A Few Takeaways

As I’m wrapping up my first lengthy trip I thought I’d put together a few thoughts on what I’ve seen, learned, been exposed to—what I’ve experienced. Here goes…


I truly wish IQ tests were required for drivers. Something like: blow into this tube which measures your intelligence and fitness to drive, then the car will start.

  • A couple questions to clueless drivers: Just how much stupid are you sitting on when you pull out in front of 11,000 pounds coming at you at 60 miles per hour?
  • And: You do realize, right, that’s it possible to exit the highway without coming to a near-stop? That there are vehicles behind you, right?
  • Tow mode is awesome in the hills. Economical & brake saving.
  • Fuel economy takes a big hit from 65 to 70 MPH. So I keep it at 65 (unless I’m maneuvering around the dumbass who pulled out in front of me).

We’ve got some great roads in this country. Except for US90 in Louisiana. I’m still annoyed by that one…

  • Interstates are great; they get you where you wanna go. But they all look pretty much the same.  I’ve steered toward less-traveled roads. Of the 5346 miles I’ll have driven, only about 1300 (25%) were on interstate highways, mainly at the beginning and end of my trip.
  • I drove 84% of the 574-mile Skyline Drive/Blue Ridge Parkway roads, and I drove 77% of the 444-mile Natchez Trace Parkway. Both are wonderful roads and I strongly recommend them.
  • Many of Louisiana’s roads suck. The aforementioned US90 and recently driven I-20 are horrible in many areas, particularly the logging road through Shreveport. Ridiculous. Perhaps criminally so. I-20 improves drastically at the Texas state line.

Like a sailboat, I’m sure each trailer has its own idiosyncrasies. B certainly has a few.

  • The sofa will throw its pillows onto the floor while traveling. Nearly every time. (I even think it does it when we’re parked overnight.)
  • The back window will open while driving. Every time.
  • After flushing out the remaining water in the hose before connecting it to the trailer, I’ll forget to turn it on again, until I try to use a faucet inside. Every. Time.
  • The Keurig machine doesn’t fall off the counter, so I quit putting it in the sink while traveling. (Watch the damn thing take a header tomorrow!)
  • The hand-soap dispenser will always fall off the counter. And it’ll find the most unusual places to hide.
  • It’s not worth the effort to make the bed on a trailer. So if that bothers you, don’t look in my bedroom.
  • The reefer while running on propane sure uses a lot of battery power. Seems weird to me.
  • Don’t wrap leftover meat in just foil and put in the reefer. Just don’t.

I’ve been in great sites & crappy sites, pretty sites & parking lots.

  • As often as not, the water faucet will be in a horrible location just to give me something to bitch about. Even had to get help one time to connect the damn hose.
  • State parks are usually quite nice—often as nice or better than more expensive private parks.
  • Dumping the holding tanks ain’t as bad as I was afraid it’d be. And it seems my mileage cares nothing about how full the tanks are, so I only dump when I really need to. TMI?
  • I load up on fresh water from time to time so I can avoid the potential cussfest of connecting the water hose. I think that also helps keeps the little greenies outta the tank. Just be sure to taste the water before filling up; some places have horrible H2O, even though I’ve got a good filter.

When you’re camping to get away from it all, technology can—and should—take a hike. But living on the road is different.

  • CarPlay is a good app (it’s the integration of the iPhone and Ford’s navigation system). But Siri, the lady inside the phone, doesn’t give a flying flip for the windiness, width or bridge height of her routes. I’ve learned when to use her and when to shut her up. In cities, her lane guidance is a huge help when towing a trailer.
  • Haven’t encountered a campground wireless network that’s worth a damn yet, even in metro areas. C’mon people, it’s 2018; upgrade your dial-up service. Good grief.
  • The Dish Network mobile antenna needs a perfect view of the sky; even a stray bird impairs the signal. Or it’s a faulty sat-receiver; we’re still sorting out this annoying problem.
  • Google Maps is a frustrating app and apparently hates the Blue Ridge Parkway (it’s probably a Silicon Valley prejudice). But it’s free.
  • You gotta use tech correctly. On the last day of my trip I finally fixed the trailer backup camera. It was showing a reserved view (left vs. right). I’d finally had enough after another very tight backup situation in a very crowded gas station.
Coasting to a Stop

