George’s Birthday Adventure: Episode 1

As you know, our little George has a great sense of adventure just like his mom. So as I mentioned a few weeks ago, he requested a birthday trip to Nevada so he could geocache the E.T. Highway. Given it’s distance from our Camp Granola home-base in Georgia, this obviously involves more than a weekend getaway. If you’re going to drag your whole family across the country, you have to make it worth the effort right? So with that we headed west to see what we could discover in addition to our geocaching destination.

I also promised in that post that I would be making an effort to overcome my blogger delinquency and be more timely in chronicling the adventures of our road-schooling gang. This brings us to the first installment of our 2+ week cross-country expedition.

Blubaru loaded and ready to take us across the country.

Let the driving begin…

I guess I don’t really have to tell you there are a lot of miles between Atlanta and Nevada. We were facing several brutal days of driving but the boys didn’t want to miss more of their homeschool classes than necessary so we didn’t set out until noon last Thursday, meaning we were cramming in a lot of travel in a short amount of time. It’s a faster pace than I’d like but it’s what we have to work with at the moment.

At any rate, with classes behind us, we set off through Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana, hoping to reach Austin by the middle of our second day. We chose the southern I-10 route since, while not as quick as I-20, it was a route the boys had never experienced…and you now we’re all about variety here at Camp Granola. Even without stopping and exploring a great deal, I was hoping they would at least get a feel for what the north section of the Gulf Coast was like…that is, as opposed to the southern Florida Gulf Coast they’re pretty familiar with.

Dobby looking oh-so-thrilled about his dinner on the road.

Slow, wet, and foggy…

Our shiny, happy adventure started off sunny and inviting but quickly turned to an insane thunderstorm pounding courtesy of the great states of Alabama and Mississippi. Given the weather, our plans to explore along the way via geocaching were quickly squashed. We managed a few to satisfy George’s desire to get a cache in each state, but it was a tall order, not only because the storms were severe, but also because they was slowing us down so much that our geocaching time was being eaten away in large chunks. We did need to get out west after all.

So with little exploration time at our disposal, we had to mostly be satisfied with the view out Blubaru’s windows. It wasn’t much but the boys did get to see and smell the Gulf Coast and marvel at the rivers and swamps of the southern deltas. They were sufficiently mesmerized by the early morning fog over the Mississippi River and Louisiana wetlands. And it certainly wet our appetites to return and explore further some day.

I know, not a fabulous picture, but you do get an idea of what we were contending with on Day 1.

A bang-up time in Mississippi…

After slogging our way through Alabama and Mississippi, we were almost in the clear of the roughest storms. In fact, we’d managed to grab a geocache, a quick dinner, as well as some coffee and wi-fi courtesy of Starbuck’s in Mississippi. We had Louisiana in our sights when a traveler from South Africa, confused by driving here in the states, made a huge error in judgement.

Blubaru, being as fabulous as she is, managed to stop short of the errant left-turner. However, the gentleman in the lane next to us was not as fortunate. Thankful our trip had not met an early end, we did have to pause our westward advance to provide assistance. Also thankfully, no one was injured so it was simply a matter of making a statement before we could move on.

Stopping short…

So with all of our delays, we were not as far along as we’d hoped. But we at Camp Granola know that delays are just part of the deal and, not only make allowances for those delays in our plans, but also don’t get our granola undies in a bunch.

Weary from the day’s events, we stopped not far into Louisiana at a pet-friendly hotel. Here’s where I have to give a shout-out to Best Western hotels. Not only do they allow pets, they welcome them. With a pillow and treats for Dobby, breakfast for us, and all at a reasonable rate, I was a happy granola mom. So a big thanks to Best Western for making our trip a little bit easier.

Thus ends Day One of George’s Birthday Adventure.

And now for your moment of green…

Camp Granola has left the lush southeast for the arid deserts of the west.