TGAR: Day One
We left New York on June 5th at around 10AM. Our destination was Millsboro, VA, which would be the first stop before Nashville. Eventually we’d move on to Colorado, Utah, then California. We got a breakfast sandwich and began.
I am traveling with an artist name Mark Samsonovich. He told me that he was going to cross the US in his highly on-brand Subaru, and I asked if I could tag along. He said yes, and a week later we were off.
I can’t speak to Mark’s motivations for leaving the city, especially for a stint lasting weeks at a time, but I knew why I needed it. The city is oppressive, and if you live there, you know that. But the US is very large and very beautiful, and until now I hadn’t seen much of it.
Sometime after we set out we realized that it was going to rain. And not just rain, but thunderstorm. For hours. The pressure was on to not only find a suitable campsite, but to get our tents set up and waterproofed before the rain hit. According to the GPS, we’d have only 50 minutes to make that happen.
Along the way, we realized that we wouldn’t make it to Millsboro in time, so we decided to camp in The George Washington and Jefferson National Forest. It was already pretty flooded by the time we arrived, but that didn’t stop locals from capitalizing on the fish.
After driving around on a pretty dubious back road for a while, we found a clear and obvious camp site. You need a reservation to camp in national parks, but you’re free and clear to camp in national forests in areas that don’t specifically prohibit “dispersed camping.” The rain was coming though, so we had to hustle.
I’ll spare you the painful details, but we did managed to pull it off. But once we laid down in our tents, sleep did not come easy. It began to rain in earnest, and we were surrounded by almost complete darkness with only the sound of the forest and the rain (and the thunder) to break the silence. It was a little spooky.
But we made it, and we’re pressing on to Nashville where we’ll be able to sleep somewhere with four walls.
I’m documenting this trip on Snapchat, so follow me with my username: evanrodge