Touring the Southeast was a great experience. Uncountable awesome views, great people, a few unique brews here & there, and visiting friends highlight my seven weeks. I’m enjoying the piney woods of East Texas at Tyler State Park, a fitting site to wrap up this journey. The good Lord looked out for me on this trip, and I thank Him for that and for the incredible opportunity to see some of our beautiful country. May God bless America. That includes you! Until the next trip… be good.

The ‘Villes & The Trace


I dropped off the Blue Ridge Parkway near Asheville to visit a dear friend in Greenville. I was going to miss the BRP but I was looking forward to hanging out with Melba much more. It had been more than ten years since we’d been together—waaaaay tooooo looooong.

Checked into the KOA in Travelers Rest, just north of Greenville, got settled and headed to the local brewery, Swamp Rabbit. Decent beers (more Belgians & white ales than I prefer, though) and friendly folks. Back at camp I met Jason, the KOA owner. Nice guy, turns out he moved his family of six to Travelers Rest from Plano, Texas. Enjoyed chatting with him.

Thursday I ran a slew of errands. I couldn’t stand my truck any longer and found the best car wash I’ve ever been to. The owner of Cedar Pete’s took excellent care of my truck, even though I was from outta town and he’d never see me again. That’s hospitality & character. While my truck got nice & clean, B would have to rely on rainstorms to wash the bugs out of her teeth.

I also had to hunt down a print shop and notary so I could request a certified birth certificate from Orange County, California so I could then take it, in person, to a post office or county clerk to get a new passport to replace the one stolen by the cretin in Houston. I would repeat this charade in Jackson, Mississippi because, apparently, the wheels-off state of California won’t accept embossed, non-inked notary stamps. California has gotten out of control. I say, build the wall—on the east side of the state!

Friday morning I got kicked out of the KOA, even though I thought Jason & I were friends! Lol. Jason referred me to the Palmetto Cove RV park near Table Rock Mountain, a nice place 15 miles away. Once I parked the trailer I was finally headed downhill to Greenville to visit Melba!

We had a wonderful time, lots of laughs. So good to spend time with her. We had burgers at a great place downtown, Grill Marks. I’m glad the burger was huge ’cause it was awesome. Downtown Greenville is a super cool area. I could live there. Later, Melba & I hooked up with her friends Cathy & Dan for tacos & beers. I think there was something wrong with the time because it passed way too quickly. Before I knew it, I needed to get headed back up the hill because it was going to get dark and rain was on the way. I made it up the windy roads before the storm closed in. Friday was a highlight of my trip; I’m so glad I got to hang out with such a good friend and to meet a couple new ones. Thanks, Melba!


I headed out early and before long Siri & CarPlay steered me onto narrow mountain roads. Before I was afraid I’d need to throw the transmission into four-wheel drive, I stopped, turned around, turned Siri off, and charted my own route. Ha, I guess I didn’t do much better because I got the sense I was headed the wrong direction—and I was right. We were Atlanta-bound, not headed to Nashville. Course altered again, I wound my way through Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee. The drive along the Ococee River was particularly nice. Looked like great rafting. Once I finally hit Chattanooga it was then a long slog north to Nashville. By the time I hit the mediocre KOA in north Nashville, I was done driving for a while and didn’t even go back into Nashville to kick around. Spent Sunday watching Webb Simpson win the Players. Congrats to a solid, Christian guy! On my way out of Nashville in the morning I had breakfast at Loveless Cafe. Great BBQ pork omelette—the restaurant lives up to its reputation. Very good.

