I didn’t sleep well the night before leaving. Our massive to-do lists were still running through my head and the excitement of jumping into the van and going on an adventure was too much to sleep through.
Upon awaking on departure day, it was minus 28 C – WAY too cold! We loaded all our gear into Slow Sally, hopped-in, turned the key (with fingers quadruple crossed) and vrrroooom – thank god she started!
On our way out of town, we stopped for a traditional pre-road trip, fast food, Tim Horton’s breakfast. We took the opportunity to test eating at our mini dinette. After camping for months out of a Toyota Matrix, I can’t even begin to describe the luxury of being able to eat at a table in the van.
Our border crossing at Ogdensburg, NY was the fastest and easiest to date. Apparently the Border Agent didn’t want frigid air getting into the customs building and was waving vehicles through at record speed. He barely glanced at Walter and I didn’t even get a chance to declare my green apple from Washington.
True to her name, it took 10 hours of travelling to get Slow Sally to Lancaster, PA. To be fair, there were a couple of pit stops and navigational errors along the way. Trying to make up for Sally’s gas guzzling, we opted to sleep for free at Walmart. It was a VERY cold night in the van with the temperature dipping down to minus 12 C but it was almost all worth it to watch the Lancasterites sprinting in and out of Walmart wearing only hoodies… clearly minus 12 is a little below the seasonal average there.
Our first real destination was Avon on the Outer Banks, NC (not to be a snob but I don’t consider Walmart a destination). Our good friend Elias has a great little beach house in Avon and we were more than happy to take a hot shower, seek refuge in a heated house and spend New Year’s with our good friend. Over the years, we’ve spent many weeks here on the Outer Banks and it remains one of our favourite places to visit. It was FREEZING cold this year but still we were not disappointed – gorgeous beach walks, maybe the best sunset I’ve ever seen, the eerie but beautiful quiet of a resort town out of season and of course, great company!