Second 10 Days

Welp, I’m another thousand miles into my trip, having worked my way back down from the DC area to spend another weekend with my high school buddy Paula and her family near the Blue Ridge Mountains. I’ve listened to several books and lectures in this 2,000 miles so far…

James Herriot’s Favourite Dog Stories…a delightful way to hasten time on the road!

Jake (aka Buster) making my hat look mighty fine!

My prepper friends were VERY generous in so very many ways….hospitality, fine food, cozy beds, hot showers, fellowship, freezer usage and washing machines, and incredibly fun play times with their 3 & 6 year olds! But added to all that was…

Solar Panels given by Duane and Heather…don’t worry…they lie down on the roof when I drive!! Going to have to find an alternative spot for my veggie/herb garden!

My 197k-mile-Chrysler is now suited up with solar panels, modulator, 12v battery, battery charger and inverter which allow for me to have electricity while off the grid (so long as the sun comes out a few hours a day!) I mean, how many people have a few extra solar panels lying around with a couple of modulators collecting dust on the shelves? Oh, and an old battery that they could part with. I’m confident that the material itself is over $1000 not to even mention the labor of setting the whole thing up for me!

A modulator controlling the input from the solar panels to my deep cycle leisure battery on the driver floor board. And an accompanying inverter and bose speaker! I’m feeling mighty materialistic with such a nice setup!

Not only all that (as if that weren’t enough) but I will be borrowing their zero gravity lounge chair for a year. What sweet relief for the lower back to be able to star gaze and feel absolutely no pressure points. And amazingly, it folds up small enough to store in the van with no problem.

Zero Gravity Chair…great place to watch the stars!

And one last thing (though I’m sure I’m forgetting many other niceties), Duane fixed my driver door handle. I started off on this journey with no way to open the driver door from the inside so that meant somehow getting my hand to the outside handle. Well, he took an old broken bolt that he had pulled from his Ducati and managed to transform it into my new handle. Would it be a lie for me to say now that “I am driving around the USA with a Ducati?” Ah, probably, but to me, Big Blue and the handle that now allows me to open the door from the inside, is far superior to any old two-wheeled beast!!

This is a great time of the decade to start a 25,000 mile trip…every fill up so far has been less than $3 a gallon! Here’s the fill up in Chantilly, VA price!

After a very delightful time was had in Fredericksburg, VA with the Fleeger crew, I meandered on up closer to Washington DC to meet my boss at InvoiceIQ, a telecom expense management and translation firm (don’t ask! It’s more complicated than it sounds!).

Glow in the Dark fingernail polish with Hailey and Katelyn

I stayed with his family (more delightful children—even got my nails done with glow-in-the-dark polish) and was able to meet the folks at the office and confirm that they have a year’s worth of work for me to do. Enough to pay for this trip, to pay the IRS for last year and this year, and finish off some car payments.

I thought I was going to be able to gloat while my Redskin-fan boss and I watched the Cowboys game together…but alas!

Eric, my boss, then took me to Verizon to procure a MiFi JetPack which will allow me internet access when I’m not near wifi connectivity. He purchased the JetPack and a 2-year plan to go along with it. We are starting off with the 6G data plan and see how we do with that package. I’ve been stopping by libraries often to use their internet connection, but when I start camping in the van deeper in the parks, this gadget will come in handy dandy!

WiFi access even when I’m not in a library! Straight from my van parked in the middle of nowhere (in between big cities!) Thanks InvoiceIQ!

The weather started to turn cold so I headed south back to Paula’s house near Atlanta just in time for Halloween and my birthday. Homemade apple pie and Chipotle lunch…yummy! I head out on Tuesday to start living in my van fulltime until I get to Houston for Christmas, DV.

2014 proposed route trip…from Atlanta, GA to Houston, TX. Hopefully hit some warm weather in the Everglades and Key West!

My agenda for the remainder of 2014 is a 3,000 mile journey starting in Canton, GA…

I have no clue if I’ll be able to keep that agenda and still get some work done, but that is the tentative schedule of things!

Ivation Battery-operated portable shower came in the mail on my birthday. I tested it indoors where it is warm, and I can testify…I think this is going to work out real nice…when I have hot water to put in the bucket!!

My car is ready to go with electricity, internet connectivity, shower capability, washing machine capability, cooking capability,

My washing machine!

Today is laundry day and a day’s hike of exploring 4 local little lakes here in Cherokee County to see if we can discover any hidden jewels nearby Paula’s house. Then tomorrow I hit the road with no where specifically to go! I just may go see the World’s Largest Peanut!

Time to go solo for a couple of months in my 25 sq ft home!

Look forward to seeing what the next ten days hold in store for me!

Christ’s peace,


16 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Michelle on November 3, 2014 at 8:36 pm

    Hey I went to college at Flagler you could spend hours on the history in St Augustine! Take tons of pics….and spend some time at the fort! And Flagler….I will send you a fun ghost story while you are there!


    • Posted by deblein on November 21, 2014 at 11:12 am

      Hey sister! I saw your old stomping ground….beautiful! And to think it is right across the street from the oldest church in the USA! I didn’t make it to the fort as I stayed mostly at the Fountain of Youth watching a loose peacock startling itself in the chrome bumper of a pickup truck…he was mesmerized by himself! As well as the Mission de Nombre and the church. Then i went to the lighthouse as well. The whole A1A trek is quite remarkable. Feel free to have you and your family join me at anytime! We would have fun!


