This will be my fifth Fourth of July celebration since I became a full-time RVer again. I don't have a toad so when I need to go to my nearest bank branch, I travel 25 miles to Healdsburg. That means I crank up the motorhome and drive there.
Some of my neighbors offered to give me a ride in their car the next time they travel but I politely declined. Lucy needs to go and so do I.
Early Monday morning, I pulled out of the site and around the circle to the entrance road. Then I drove to the freeway and headed south. It was a cool morning with high clouds and no smoke from the fires tinting the skies brown. No smell of smoke either. There was a semi far ahead of me and I was alone on the winding stretch of Highway 101.
Then it hit me. I was smiling. I was on the road again. OK, I wasn't going very far for very long, but I was going. The RV was running smoothly and I thoroughly enjoyed the drive.
After banking and shopping for groceries, I had the gentleman who bagged my groceries help me load the bags into the RV. He peeked inside and smiled. "You got it good, lady." Yes I do.
I drove north to Cloverdale to fill the gas tank. There was a tiny gas station along the main street and I pulled in. This station had an attendant and no pay-at-the-pump yet. I walked to the small office (no store either) and handed the woman my credit card. "I bet you're glad to see me."
She looked a little confused. "Yes? I guess I am."
"Now you can pay your rent. I'm sure the manager was worried until I came along."
I was filling the tank when I noticed signs atop each pump. Instead of the prices, there was "Yikes!" "Ouch!" and "Whew!"
A man in a Jeep pulled in on other side of the pumps and went to pay. He returned and started pumping. I was still smiling when he said, "Boy, I bet you hate to fill that thing. How big is the tank?"
"Wow! What's your mileage?"
He shook his head.
"Yes, but it gets great mileage for a house. I live in her."
"Yes. And you know what? I didn't even look at the pump for the price. It doesn't make any difference."
"It doesn't? Sure it does. Gas is expensive."
"Yes it is, but it's the price I pay for this RV to take me wherever I want. A tank of gas gives me the freedom to roll."
"But it must cost a lot to fill it up."
"It does. How much is your freedom worth? Mine is priceless."
He turned away to finish pumping and I could see that he was nodding.
The pump stopped at $174.80 and the tank was full.
I pulled out of the driveway and stopped at the orange cones on the main street where a side street was closed for construction. I made eye contact with the flagman, folded my hands in prayer and pointed north. He pulled a couple of cones out of the way so I could turn and waved as I went by.
I drove to the park and backed into my site. Five minutes later, the water and electric were connected, the coffee was brewing and I was balancing my checkbook. In a couple of weeks, I'm going to take a short road trip (70 miles) to the Larkspur ferry, sail to San Francisco, take a bus across town and have lunch with a friend. Lucy will have some exercise, I'll be on the road and I will again appreciate the freedom to roll.