It has been a little over two weeks (hard to believe, but I just double checked the calendar…) since John and I purchased an adorable reconditioned motorhome, which he has named Eppy.” Eppy is short for E.P. or Escape Pod. We now have an added incentive for staying alive and well… paying for Eppy will take us at least another 15 years.
We actually made the decision to add ”Eppy” (or one just like it…) to our lives while traveling back to Florida from California, in January of this year. We were in our Prius and were using only backroads. We had just spent two glorious months hiking the hills (and the Pacific seashore) of the ”South Bay” area of Santa Clara County, south of the San Francisco Bay. Our ”anything but direct” route back across the country to our home in Central Atlantic Coastal Florida was plotted on mostly two lane highways. We were careful to avoid big cities and interstates whenever possible. In making this decision, we had to push back against our fears of not finding restroom stops, gasoline, healthy food, and cat friendly motel rooms… in that order.
“Cat friendly” might seem like an unnecessary designation since “pet friendly” would seem to cover the issue. It does not. We used at least fifteen motel rooms for the crossing, chosen primarily because they would accept the presence of our insane elderly Himalayan… “Ellie Mae Crazy Cat.” Many hotels that claim to be “pet friendly” actually mean “dog friendly…” and they will not accept cats. On previous road trips we have been turned away too many times from our ”reserved” “pet friendly” room, as soon as they discovered our pet is feline. We have learned to call and ask first.
The one stop where we forgot to call ahead to on this trip was a La Quinta in northern Florida. La Quintas are usually a safe bet for being “cat friendly.” Weary from a seven hour drive in stormy weather, I stared in dismay at the hand printed sign on the check in counter… ”No Cats!”
So of course, when the somewhat surly woman behind the counter asked me, “Do you gots any pets with you?” I smiled my best smile and said, “Oh yeah! We have a Chihuahua!” Thus Ellie Mae Crazy Cat became the quietest, best behaved Chihuahua that motel room would ever host. And she did not lift a hind leg to the furnishings.
Our backroads crossing was an inspiring journey. It was actually a very hope-filled and empowering series of discoveries, really. We found that small towns with kind, caring, and intelligent people still make up much of the United States. Our encounters with such people along the way reminded and reassured us that these qualities are still prevalent among a population of everyday Americans.
Contrary to what the daily news would have us believe, we really aren’t a country filled to bursting with violent, angry, raving idiots, who thrive on hatred. And it turned out restrooms, gasoline, food, and “cat friendly” motel rooms were readily available along those back roads. And there was art! And an amazing number of family owned RV parks in natural settings, as opposed to fenced in, halogen lit concrete and gravel holding pens for harried tourists. We realized we were ready to commit to our long researched plan to get another RV. Eppy is the end result of that realization. We have also committed to getting out and camping in her at least once a month. The upcoming hurricane season (June 30th through November 30th) is predicted to be an especially intense one. We may be fleeing in her, north by northwest, in the coming months. Life is an adventure, and nothing holds. (L.L.N.) Live Life Now!