Friday, April 24, 2009
Back on the road....
....but it was terribly stressful just getting here. I took Winnie to get her North Carolina 'omissions inspection' on Tuesday, a requirement of all NC vehicles to be registered and plated. It was the first time I had started the engine and drove her since parking on the beach a whole month before. My good friend and hairdresser extraordinaire, Jodell, wanted to ride along with me to see what it was like. We picked probably one of the windiest days in a long time - 40 mph winds (tropical storm strength) - but made it downtown okay and Winnie passed with flying colors. Had the guys check the tires and pressure as well, as wanted to be sure they were ready for the next 2600 miles.
With my 'passing certificate' in hand, Laura picked me up and off we went to the DMV. I had a huge packet of papers I had received from LaMesa when I purchased Winnie and all the insurance forms, driver's license and checkbook - anything I could think of they might need to process Winnie. But when the lady (Donna - whom I got to know on a first-name basis by the end of the next 2 days!) asked me for the title, I just looked at her. She informed me that the dealer would/should have mailed the title to me or sent it directly to the DMV. No title, no plates, no leaving the state.
With my blood pressure rising quickly, I called LaMesa from the DMV, was transferred 4 times before reaching someone who said that the lady in charge of titles for all 8 of LaMesa's sales offices had been out sick for the past 6 weeks. I asked what I considered a very intelligent question - was she the only one in the entire company that issued titles for every sale they made?!!!! After several minutes of conversation, it was agreed that LaMesa would overnight the title for Winnie to the DMV office in Wilmington to the attention of lovely Donna.
The next morning I waited until 10 a.m. and was thrilled to learn that FedEx had already delivered my title and paperwork. Called Laura, my resident taxi driver, and we were at the DMV office by 10:30, only to learn that LaMesa had not notarized the title - something that the state of NC requires. Back on the phone - this time Donna and the folks in Tucson talked directly to each other. When they finished, it is decided that the title must be over-nighted back to Tucson, notarized, and returned to the NCDMV, which would probably take till Monday or Tuesday.
There goes my schedule! Nothing more I could do, so Laura and I went out to lunch and I had several de-stressing beverages! While we were enjoying a delicious lunch of Pad Thai, my phone rings and it's the lovely Donna! She and the folks at LaMesa have both called and chatted with the big-wigs at the DMV in Raleigh. They came to the conclusion that since I purchased Winnie out-of-state, and since AZ doesn't require their titles to be notarized, NC will let me register and get my plates with the paperwork the way it is!!!!
So I was only set back one day, which LaMesa very graciously agreed to pay the extra-day campground fee, and this morning, with shinny new license plates, I drove off Carolina Beach after 31-days.
Tonight, as you can see from the pictures, I'm in the lovely Blue Ridge mountains, just outside Mt. Airy, NC. The funny-looking mountain is called Pilot Mountain and Mt. Airy is the birthplace of Andy Griffith and was the town that the fictional Mayberry was based upon. It's a brand-new campground and really nice. My neighbors all stopped by to say hello, and the owner came over and personally invited me down to the 'gathering area' to listen to some 'live pickin'. Grabbed a beer and a chair and really enjoyed listening to a couple of local, good ol' boys singin' and playing some great country music. And you wonder why I like this life?
Today was an easy 5-hour drive and I realized as I was moving down that road that my hands no longer held the steering wheel in a death-grip, nor did I jerk every time a 16-wheeler went whizzing past, my stomach didn't reside in my throat and I was actually enjoying the ride! I think I might actually have gotten over the 'new RV-driver jitters.' And I really get a hoot out of pulling into a rest stop and parking with the truckers instead of the cars.
It's time to turn off the computer, plop in front of the TV and relax before getting a good night's sleep. Tomorrow I'm off to Crossville, TN for a night at the Bean Pot Campground. Part of the fun deciding how far I want to drive and choosing where I want to spend the next night. What did we do before computers?!
Until next time....take care of each other.