  2. Posted by Jill Lein on November 3, 2014 at 9:09 pm

    You are amazing sister!! If the first 20 days are this great I can’t imagine what the next 380 will be like. Love you bunches!!


    • Posted by deblein on November 21, 2014 at 11:14 am

      Each day I miss you all more! But it has been good! Now at the Everglades. it is raining today so it is a work day today (on the computer). it’s warm, despite the rain, but just a little too icky to go tromping through the swamps of the Everglades. I needed this work day so it is all good! I got absolutely spoiled at Orlando when I hooked up with Suann and Larry who were there for two days…and I mean s-p-o-i-l-e-d!!
      See you at Christmas sister!


  3. Posted by Cherrie on November 3, 2014 at 10:05 pm

    Deb, you are amazing! At one time I traveled across the country, but stayed in motels. And Our Family camped in a tent.. But that’s as far as it goes.. You are One Strong Lady.. God be with You on Your Ventures. Keep us Posted! Hugs!


    • Posted by deblein on November 21, 2014 at 11:20 am

      Wow! Does that mean you hit all 40 states? Even I need a motel every once in a while (though I haven’t used one yet) just to get the hot shower. i’ve been begging from truck drivers to get a shower at the gas stations. They collect them every 50 gallons but they expire within 10 days so they often have more than they can use. So far so good on that front. Most of the camps I’m staying at don’t have showers. I have had to use my redneck toilet a couple of times…very convenient in one sense, but not so pleasant to think about, so I’ll spare you the details! (but you can google 5-gallon bucket, kitty litter and chemical bags!)
      On that note, have a great rest of the 2014 year!
      Keep the Up look sister!


  4. Posted by Liz on November 3, 2014 at 10:08 pm

    Wow, sounds like things are going well thus far ! Wish I could be with you when you are in e Congree Swamp ! Would be fun with my camera……..
    What type of work are you doing for InvoiceIQ??

    Will certainly look forward to your next blog!!!

    God’s blessings and peace to you and in your next few days! And throughout the whole journey!

    Love ya!



    • Posted by deblein on November 21, 2014 at 11:23 am

      I do translation work for telecom EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) vendors. I know…what in tarnation? But it is something I can do from anywhere so long as I have this handy dandy mifi that will connect to a cell tower so my computer can connect. I suspect it will be tested once I get out west, but for now, it has always had reception. im in the Everglades presently and it is raining, so that is why I have time to finally respond to everyone’s comments! I look forward to hooking up with you in Denver! Lots of parks to see in Colorado!
      Wish I had your camera set up! But it’s all good for now!
      Love you too sister!


  5. Posted by georgi on November 4, 2014 at 2:01 pm

    Wow! What a trip!. Your planning gene is awesome. What a treat to follow you from park to park and hear about you stories and see the wonders of the states.

    As the Irish say: may the road rise up to greet you.



    • Posted by deblein on November 21, 2014 at 11:26 am

      So far the road has been very kind to me! Even the weather has been a real blessing. No need for a/c or a heater. and only one flat tire only to get to meet saul and Cicilia as a result. I can’t wait to come back your way. I have a great affinity to mountains and rivers more than beaches or swamps. But I have to give them all a chance! I would never visit these places otherwise! I hope all is well with you and Myles. See you sometime in the summer, DV.
      Keep up with your homework!


  6. Posted by JesusGeorgePaige on November 4, 2014 at 6:48 pm

    I’ve got “On The Road Again” by Willie Nelson playing in my head!


    • Posted by deblein on November 21, 2014 at 11:27 am

      Thankfully…I don’t!!
      But I am glad to be on the road again. it has been a real educational adventure for sure. Meeting people, see the changing culture as I travel around as well as the wonder of God’s creation. I miss the St. Phil’s crew, and especially the Lollises. Have a very blessed Thanksgiving and Christmas sweet friends!


  7. Posted by Ollie on November 6, 2014 at 12:32 pm

    Good for you Deborah…..don,t drive your solar paneled car in a hight wind


    • Posted by deblein on November 21, 2014 at 11:29 am

      Now that is good advice! I have them down all the time and it seems to have a good stream line against the wind, but I have been blessed with such kind weather so far that I’m afraid I’m getting spoiled! Of course, I always feel like I’m getting spoiled as I am so well taken care of by others! You included!
      Perhaps I will see you before the Christmas holiday, if I can make it up there in time. I hope to.
      keep the Up look dear Ollie!


  8. Posted by mom on November 7, 2014 at 11:29 am

    Your grandpa, I know, is wishing he were with you.
    We are home from Israel and I told everyone about you and your amazing adventures.
    Love you lots


    • Posted by deblein on November 21, 2014 at 11:31 am

      I’m glad you have made it safe from Israel. Now I know how you two feel when I go gallivanting around into dangerous places. I listened with an ear to the news in the Middle east every day you were over there and I had access to the news. I hope dad enjoyed it as much as you. Feel free to join me at anytime…it’s not nearly as dangerous as Israel was, i’m sure!
      Love you momma!


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