park Campground not far from Washington Dulles Airport, where ironically we had flown in exactly 1 week earlier. Thanks to the still prevailing "off-season" there was very little going on there. Thanks to an older couple who filled up their water reserves in front of us and then lent us their water hose, we were also able to fill up our 200 l water tank before we looked for a nice spot. To be honest, we were sweating in advance that we should have bought the right screw cap for the water hose. But the two were really nice, very interested in our travel plans and also had a few good tips in stock. As it turned out later, we were dealing with two real camper professionals who have been traveling through the USA for 3 years and run a YouTube channel called "Liz-Amazing". So after we were supplied with fresh water, we settled down at home, or rather "busically".

We stowed away our things, which we had previously lugged from hotel to hotel in a large holdall. Next we wanted to see if the electricity thing works. In principle, we are self-sufficient thanks to the solar panels on the roof, but we occasionally need electricity to charge my “Genny” seated Segway. That's why we bought a converter 3 years ago especially for the USA, which converts the 110 V available here. After such a long time I was glad that we still knew about his existence and even thought about taking him with us. However, when trying to connect it to the charging station, the next problem arose, because the converter only had a British mains plug. British? What kind of shit is that now? Looks like an American one at first glance, but the dimensions are slightly different. Mission "Electricity" failed miserably in this respect. Not so wild, the Segway is still packed, but at least we know now that we need an adapter from British to American.

Next we went on a tour of discovery, after all, the dog also wants to experience something. He had so bravely surrendered to his fate that he definitely deserved to “read the newspaper” at length. The paths around the lake were a bit adventurous, sometimes very steep, and that's why I was super happy to have her with me on the first walk with my Genny. When we were back on the bus, the two older gentlemen from just before came back to us and handed us a "Welcome to the USA present". I was totally touched, because the two of them had apparently gone off extra in the meantime and had gotten us the same water hose that they had previously lent us. No sign of the otherwise superficial Americans. Super nice! In the evening I was looking forward to finally being able to cook for myself again. Although the purchases were still a bit sparse, a few noodles are always possible. What kind of half-Italian would I be otherwise?

We let the evening end relatively early, the first 2 days on the bus had already exhausted us quite a bit. Seb' was also in poor health. The next day our destination was Shenandoa National Park (West Verginia). This was about 2.5 hours away. I felt crappy that morning. I could hardly get out of bed, I was totally powerless, tired and felt miserable. On the drive to the park, I kept dozing off in the passenger seat, completely unable to engage with the beauty of the area that was already revealed on the drive there. Once in the park, Skyline Drive stretches for over 100 miles, there are countless viewpoints and the park has dozens of trails to offer... but only one for wheelchair users. And we drove to it. When we parked the Skoolie, I wanted to rest for a bit before we started. Lying down turned into 4 hours! After that I didn't really feel better, but at least a little more rested. We then walked/I rolled the 1.3 mile "long" trail called the Limberlost Trail, which to be honest was just a mini-walk through the woods.

But maybe nothing could inspire us that day, we were just too exhausted and so the evening ended quite early on a campground in the park. It wasn't until the next day that we were able to appreciate the beauty of nature that surrounded us.

We didn't find any other trail that was doable with a wheelchair or Genny Segway, but the numerous vantage points allowed an amazing view of the seemingly endless expanses.

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