I have reached my home for the next six months. My first workamper job has begun! Last Sunday, my sister, her husband, their two Labradoodles, Mojo and I left Knoxville headed to Shenandoah Crossing in Virginia. Joan and Bill had purchased a vacation package promoted through Bass Pro Shops, and we were on our way to explore new territory.

We arrived mid-day Monday and settled in at our luxurious camping spot, complete with outdoor furniture and a wonderful gas barbecue and cook center. The concrete pad made leveling quite easy, and the landscaping was neat and welcoming. Shenandoah Crossing is a very large facility with many RV spots, cabins, yurts, play areas, and lots of room to walk. Not quite “roughing it,” but a nice RV sorta takes the “rough” out of camping.

After a three-hour presentation and sales pitch on the facility Tuesday morning, we were then free to enjoy the next two full days and three nights. We did explore the area somewhat, including Charlottesville and the University of Virginia campus. We drove the grounds of Montpelier, home to James and Dolley Madison, and we drove out to Monticello, the home of Thomas Jefferson. Did you know that Dolley Madison served as formal hostess at the White House during Jefferson’s term prior to her own husband becoming President?

On Friday, Joan and Bill left to return to Knoxville, and I headed north and west into Maryland. I had signed up for a “Becoming an Outdoor Woman (BOW)” seminar on birding, sponsored by the State of Maryland. Well, the best made plans sometimes do not come to fruition. I found the State Park, Deep Creek Lake State Park, easily enough, but finding the campground itself was another story altogether……and it’s no fun having to hunt when you have 12,000 pounds on your heels! Some full time RVers actually have the partner go out ahead when getting close to their destination to scout out the roads and the campsites, then they call for the RV driver to come on in. Great idea, but not very doable when you are alone. Mojo is not a lot of help in that department.

Without too many details, other than ending up on a dead-end road and jockeying the rig back and forth and back and forth to get turned around, I left the area in tears and decided to head for Massachusetts, my next stop. Driving from Virginia, thru part of West Virginia, and into Maryland and back through Pennsylvania and into New York had not been a picnic. I don’t think I have ever encountered such rough roads, and these were State highways! So many pot holes and bumps, poor Kwincy got rattled and jumbled! I also was given the opportunity to learn how to tow on mountain roads. The Appalachians are up and down and up and down. I quickly learned how to downshift and brake using the rig and not the truck when possible. Exciting times!

My disappointment in not being able to participate in the birding seminar resulted in my driving most of the night to Westfall, Pennsylvania, where I spent Saturday and Saturday night simply resting. The Tri-State RV Park is located immediately on the Delaware River, where Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey all come together. On Sunday I drove to where I will now be for the next six months: Pine Acres Family Resort in Oakham, Massachusetts. I will be a workamper at this lovely facility, helping with the general store and events and activities, in exchange for my site and hook-ups. There is some monetary compensation for hours over and above those matching the value of the accommodations. My site is wonderful! I am located a short hike to the dog park, which Mojo and I both love. We have lots of room to walk and hike, and as soon as it warms up a little, we can take advantage of life on Dean Lake as well. I miss the warmth of Florida; there are still muddy patches of snow on the ground, and the air is nippy.

Pine Acres has been very highly rated as one of the nation’s best campgrounds, and today I was privileged to meet the founder of this place. Kim was driving a golf cart, checking the fire pits, wearing his WWII cap. ninety-one years young, he introduced himself and told me he has been here for fifty five years. The park was founded in 1960. His grand-daughters are very instrumental in now running the place. This is going to be a very interesting summer!

One last item: I have discovered the most fantastic small appliance for RV kitchens…. oven Central by Cuisinart. Wow! I just received it prior to our leaving Knoxville last week, and it does everything! I made us a yummy breakfast, complete with cranberry muffins, all in the Oven Central. It is compact and very convenient, and easy to clean. This will become my cooking utensil of choice from here on out!

Moments of grace: today I am so grateful for safe travels, families, grandpas, and tall pine trees. Our Lord is so good!