The "lunarvlog" is overdue for an update, and now that I've had the chance to process and overcome some challenges, I'm ready to report. Our first out-of-state trip was overall a success, although not as straightforward as planned.
We actually had a 3-day stay at a local campground back in April, shortly after I launched the website. Things haven't really settled down much between then and now, so I never gave a detailed report of how that trip went, but it was more peaceful than eventful. That's not to say it wasn't memorable, and you can still find plenty of posts from that trip if you scroll on the main Luna RV page. Based on the lack of challenges we faced on that trip, I felt confident in booking something a little more adventurous.
I've made the journey many times to camp along the Delaware shore, and I didn't want to be totally out of my element while making a 4 hour drive for the first time in my treasured motorhome, so that's where we landed on staying. It was also the only place within a reasonable distance that had a vacant spot for more than 2 nights, so it was either Delaware Seashore State Park or wait until next year.
There was no issue driving down to the shore from Central PA, despite the paranoia of something unexpectedly going wrong with our antique dream machine. The only frustration turned out to be finding the camping spot, as the GPS first undershot and then overshot the destination.
Once we settled in, the rest felt like a dream. It still does. The only thing between us and the Atlantic Ocean was a short stretch of pavement. After our neighbors to the South moved on, we had an unobstructed view from our door, with a view of the sunset from our bed. The nearby bridge was an unexpected source of beauty at night when it was illuminated entirely by blue lights lining the steel beams. Any sounds of traffic were drowned out by the waves.
The days were hot as could be, the nights still warm from the Sun baking the earth during the Summer's peak.
The privilege of having the ocean within walking distance was a necessity to feel any relief from the sweltering heat. It's a privilege we took full advantage of, as we spent most of our waking hours indulging in the salty refreshment of the breeze.
Another welcome perk of our location was a Marina within biking distance that offered fresh seafood on site. It was really the cherry on top of everything that went into making the trip so enjoyable.
There was unfortunately somewhat of a bad omen on our last full day at the park. Radley had an accident going up the RV stairs and took one of his toenails clean off. It was momentarily panic-inducing since we were 4 hours from home without a second vehicle, but things calmed down and so did we.
Another potential sign of trouble reared its head as a nasty thunderstorm approached later that evening that lasted all night and into the morning before we were scheduled to leave. After an extremely humid but dry week, the rain was inevitable, but it didn't make for an easy time getting packed up and ready to hit the road. In hindsight, the timing was not great, because it was now Fourth of July weekend, and the risk for traffic jams and potential accidents was much higher than a typical day. But where there's a will, there's always a way.
It didn't take long until we hit traffic, and we had to crawl through it for almost 40 minutes in the direct heat. The RV seats are comfy, but the lack of air conditioning is not. As we continued, there was clearly something happening with the brakes that I had not experienced before, and this made me even more uncomfortable. I still felt safe enough to continue driving and was determined to make it home before rush hour really started.
As soon as we made it out of heavy traffic, we went right into a heavy rainstorm. Within minutes, the brake warning light appeared on the dashboard. That was the final sign that I needed to come to terms with the fact that it was too dangerous to drive Luna home that day.
Long story, but with the help of roadside assistance and Ben's Mom, we got the RV to a shop in PA and made our way home to wait patiently for a diagnosis on the brakes.
It was not how I wanted to wrap up our first beach trip with Luna, but the important thing is to be grateful for the priceless memories that were made, and especially for all of our safety.
"You never know what worse luck your bad luck has saved you from," is a quote that I think about a lot, and I feel like it applies here. Not only do I still feel blessed and lucky for my experience, but I'm certainly applying the lessons learned toward the next trip.