Natchez Trace Parkway
After eating I eased onto the Natchez Trace Parkway. The Trace isn’t as grand as the BRP but it’s very nice. A great, easy drive through woods & fields. Lots of pullouts and places to stretch your legs. I saw several pheasant, a turkey, a red tail hawk (who just missed my windshield) and two snakes in the middle of the road who gave their all for scavenger birds. The Trace is another wonderful road managed by the National Park Service. I over-nighted at the National Forest Service campground at Davis Lake near Tupelo. It was the best $20 I’d spent on a night’s lodging.

After another easy drive from Davis Lake headed south, including a  walk through a cool Cypress Swamp, I landed in Jackson where I repeated my FedEx Office printing and AAA notarizing to make the county officials in California happy. Hopefully the bums will accept this version…

The rest of the trip will be a straightforward run from Jackson with stops in Shreveport and Tyler State Park in Texas, then to my campsite in front of Julie & Brad’s home for a couple nights until I check back into my homesite at the Vineyards in Grapevine. One more post about this trip will be coming at you in the next couple days. Then I’m hanging low for a while. Looking forward to a trip to Ruidoso with two good friends and then, in mid June, a week at Table Rock Lake in Missouri and from there onto the great North and Northeast. That’s the plan, anyway! Stay tuned.

Southern BRP & a #~!%^ Detour

I was looking at about 325 miles of the Blue Ridge Parkway until I’d leave it and turn toward Greenville to visit a good friend I haven’t seen for maybe ten years. Was gonna be a nice day!

And it was—for the most part. The BRP really is a national treasure. It’s an absolutely beautiful drive as it winds & weaves it way across ridges & valleys, snaking its way beside streams & ponds, through trees & meadows, and across gaps & passes with spectacular vistas. It never got boring. The drive was really nice.

And then, it wasn’t so nice. The drive became a bitch just south of the Boone, NC exit for a 12 mile-ish detour around a closed section of the BRP. This shitty detour wasted me. The detour was onto a road clearly not made for a truck & trailer rig of 57 feet long, 11 feet high. To worsen things, road crews were repaving it so half the road surface was off limits. After dodging the second overhanging rock I decided, F-it. I straddled the centerline, until I got pushed by an ongoing truck to the inside, mountainside lane and its lack of shoulder. I figured the trailer tires and axel took a hit thanks to North Carolina’s piss-poor road maintenance, but kept rolling because traffic was moderate and stopping to investigate would be another problem. As soon as the detour dumped us back onto the blessed Parkway I pulled into the first turnout I could to check things out. Other than some stuff rattling around inside the trailer all seemed well. Nevertheless, I’m still annoyed by the lousy road. I suppose I’ll get over it.

A couple hours later I was tucked into the Travelers Rest KOA, looking forward to hanging with my friend Melba soon. I found a local brewery—Swamp Rabbit—and ordered a pale ale and then an IPA. I barely finished, as exhaustion hit me. I headed back to the campsite and was lights out about 8pm. Not sure I even rolled over until the sun came up.

Overall, the Parkway will remain one of my trip’s highlights. I can’t emphasize enough that if you have the opportunity to experience it, just do it. If you’re going in the fall, gimme a call! It’s beautiful in spring; can’t imagine the fall colors.

I’d traveled all but about 60 miles of the Blue Ridge. Since I’ve already seen the southwestern section of it near Great Smoky Mountains National Park a couple years ago, I’m gonna take a more direct route to Nashville, where I’ll then take on the Natches Trace as I head south & west. Stay tuned.

Shenandoah & Northern Blue Ridge

I left Gettysburg Friday morning headed toward Shenandoah National Park and the start of my long, slow drive along the Park’s Skyline Drive (at no more than 35 MPH) then onto the Blue Ridge Parkway (where the speed limit cranks up to 45). Other than the winding, picturesque drive on back roads (and across that same 10’6″ bridge with my 11’2″ trailer) between G’burg and Front Royal, the drive was Interstate doldrums.

