Ridin’ high

It’s Day 376 of 15 Days to Flatten the Curve. I’m ok, Deb’s holding her own and Scout is back to being The Best Dog Ever.

Credit for the pup’s quick recovery goes to Deb’s prescription of white rice instead of dog food for 48 hours. It’s downright miraculous, I’m tellin’ you.

In a social-media post this afternoon, Deb described how we spent our day as “total touristy stuff.” That pretty well sums it up — we channeled our inner out-of-towners and immersed in a genuine tourist trap.

For the third time this week we boarded a trolley at the stop in front of our campground, but today we took the bus to an affiliated tram that whisked us from an enormous parking lot into a retail-and-amusements wonderland. It’s unabashedly gaudy, full of entertainment, shopping and dining.

We ducked into a tropical-themed restaurant and, since we figured it’s five o’clock somewhere, ordered a couple of Perfect Margaritas — and they were. It didn’t take long for the tequila to transport us to Paradise, where the only rational decision was to order a couple of cheeseburgers.

(Try to keep up, ok?)

Bellies full, we ambled about the shops and engaged in people watching. (Today’s headline and header image were a tease — we didn’t ride that Ferris wheel.) It turned out to be The Ideal Spring Day — clear and (compared to what we’ve been dealing with the last few days) warm.

Maybe the most remarkable thing about today was our accidentally perfect timing — we arrived at the trolley stop the moment the bus rolled up, landed at the tram stop in time to get the last available seats. finished our gift-shop browsing right when our table was ready, rode the tram back to a waiting trolley and so on.

It was a little spooky, actually. We’re accustomed to waiting.

Something that deserves an explanation, perhaps, is why we simply don’t pull a second vehicle behind our motorhome. I mean, Ernie’s rated to tow 10,000 pounds, so we definitely have the capacity.

The primary reason is that we’d probably have to buy another vehicle for the purpose. See, our Tacomas can only be trailered (all four wheels off the ground), so we’d need to buy, register and insure a trailer. Or we’d buy a dedicated toad, register it and insure it, and invest in either a dolly or a flat-tow apparatus.

That’s expensive, either way.

We’re gonna try to get by using ride-share services, taxis, public transit and rental cars. The insane traffic this week in eastern Tennessee, along with jammed parking lots, make the first three options — leaving the driving to someone else, that is — more appealing than the fourth.

We may change our minds down the road, but right now we figure we can rent a lot of cars for the price of a toad and a tow rig, or even a trailer.

Tomorrow’s our last day here in Tennessee, and I think we’re ready to move on. I expect we’ll spend our Easter Sunday readying our gear for the drive north, doing a little maintenance and charging our personal batteries for the upcoming travel days.

No matter what happens between here and Second Chance Ranch, our “shakedown cruise” has been a success. We’ve done it — we’ve made this work. By the end of April, the next chapter of our American Life will be underway.

Consider this your formal invitation to ride along with us.

Take care of yourselves, Patriots. Stay calm. Stay sharp. Stay free.

#WiseUp #LibertyOrDeath