Between leaving Pennsylvania and going to Kentucky, we stopped in West
Virginia. This was a hard time for us as a family and me personally.
This is when I was crying and saying "I want to go home! I don't need
to see any of these things!". We had been rained on too many days. It
was starting to get cold. 2 nights before we had stayed at one
campground and during the night a bear was sighted in the dumpster.
This gave me a panic attack that lasted for days on end. How do I keep
my baby safe from a bear? Everything we do to be safe, suddenly didn't
feel safe enough. In Greenville, you sometimes hear about a bear being
in the city and climbing up someone's tree and usually it's ushered
back to safety or makes its own way. To me, it's something else
entirely to be in the bear's environment. I felt very vulnerable with
only a tent around us.
The next night we found a campsite that reassured us there were no
bears. It was hard enough getting into the campsite tho, because there
was a storm coming and it was after 8. Griff begged and finally the
let us in so we could set up. We quickly got the tent up and our bed
settled. I asked Griff to drive me up to the restrooms because I
didn't want to try and find it in the dark when I didn't have my
The bathroom was on par with the one from Trainspotting. I came out
retching and gagging. The rest of the night wasn't easy either. The
loudest thunder storm I have ever heard came right on top of us. The
thunder was so loud I was coming out of my sleep in a panic.
Amazingly, Oz slept thru the entire thing.
The next morning we packed tent and headed out towards West Virgina.
We stayed at what was called a State Park Resort. Confused? Me too. It
has camping and trails, but also a hotel, spa and golf course. And
marina. And signs warning about deer, possums and BEARS. Good Grief.
It was during our stay here I thought I was going to lose it. We went
out to breakfast and a sign on the wall said something along the lines
of "Don't wait for the storm to pass, but try and find joy in the
rain". We smirked and tried to realign our thinking.
Instead of trying to figure out where were would be going day to day,
I sat down and mapped our journey all the way through to Seattle. I
said I wanted to do KOA's for a few nights, instead of just trying to
find somewhere, also day to day. I wanted from there on to know where
we would be sleeping that night and have the tent up before dark.
That night was our coldest ever. Griff and I slept hardly at all
between freezing and making sure Oz was warm enough. Of course he was.
He has the warmest space in the bed, cuddled right between Griff and me.
Since then, we've done pretty well. Obviously. I had my cry, and we
trucked on. We found a KOA directory and I have been pretty great at
aligning our stops with their campgrounds. They are hardly ever
scenic, but they are convienent, and for that I'm grateful that they
exist.I'm hoping I will be over my bear anxiety soon enough so we can
do a few more scenic places. I feel like it would be wasteful
otherwise. We'll see tho. Right now we're just enjoying ourselves.
On reason for the cold, was that we were right on the water.
Another reason, the tent had to be on this platform and the wind would blow in off the water and then come right up through the deck. It was absolute hell.
GRIFF: Thank you again for my hat. This has been the coldest night of the entire trip (If I looked carefully with the torch, I could see Oscars breath while he was asleep in the tent) and the hat and gloves and thermals that you insisted I buy made a HUGE difference.