But at Front Royal, where I fueled up both truck and generator (no campsite power in the national park) and entertained a group of foreign tourists with the size of my rig (no wisecracks!) the drive got pretty, pretty fast. You enter the National Park and quickly benefit from the beauty of the forest and expansive views overlooking both sides of the ridge-line road. Don’t believe a word  of what you hear about how beautiful Skyline Drive & the Blue Ridge Parkway. It’s much better! I quickly learned you can’t reasonably stop at every turnout to take in the views. And you really don’t need to thanks to the 35 MPH speed limit. The two-lane road twists & winds its way up and down ridges, alternating between tight forest and open skylines. Truly a pleasure to drive! Truly a wonderful road!

(As a side-note, I’ve gotta get Ford credit for their tow/haul feature  on the SuperDuty trucks. This was the first time I’ve been in mountainous terrain with this rig, and once I engaged the towing feature and got comfortable with how it manages transmission shifting, I happily realized how efficient it is managing speed both up & down hills. Up-shifting is minimized so the turbo kicks in less; downshifting takes much of the wear off the brakes as the heavy truck/trailer gains momentum downhill. It’s a cool, effective feature that, as I suspected and then confirmed with the owners manual, gets more efficient as it learns the terrain. Henry Ford would be proud.)

I rolled into Big Meadows Campground about 2:15 and setup camp for three days. I planned to hike some and enjoy the park. As it turned out, the weather and my left knee didn’t cooperate much so I just spent time chillaxing and reading a couple books I’d been wanting to get after. I smoked a small rack of ribs one day—there’s nothing like the smell of smoking meat in a campground, knowing you’ve gotta be annoying the holy outta the other campers, and maybe a bear or two!

When Monday morning rolled around I was up early and on my way through the southern part of Shenandoah and toward the Blue Ridge. Morning driving kept me alert as there were lots of deer alongside the road and uncountable squirrels on the road. Sadly, one of them didn’t make  it to the other side (a squirrel, not a deer). But I wasn’t putting 10,000 pounds of rolling mass at risk for a rodent with a good marketing department. Sorry little guy… The frequent patches of fog/clouds added to the fun and I slowed to about 20 MPH many times. All-in-all I loved the drive!

Once I hit the BRP I dialed it up to 45 most  of the time, except for downhill curves and, again, some foggy areas. After a few turnout stops later to snap pictures and tour a cool mining encampment I arrived at the Fancy Gap KOA for another couple nights so I could reconnect with the electronic world, get a little work done, and get caught up  on this writing before new places fill my head.

By the way, if you haven’t noticed, I’ve added a map of my travels at Southeast Map and a gallery of slideshows at Southeast Galleries. Enjoy.

Slowly Headed Home

This trip has been awesome on all levels. I had been as far east as I was going 12 days ago on the Outer Banks and yesterday at Gettysburg I was as far north. Today I’m starting a slow return to DFW. About noon I’ll hit the northern point of Skyline Drive and the connecting Blue Ridge Parkway—574 miles of mountain driving where the speed limit maxes out at 45 MPH. Supposed to be stunning. Cannot wait to see it! I should hit Front Royal, VA about noon and then my campsite at Big Meadows in Shenandoah National Park a couple hours later. On the road again still!

How Do I Put This?

Disclosure: I thought I had visited Gettysburg back in the early 90s. I dunno what I was thinking but wherever I went back then sure wasn’t Gettysburg. It was a important Civil War national park (I think they all  are), but it wasn’t this one. After spending 6+ hours visiting the Gettysburg visitors center and driving the battlefield tour, I’m kinda off my rails . . . it’s a lot to take in.

