Monday, December 27, 2010

On the Road Again in Search of Warmth 12/24/10- 12/27/10

Christmas eve we left home and began our travels south in search of warmer weather.  Our travels on this particular day was short as we only went as far as Stafford, Virginia to spend Christmas with Todd, Beth and Parker.  Maddy was spending Christmas with her mother and Anthony was with his dad.  We camped at Aquia Pines Campground which is about 5 minutes from Todd and Beth’s.   On Christmas eve we ate dinner together (cream of crab soup and ham sandwiches) and then enjoyed birthday cake  in celebration of Beth’s birthday on the 23rd.  Christmas Day started with breakfast of chipped beef gravy, biscuits and bacon.  Gifts were opened by everyone, Parker needed some help but was getting the hang of it.  The opening of gifts was so exhausting that we all fell asleep when Parker took his nap.  Later in the day we had a wonderful dinner of seafood pasta and salad.  It was a cold, gray day with periodic showers of snow.

Our plans were that we were leaving the day after Christmas to travel further south toward Florida.  The weather maps showed a large winter storm moving toward the east and it was uncertain how far inland the storm would hit.  We were prepared that if the snow was falling when we got up we would stay in the Stafford area another day but it was not snowing when we got up so we started out.  By the time we got to the Richmond area snow was falling but traffic was heavy enough and road crews were busy that the roads were wet, not snow covered.  About 40 miles north of the North Carolina border we were in stopped traffic due to an accident several miles down the road.  It took well over an hour to go 10 miles past where the accident had occurred.  The road beyond the accident area was now coated with snow and numerous more accidents of cars sliding off the road were seen as we travelled on.  In North Carolina  snow continued, the roads had patches of ice and more cars were along the road.  Winds increased in the afternoon causing the heavily snow covered pines trees to blow snow across the roadways causing complete white-outs at times, a somewhat scary experience.  Finally, about 40 miles north of  the South Carolina border we stopped for the night at Sleepy Bears campground just south of Lumberton, N.C.  The snow was still falling but much lighter.

After a cold night we awoke this morning to bright sunshine on the freshly fallen snow.  Trees were covered with snow- a winter wonderland everywhere.  There were some patches of ice on the roads until we got  to the interstate which was clean and dry. About halfway through South Carolina we finally were out of the snow covered areas.  Travel was better today until we were within 40 miles of Georgia where we moved slowly due to an accident for about 10 miles.   We are stopped for tonight at a campground, King George Campground, off exit 7 in Georgia.  It was in the 50’s when we first got to this campground at 4:30pm but the temperature has steadily been dropping and is expected to be in the 20’s tonight.