Maiden Voyage: Part two

Thursday, October 9, 2014

We awoke to the gentle sounds of Mother Nature. The birds were singing, the wind rustled through the leaves of the trees, and the squirrels hunted for their morning nuts. The first thing that came to my mind was where am I? After a few moments of disorientated panic I remembered we were in Georgia. I have come to find that I have woken up like that every morning in the camper. I wonder if that will ever go away.
Our second day on the road promised to be better than the first. I had much more rest then I had the night before our maiden voyage. I was also much more confident in my driving; after all I had gotten us this far without running over anyone.
We decided before we got back on the road we would walk the cats for a bit. We had them out on the leash the night before in the park and Judzia seemed to do well. Tig on the other hand cried the whole time. Still we wanted them to stretch their legs and maybe work of some energy before we kept them cooped up on our long drive to Tennessee.
As soon as I got Tig outside the camper though he started pulling like he knew he was getting out of his harness. I reigned him back in and he acted like he would cooperate. A few birds were playing in the woods next to our camp site and Tig wanted to explore. I thought there would be no harm in letting him walk along the tree line. I was wrong.
As soon as I let my guard down a bit Tig had hopped over the little border between us and a hill and was tumbling down. I tried to catch him but he was too quick and before I could pull him back up he was out of his harness, off and running.
Tig loves the woods and would spend most of his time in them back home. It did not take long before he was out of sight and the little bugger is quiet as a mouse when he wants to be. I was all over the woods next to our spot. I knew he would not go past the road that circled the area we were in. He is a scaredy cat and any sign of other people would keep him at bay, but still that was a large area.
I was hesitant to call out his name as we were told not to have our cats running around the park besides he never comes when I call him any way. I had gone from one road to the other chasing noises that turned out to be birds or squirrels but no sign of Tig. I was mad at the cat but at the same time I was glad to be exploring the woods. Had he not gone out in them I would not have taken the time to enjoy them myself. Still we had a schedule to keep that we were well behind and check out time was fast approaching. I feared it was a fruitless search as he has never let me find him in the woods back home.
I was starting to wonder if it would not be best to just leave him there in the woods. I felt like maybe he just tagged along so he could be here in this wonderful park. I started to feel selfish for making him ride with us closed up in that little RV. Tig likes the woods and maybe he likes them more then he likes me. I thought about how much I would miss him if he was gone. As annoying as he can be I love the little fur ball. I was about in tears as I thought about giving up my search when I heard a little cry from the other end of the woods.
I ran to were the meows had come from and there in a lying in a gully without a care in the world was Tig. He did not run as I got close like he normally would. When I was in grabbing distance he just rolled around one last time in the dirt like he knew he would not be able to for a while; and when I went to pick him up he let me. I pulled him in close like I would never let go and he hugged me back. That is so not like Tig who would usually run from affection.
We had played this hide and seek game a lot before back home and he always won. Never before had he cried out for me to find him. It makes me wonder if he felt the sadness building in me as I feared I had lost my feline friend. He did not fight me as I carried him back. When we made it back to the Defiant I dropped him in the door and he hoped up to his perch above the cab and licked his paws like business as usual.
We quickly broke camp as it was close to the time for us to be out of the park. I made extra certain to not let the cats out as I put things away and got the Defiant ready to disembark. Tig did not make for the door once though, seemingly content with the outing he had that morning. It did not take long for everything to be ready and we were back out on the road.

I was thankful for my chance to explore some of that beautiful park and thankful too that Tig decided to join us on our journey. The park was well off the highway and we got to enjoy the sites as we drove back country roads on our way to the interstate. All that we passed seemed similar to home but still different enough to make it all feel very new.
Before too long we were out of the slow and sleepy woods of quiet country Georgia, and back on the interstate heading towards Atlanta. I had hoped that the afternoon traffic would not be so bad and we would be lonely as we headed down the high way. I was wrong about that one. It seemed as if everyone was headed to Atlanta and they were all in a hurry to get there.
It did not take long before I was sitting up straight with my hands at ten and two on the wheel. My grip was not as tight as it had been the day before but my focus was still all on the road and none on the sights as we found our way on and through the beltway past Atlanta.
 I did try to pay more attention to what we drove past this time though and the little bit of the city I did see made me understand why so many people wanted to be there. I made a mental note that one day when time was not a care we would come back and see the city in full. I must say though I felt relief when I saw the city on the backup camera and the traffic with it. It was time we saw Tennessee.
The highway that brought us into Tennessee bordered the two states and brought us in then back out and in again.  That was nice as we were so busy looking at all there was to see that we passed the welcome to Tennessee sign the first time so the picture we have is the second sign we came across.
The view was amazing as we passed the lakes and the mountains that lined them. a few times I wanted to pull over just so I could stand and look, but the big rigs that rushed passed us reminded me why that would not be a good idea.  Before long though we were at another welcome center and I was happy for a chance to get more coffee and an opportunity to stretch my legs.
While we were there I decided to flip through some pamphlets on the touristy things to do while in Tennessee and to my surprise I did not see one thing on the only attraction I really cared to see. I did find a list of campgrounds to stay at though. One they had advertised had go-cart tracks and spelunking but we had past that one already and had no time for back tracking, so we decided on another that had a little advertisement but promised a lot of charm. So we plugged in the address in our GPS and off we were again.
The trip from the rest area to the camp grounds was uneventful. The traffic was light, the scenery nice, and the cats well behaved… until we got just outside of Nashville. The closer we got the more congested it became and we reached our destination right at rush hour. We stopped at the first gas station we saw to fill up our gas tank and our bellies. It was a tight squeeze to the pump and out again. The string of curse words I let lose as we fought traffic to the camp ground would have made a sailor blush. I cannot tell you how relieved I was when I saw the sign for the campground.
The park was quieter then I had expected seeing as it was in the middle of a city. We may not have been in Nashville but this place was a lot busier than sleepy little Lexington. Though it was quite and safe and I was wore out from another day behind the wheel I had a hard time falling asleep knowing thet the next day I would be face to face with the goddess Athena.


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