Yes, we have liftoff!

02 Jun
freedom 7

All packed and ready to leave Charleston, with Frank in the navigator’s seat.

Well, we’re off! I’m sitting at a picnic table, with Frank stretched out on his side under it as he tries to escape the central-Georgia sun. His snores are echoing up from underneath, the cement table adding a bit of resonance to the sound.

I’m looking out over Lake Blackshear right now. We’re camped at Georgia Veterans State Park and have pitched our tent about 20 feet from the edge of the lake. Frank isn’t happy that he’s not allowed in the water. It’s on instructions from the rangers when I checked in. If Frank goes swimming this afternoon, there’s better than an 80% chance he’ll be gator shit in the morning!  Something I can’t figure out though … they also said theres no danger of them coming up onto shore in the campground area.  So they’re in the water, but won’t come up onto land, even if they spot a couple of tasty morsels laying out on the ground?  What, do they have some “No Alligator Crossing” signs posted?  Not that I’m complaining, mind you.

We arrived here on yesterday afternoon … Monday, June 1st … after a whirlwind two weeks since my last post. A lot happened as we wound down our stay in Charleston. Good and bad. I’m still trying to figure out how to include it all in the blog. I think it’s going to take several posts to catch you all up. And right now, I’m still in “recovery mode” so to speak.

The last two weeks alone were enough to wipe me out. Not much sleep, continuing to fight the anxiety, having to trick myself into getting stuff done a little at a time in order to leave on time. Add to that all the work associated with setting up camp in 90 degree heat and relatively high humidity … well, suffice it to say that I was asleep last night at 9pm and with the exception of a brief midnight excursion so Frank could take care of business, I slept until 9am. Add a two hour nap around 11am and there you have it!

I’ve learned a LOT in the last 48 hours. Stuff that’s going to make the next setup at Meaher State Park in Alabama in a couple of weeks go a lot smoother than the one yesterday. Yet another blog post.

I’ve already been recipient of more than a few random acts of kindness that I want to share. Yet another blog post.

I’ll also say that I feel like a weight has been lifted off me now that I’m actually on the road.  I am still fighting anxiety, but the level has dissipated considerably since getting behind the wheel.

I really just wanted to come on and say, “Yes, Frank and I are still alive. Yes, we started our journey.” I’ll post more over the next several days to catch you all up on an eventful two weeks.


Posted by on June 2, 2015 in Travels


Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

13 responses to “Yes, we have liftoff!

  1. ekurie

    June 2, 2015 at 5:21 pm

    woohoo! travel mercies and happy trails.


    • ustabe

      June 2, 2015 at 9:16 pm

      Thanks ekurie. I promise to be better about my posts from here on out.


  2. Donna Edwards Suhl

    June 2, 2015 at 7:22 pm

    Eureka! Elusive peace….first, good sleep, then weight coming off your shoulders….out and about, staying busy, key, my friend, that’s the key. Can’t wait to hear more! xo


    • ustabe

      June 2, 2015 at 9:16 pm

      Thanks, Donna. It’s a little past 9pm on Tuesday and I’m going to be asleep in about 20 minutes! I still feel totally wiped.


  3. caboscloud

    June 2, 2015 at 9:14 pm

    I was so happy to see your post! My best to Frank … his Blog Buddy feature turned out great on my blog, thanks again for submitting him! Safe travels! Sean


    • ustabe

      June 2, 2015 at 9:23 pm

      Thank you, Sean. I just posted a “thank you” on your page, and apologized for the late response.

      Frank has been pretty good during the day, but he has been very anxious at night in the tent. I don’t know if he’s having flashbacks to a time when he was on his own before being picked up by the Humane Society or what. Hopefully he’s able to chill out in a short timeframe. I can’t have him freaking out and getting his heart racing too badly.

      Liked by 1 person

      • caboscloud

        June 2, 2015 at 9:24 pm

        Poor little fella. I’m sure he’ll settle down soon. Lots of change can be stressful to everyone … even a super suave beagle!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Donna Edwards Suhl

    June 2, 2015 at 9:28 pm

    Jeff, have you ever heard of Outdoor World? They have RV campsites all over the country and you can also set-up tents, they have cabin rentals, even yurts. My Aunt Kay & Uncle Lee when they retired, sold everything and bought an RV and traveled the U.S. working at different national parks. They would come East for the summer and work at Outdoor World (Thousand Trails) in Ocean View, NJ My aunt worked in the office and my uncle did yard maintenance around the place. They had their RV to live in, but a guy named Joe worked there and they would give him one of the cabins for the summer. Allen and I, my brother and kids, my cousins and their kids, we would go down for a week in the summer and rent the cabins. They were great, a living area with a kitchenette, table, futon, tv, bathroom and bedroom and a big deck with bar-b-q. May be something to look into, call and ask if you can work for a summer, give you some extra cash and a place to live for the summer. It’s near Sea Isle City down the shore in Jersey, but in the woods, they have a pool, a lake, game room for kids, and of course, you can bring dogs.

    Liked by 1 person

    • ustabe

      June 3, 2015 at 10:24 am

      I’ll have to check it out. I know of Outdoor World, the store (isn’t there one on Route 17, headed towards Ramsey?) If it’s the same company, then I didn’t know they also had campsites or RV parks. I will have to check them out.


  5. Donna Edwards Suhl

    June 2, 2015 at 9:31 pm

    Once Frank gets used to moving about and knows he’ll still be with you, he should catch on. He’s just unsettled and unsure, it’ll work out. Just make sure he gets lots of exercise during the day and it’ll wipe him out, too. Don’t forget, you’re outdoors and he’s smelling EVERYTHING all night in that tent!!!


    • ustabe

      June 3, 2015 at 10:31 am

      I got up this morning to hike to the bathroom. It’s about a football field away. I zipped Frank up in his crate and wound up just sitting at the picnic table outside the tent to see what he’d do.

      It sounded like the Rock and John Cena were going at it in there. Think about it … the tent is 14 foot from front to back and the crate was in the back corner. I heard crashing and struggling sounds starting in the back, then in the middle, then in the front of the tent. After a few minutes, he appears out the front of the tent. I said, “FRANK!” and he came running and jumping into my arms as I sat there!

      I am the only person in camp that has to walk there with a stake and a mallet! I staked him outside the entrance (no dogs allowed in the building) so he could see me go in. I was in there for about 20 minutes taking a shower (Man, that felt good!) and he was sitting at the end of the lead as close to the front entrance as he could get, wagging his tail a mile a minute when I appeared at the door.

      Final score: Frank 1, Crate -0-. I’m simply not going to be able to let him stay in the tent by himself.


  6. Jen

    June 3, 2015 at 11:22 pm

    Glad you two have hit the road! Let your troubles fade and enjoy the journey, my friend! 🙂



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