I arrived at the visitor’s center about 8:30. It was rebuilt in 2008 and it’s an awesome facility. Been to a bunch of National Park Service visitors’ centers; this one ices the cake. Attendance today was light—mostly a slew of high school groups visiting, which is awesome. From what I could tell, these kids were soaking in the history. So good to see. I wish kids across the country had access to walk our history as these fortunate boys & girls do.

The Morgan Freeman narrated film about the conditions leading to the Civil War and then the war itself was so well done high schoolers applauded at the end! And then the Cyclorama exhibit blew me away. I felt like I was standing in the middle of the battle. It’s a 45 by 330 foot painting animated with narrative, lights, and sound effects. Truly impressive and the best $15 I’ve spent  in a looooong time. Both certainly gave me an appreciation for what the battle at Gettysburg was like. After another hour in the museum and bookstore (I even bought a shirt!) I headed out to drive the auto tour.

The 23 mile self-guided tour is awesome. You can get tour guides or take a bus tour, but I was feeling like doing it solo. A few times at certain stops I eavesdropped on the pros explaining the history and realized there’s real value in going that route. (So I continued to eavesdrop from time to time!)

The battlefields are: Massive. Expansive. Sprawling. Diverse. Difficult. Beautiful. Stunning. Serene. Humbling. Sobering. Sad.

I don’t know how many times I felt emotions of regret, anger, sadness, appreciation, admiration, inadequacy, thankfulness. Emotions ran the gamut. I truly don’t know how to put it…

(I do know I’m annoyed at our weakened culture that wants safe rooms to coddle their ill-conceived emotions of being wronged. Good God, people, some of these soldiers walked miles upon miles to fight for their cause. Many of them barefoot. Some snowflakes out there today really need a reality check. ‘Nuff said.)

I walked through the “bloody wheatfield” where 4,000 were killed or injured. and I looked down at Devils Den, yet another site of fierce fighting and sacrifice. You can’t walk these lands and not feel the impact of what went down here. You don’t.

The tour fittingly ends at the National Cemetery where President Lincoln gave his famous, so pertinent address. I walked those grounds and, I gotta say, I got a little choked up at the number of “unknown” grave markers. So many men—on both sides of the conflict that divided our nation—gave their lives and are buried in graves marked “Unknown.” Others remain on the battlefields, unceremoniously buried where they fell. I don’t know what to do with that…

So then, how do I put this? What do I do with my Gettysburg experience? Do I just move on? Just visit the next point  of interest? Push the emotion to the background? As a wise (and much loved) sister put it: “You CANNOT truly appreciate the past until you visit places like this in person. If we remove everything offensive and sweep it under the rug then we’re eventual doomed to repeat it…

I guess I’ll tell the story. Encourage people to visit our nation’s parks and historic sites. Learn. Consider. Apply. Encourage. Pay it forward. Pray. May God bless America. The United States of America.


After leaving Greensboro I stopped at Appomattox where the civil war finally ended after five years of bloody battle. Cool, interesting place, good history there. After visiting the Fredericksburg battlefield (a previous post) I headed out today and drove through the gorgeous North Virginia hill country. Wow. Stunning. The lady in my CarPlay app took me down some incredible, wonderful roads to my destinations of Harpers Ferry and Antietam. She routes by shortest distance/shortest time with no regard to the narrowness and curviness of roads. But that’s just fine with me. Only a couple times did I need to plan tight turns in small towns, and only once did I worry about clearing a one-lane, covered bridge whose minimum height was 10’6″—while the trailer stands 11’2″ tall. Somehow we squeezed through just fine.

Confluence of Shenandoah and Potomac Rivers at Harpers Ferry
Confluence of Shenandoah and Potomac Rivers at Harpers Ferry

Harpers Ferry, with its diverse history is awesome. Spent a few hours kicking around town and learning how the community flourished & failed through the ravages of war and weather. Glad I parked at the National Park Visitor Center at the top of the hill; would’ve been really interesting turning a 35′ trailer around in the Lower Town.

