I knew when I woke up and saw Okie's water frozen in her dish we had to start sleeping in motels. Despite my father lending me a heater it is too cold for me to keep sleeping in my van now. My cooking fuel doesn't work under freezing temperatures (no making coffee in the morning) and the majority of campgrounds and state parks are closed for the season. It was time to give up the fight and fork out the cash.
Maybe I should have spent more time in the southern states but sometimes I just keep driving. I really do enjoy driving and I'm doing a lot of it. The last campground I stayed at was on the outskirts of Culpeper, Virginia and it was quite the place. It looked like most of the trailers there had been parked for a long time; a lot of permanent residents. The maintenance man, Kevin, who is in charge of 16 acres all by himself (so he kept telling me) provided me with the space and lifted the rusty barrel off the power box so I could plug in. About a half hour later another burly man in a hunting jacket comes to collect my $25 and tells me if it gets too cold I can "come on up to the house and sleep on the couch". Southern hospitality hey?!
The first motel was Granny's Motel in Frackville, PA. I chose to sleep there because the statues on the outside caught my attention. In it's heyday I'm sure it was quite the place but it looks to me like it has been passed by the interstate, leaving it to fall into less than stellar condition. I like places like this though and it's cheap so it was our home for the night. You may not be able to tell but their eyes are quite vapid and the kid is holding a headless doll.
Tonight I am at a Motel 6 in Massachusetts somewhere. As I heat up my dinner of beans and rice I see my reflection in the mirror. I'm definitely looking a little worse for wear. I drove all day without taking enough breaks. Okie and I aren't as inspired to go for long walks as we used to be. She doesn't seem to like the cold any more than I do. Am I complaining? Maybe a little but I'm coming home for all great reasons and with a new goal. I'm excited about the way things are looking for the next four months. Plus, the closer I get the more excited I am to be seeing my friends and family. Let the next chapter begin.