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10/9/00 - Baby, She Was Born to Run

I am on the road. Took the RV back to Brown's Texaco for one last look and some adjustments, gave Bruce Brown a hug - awkward but heartfelt - for helping to make my dream come true again. Bet he never had a customer hug him. And that was after I noticed the little ceramic jar with the words "Problem Customers" painted on the side. HA HA HA.

Slowly, slowly easing into 40 mph, 50 mph. Got onto the highway and listened, listened to the engine. Any weird sounds? Was that a grinding? Was that a clank? What was that? So far so good.

It took me an hour before I calmed down enough to listen to some music. I had to pretend that everything was normal, one ear peeled to hear any unusual noise. I put Bruce Springsteen's "Born to Run" album on again, since that was what was playing when the old engine met its demise. I had to push fate, challenge the Engine Gods. They can't NOT like Bruce Springsteen. storm

Went through the Berkshires and tried to enjoy the vibrant fall foliage. Listened to Styx and Indigo Girls on the way into New York. Made it to Scotia, NY outside of Schenectady as the weather began to look like a storm was brewing and camped for the night.

Stayed at the Arrowhead Marina and RV Park and loved the $18 price. Of course, the lower price might have something to do with the active railroad RIGHT NEXT DOOR to the camp. Nothing like a train to WAKE YOU UP in the middle of the night.

10/10/00 - Upstate New York

Going I-90 all the way. Passed through Syracuse and Rochester and then when I got to Auburn, NY, I remembered that a woman named Suzanne who I had met online - an aspiring writer - lived there, and so I spontaneously pulled off at the Auburn exit and pulled into a Days Inn parking lot. I gave her a call from my cell phone and asked if she wanted to meet me somewhere to say hello.

She was working at home with her two kids and didn't have a babysitter. I suggested we meet at McDonalds, a little tip I had learned from my dear friend Toni in Richmond, Virginia who used to take her kids to McDonalds for momentary respite. Suzanne agreed to meet me and gave me directions to the nearest McDonalds that had a play area.

Before I left the Days Inn lot, I ran around to the front door to see if they had USA Today, and sure enough they did. I bought a copy from the dispenser and opened the paper. Tuesday, October 10, 2000, Life Section - there was a photo of me and the Berts and a wonderful article about and my cross-country trip written by Janet Kornblum. I was so psyched! suzanne

Went to McDonalds and had a chocolate milkshake and fries and talked to Suzanne about writing and becoming a full-time freelancer as her kids played in the huge plastic, brightly colored maze of a fortress. I wish I was a kid sometimes so I could climb through the tunnels and jump into the little room filled with colorful plastic balls.

Got back on the road and made it as far as Batavia, NY (pronounced Bah-TAY-via) which was about two hours from Buffalo. Pulled into Lei-Tei campground (short for LEIsure TIme) and got a pull-thru site. Usually when you have a mini-motorhome like me, they give you a back-in site - pull-thrus are always preferable because they are so easy to get into and get out of. It was on gravel, though, with no grass or trees right at the site, but a big grassy field with bushes and trees across the way. batavia

The sun was setting as I was hooking up water and electric, and I took a photo to capture the colors behind the Apache. On one side of me, very closely parked, was a long Class A motorhome (the kind that looks like a bus) and on the other side of me was a 5th wheel (the kind that is towed behind a big truck, bigger than a regular trailer).

As I was starting to set up camp, a woman stepped out of the big motorhome and said hello. She looked perfectly dressed, perfectly coifed, trim and stylish. As I was finishing, she walked back holding some white shirts on hangers. "Catching up on laundry." she laughed and went inside. The first thing that came to mind is how diverse RVers can be. Here was a woman who looked like she would be more at home at a country club than at an RV campground, but here she was, perfectly content and looking great.

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