It always surprises me how eager I am to head south, after how happy I was to get off the boat in the spring. Each half of the year is wonderful, and makes me appreciate the other one more.
By May 2, Richard finished grinding down the hull and we put some sunscreen netting over the boat, which we think may be better than the tarp, as it lets air through.
On May 5, Lucky got moved to storage, and we were on our way north.
This year, we took our time and camped in the van. With the back open and the netting in, we could lie in the trees, looking out at water and listening to night noises. Much nicer than a motel! One night we “stealth” camped, parking near a boat ramp in Beaufort, NC, and visiting a friend who restores Trumpys – another story, it will be in the book.
The van stopped twice, starved of fuel, and Richard had to lay underneath and clean the fuel filter. Later the fuel hose came off when a clamp rusted through, and Richard went underneath again. He has spare gas, and a good assortment of spare parts and tools, and a little mat he can lay on.
We wandered through the mountains, with breathtaking views at every turn (breast-taking, Richard called them, so I hung on to mine). The power-steering fluid had leaked out, so the steering was difficult, and I let Richard do it.
I became a senior citizen as we were navigating through the mountains. I don’t feel senior, but Richard said I’m very forgetful.
The van started making a deep rattle in the area of the rear passenger wheel. More transmission oil helped but after a couple of days the rattle became a loud knocking, and we looked for a Volkswagen place twenty miles back the road in Johnstown.. The shiny new garage couldn’t fix it and had to refer us to an old guy outside town, who had a yard full of old Volkswagens. The old guy got the parts, Richard did all the work, and I got to spend a spa day at the motel.
When Richard came back at the end of the day, oily, dirty and hurting from laying under the van again all day, I asked him whether he’d rather have sex or a massage. He picked the massage.
On May 15, I was back home, after picking up my car in Hamilton, and leading Richard out of Hamilton and up to Guelph. I was alone for the first time since Boxing Day, and it felt odd but nice. To be continued.