Antietam Battlefield
Antietam Battlefield

Antietam was next on my route and I’m so glad I went out of the way to visit. Truly stunning place. Very expansive battlefield and pretty. Such a contrast to the hell unleashed there. Man, the civil war was anything but civil.

CarPlay lady routed m e through a slew of back roads to the KOA near Gettysburg where the host met me and helped back B into the site for the next couple days. Gettysburg tomorrow! Then on to the Blue Ridge Parkway. Cannot wait!


I didn’t really know what to expect in Fredericksburg, being so close to the madness of Washington DC. But I liked what I found!

The KOA I had reservations at on the south end of town is tucked away in a little forest. Beautiful. After spending the morning domesticating (laundry, cleaning B), doing some work (finally received a wire transfer from my customer in Germany) and getting a haircut I headed over to the Fredericksburg National Battlefield even though I’d heard it was unimpressive. I’d heard wrong.

Sunken Road Wall
Sunken Road Wall

Walking the Sunken Road and Marye’s Hill, where 20,000 American brothers died, was in a word, sobering. 20,000 lives; let that sink in. Just considering the ground I was walking was (is) stained with the blood of

FXBG Cemetary
FXBG Cemetary

countrymen from 150+ years ago made me sad for the divisiveness yet grateful we put that ugly past behind us. Now if we could just reconcile our inane separation today… ugh, I won’t go there. My takeaway is: civil war sites are sacred. Visiting Gettysburg in a couple days…

The Fredericksburg National Cemetery on the top of Marye’s Hill is a quiet, solemn place. Many grave markers are simply plot numbers followed by the number of unknown soldiers buried there. Many more soldiers died and rest in  unmarked graves. A couple poems on NPS signs intrigued me:

On fame’s eternal camping ground,
Their silent tents are spread,
And glory guards with solemn round
The bivouac of the dead.


The muffled drum’s sad roll has beat
The soldier’s last tattoo.
No more on life’s parade shall meet
That brave and fallen few.

Again, it’s just sobering.

After walking through the cemetery and reflecting on the sacrifices, I headed over to Strangeways Brewing to sample their brews. Good call. Awesome place, people & brews. Tasted a sour ale that was good enough to get a crowler to go for Julie. They have 40+ of their own beers on tap. Yep, it’s my newest favorite brewery!

Tuesday I kicked around Fredericksburg. Cool town. Good lunch at an Irish pub, couple brews at Red Dragon Brewery. Ran a few errands and just before settling in for the quick trip up the road to Gettysburg Wednesday I continued a few miles past my campsite to the Stonewall Jackson Shrine.

House whee Stonewall Jackson Died
House whee Stonewall Jackson Died

It’s a quiet, pretty place. (I wonder how long until some dumbass libtard organization demands it be torn down and a safe-place erected in its stead? Can’t we just let history be history?)

Whatever. I’m heading thru Harpers Ferry and Antietam on my way to Gettysburg. More on that later. G’night!


The Best Five-hour Detour

I was coming up on the Outer Banks when I received the Samaritan’s Purse text about them needing help on tornado response & recovery in Greensboro, North Carolina. So instead of continuing my trek north to Virginia I headed west about five hours to Greensboro. I’d served with SP before on hurricane cleanup and rebuild projects in the Houston area so I knew what I was getting into. So I thought.

About 5 pm Sunday I arrived at Grace Community Church, our hosts for the team’s deployment. Lorenzo, the SP project manager, met me as I pulled in and helped get my rig secured for the duration. After dinner in the community room, I settled in for the night to get rested for what looked like a rainy day Monday. And rain it did. The next two days were a soggy mess., slogging & sloshing thru mud & wet brush.

In the morning on the way to our first job site we passed significant tornado damage, including one house that had been blown fully off its foundation about 20 feet away. (The television, however, was still sitting on the foundation.) Downed trees were everywhere; roofs were gone; bricks and debris were scattered all over the place. It was gut wrenching. Kenny, our team lead, asked me to grab a chain saw and start cutting trees into movable sizes that could be dragged or hauled by wheelbarrow to the street. We cleared trees and debris for hours—all day.

