Dawn Patrol to Michigan, iPhone navigation notwithstanding, presented a different set of challenges for those who didn’t immediately fly out to Boston to start a work trip. The whole departure evolution has been a bit surreal – we’re actually doing this trip after years of talking smack about it. !!! Maybe the hypnagogic aspect was compounded by the few hours of sleep I managed in the days prior to our actual departure. Flight had a quick turnaround in the Detroit area (no kidding, 30 minutes to check into the campsite, disconnect and ready the TOAD to drive, back Davista in, level, and plug her into the site’s power supply (but, alas, no fresh water), before changing clothes, confirming suitcase contents, and getting all five members of our flight team into the car to go to the airport). We managed to accomplish the whole checklist to get set up at the Holly Recreation Area State Park, a lovely spot to break in the solo adventure, and get Flight to DTW for an on-time departure.
A professional pilot of 26 (?!) years, Flight has jumped into Davista’s manual with both feet and crawled all over (and under) our new landcraft becoming well versed in all her operating systems, upping his game in fixing each piece of gear that breaks while in transit. I have not, um, made that educational process a priority – I was busy making face care products and duvet covers – and was woefully unprepared to assume command of Davista, even while she was docked at the pier.
I had a momentary surge of panic as we pulled away from the Delta curb. Maybe it was the lingering suggestion Flight made before we left Holly. Upon noticing our fresh water tank was only 1/3 full, he offered: “You can just pull around the loop and connect to the fresh water source a few campsites back to fill the tank. Keeper can show you how to do it.” Um, no. I think the first time I take Davista for a spin, especially one that involves picking our way through a camp site, and top anything off (how many tanks do we even have?!), I probably shouldn’t be supervised by only our 11 year old, as exceptional as he is.
My solution was to buy gallon jugs of drinking water on our way back (totally at peace with that…). Bandaid applied to that problem… The next item of business was getting the outdoor kitchen set up. We have a pretty sweet set-up outside, necessitated by the lack of ventilation near the inside galley stove (don’t need my everything (wardrobe, towels, linens, furniture, etc.) to reek of bacon). We have a small prep table and a gas drill that is tapped directly into the propane line (one of the first modifications to Davista Flight made – brilliant!). I vaguely remembered Flight’s instructions to plug the stove in and held my breath as I lit it for the first time. WOO HOO – and at least I was able to feed our kids.
We spent our days exploring Holly and even ventured into the greater Detroit area to explore and visit with friends. We were getting into a groove and I was eager to share my growing comfort level with this crazy notion we’d jumped into, until our TOAD acted up as we were on our way to collect Flight from a late night arrival at DTW. You can check that experience out here…