Our team, which ranged from about six of us to more than 20 co-workers cleared trees, brush, fences, trash, personal belongings, and whatever else the storm tore up to the street where city crews could pick it up for hauling to the dump. A couple jobs required a skip-steer to move larger tree trunks or lift trees off vehicles. It was amazing how a bunch of regular men & women could come together to help make a horrible situation a little bit better.

I feel bad that the 20+ jobs I helped on have already begun to meld together because each job has a story: a home destroyed, beautiful trees uprooted, lives impacted. I guess that’s what storms do.

But I’m also heartened and so very grateful for the opportunity to serve. I met incredible people, both on my team and the homeowners we served. My core team—those with me the longest—will always be more than friends. They are my brothers and sisters. Mike & Nik from Hillsboro, Ohio are a couple of the most diligent chainsaw guys & solid people you could ask for. They never quit and, I know, those 36 inch guns get heavy! Ricky, from Long Island, New York, a retired NYPD officer and now pastor of his church: what an awesome, loving, caring man of God. Theresa from Fort Wayne, Indiana who’s a “domestic engineer” and has the tenacity and joy in serving like no other. The Teen Challenge guys (more on them in a minute) nicknamed her G.I. Jane. Perfect! Theresa, in turn, nicknamed me Vagabum. I like it. Gonna let that stick. And finally Kenny, our team lead. I’ve rarely met a man chasing so hard after God’s heart. Kenny’s dry humor, his goofy songs & stories, his faith-building songs, his love for people… what a man. I’ll work with you anytime, anywhere Kenny. I love all you guys and pray for God’s blessings on your lives. Hope to see you all down the road!

Wednesday and Friday the awesome guys from Teen Challenge joined us on our job sites. These guys, each recovering from some kind of addiction, were nothing short of God-sends. They brought life, laughter, youth and strength to the game! To a man they served ceaselessly with obvious joy and love for Christ in their hearts. They were kinda like wood chippers, as they made mountains of brush, limbs, and trees trunks disappear to the street. We would’ve been in a world of hurt without them. I’m so proud of how they’ve turned their lives over to a better Strength.

And there were the homeowners. I’ll never forget or truly understand how gracious they all were. How appreciative they are. How, in the midst of horrendous destruction, so many of them are standing strong in their faith and how, on several occasions, they served us simply with their hugs, smiles and, yes, even tears. Whether we were praying into a job site for safety and that we’d be the hands and feet of Jesus in the neighborhood or we were thanking Him for protecting us through another job, homeowners often stood with us hand-in-hand recognizing that even in the midst of hell on earth, God is good. I know we have some issues in our country, and I know racism continues its ugly impact on lives. But this week, in Greensboro, I saw nothing but care, concern & love for each other thanks to one Common Denominator. It was beautiful!

I could probably write about this week all night and not cover it all. But I’m battered, I’m bruised. I’m beat. Yet I’m so blessed. This has been the best five-hour detour of my life. Good night my friends. May God bless Greensboro and the life-giving work of Samaritan’s Purse.

OBX Postscript

I thought I was done posting until after I left the Outer Banks, but I wanna share this. Rather than grill more chicken than I could eat in a couple days (I’d be eating with the Samaritan’s Purse group this coming week) I decided to eat out.

Had dinner at The Froggy Dog in Avon, a cool place with fresh seafood, lots of menu options and friendly people. Scallops were great.

Sunset over Pamlico SoundOn the way back home I stopped into Waterman’s Retreat, another cool spot that caters to wind surfers and sunset watchers. Had a couple G&Ts while watching the sun set over the water on the east coast. I dunno why that’s so cool to me, but it is.

And with that, in the morning I’m reluctantly leaving the OBX in my rearview mirrors.