Every land captain gets to take a maiden voyage. It’s called the “Shake Down” trip. It’s a short jaunt, usually 500 miles or less round trip, where you get to work out all the “kinks,” see what’s functioning smoothly on the vessel (and what’s not), make and follow your checklists, go through challenges, learn a routine, bob and weave with circumstances (and bumps in the literal road) and basically get to know the vehicle that is gonna be your home and traveling partner for the coming weeks, months or maybe even years.
I was planning on doing a Shake Down trip…eventually. Just not THAT weekend. And so, just as the Shake Down itself is filled with unplanned occasions, so the actual start of this Shakedown was pretty much unplanned as well.
I heard the words coming from God plain as day, though.
So, of course, I went.
Within 3 hours, I was heading out, bound for the Navajo Reservation and Window Rock, on a mission to be a part of Gathering of Tribal Nations and see well-known prophet Robin Bullock and his group perform and speak there as well.
I was also taking Winnie the Pugh on her maiden voyage with her new captain and co-captain—myself and Ms. D, first ever health coaching, traveling bunny. Ms. D is such a good sport about it all, as long as I keep her in good supply with fresh apples and bananas. She drives a hard bargain, but it’s so worth it!
Don’t do what this guy did the next time you dump your RV! ☝️
I really didn’t know what to expect, except to expect the unexpected. Looking back on that first day, however, two clear “Learning Points” come to the forefront.
#1 There is More to Do to Prepare Than You Think: i.e., “Getting ready” and “packing it all up” may take longer than expected. For me, this meant deciding what to take with and what to leave behind at our rented RV plot we have for the month of August in Pine, AZ.
Then I still had to:
-fill up with gas (ouch $$),
-plan the route, and
-dump the black and grey water for first time.
Negotiating the big, snaky, black hosey thing was a bit challenging, but—note to self— it is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT that you get as much of it as possible down into the dark abyss that is the Speedway Gas Station sewer pit. BTW, the RV sewer dump at Speedway Gas Stations is FREE! For more info on where to dump for free or cheap, check out this site
…and along the way, I had to take time out for lots of deep breathing so as not to go into full-blown “What the heck do I think I am doing with this RV thing, anyway?” panic mode…
Instead, the mantra…” I am provided for, we’ve got this, thank you Jesus…” got me though…
Needless to say, it was 4 pm by the time we actually hit the road last Friday.
#2 Don’t Be in A Hurry: When traveling in a smooth cruiser like Winnie the Pugh, you gotta take it slow (translation- whatever time it says on the GPS, double it. That’s how long it will take for you to get there).
A little note here: Admittedly, something strange happens to me whenever I get behind the wheel of Winnie the Pugh. For anyone reading this who doesn’t yet knows me, I can be a pretty high strung, go go go, somewhat anxious person. My MO is striving, goal setting, doing. Yeah, I’m slowly learning how to curtail all this chaos and simply REST in the presence of God, which I do more and more because it is such a yummy place to be 😊 …but still, it is has been my “default setting” for years to run pretty high octane in my life.
Not when I get behind the wheel of this trusted steed, however. Time seems to melt away and I go into serious “cruise” mode. Heck, I don’t even mind the fact that I can’t listen to any of my podcasts and the radio doesn’t even really work that well at the moment (add that to the ever-increasing list of “fix ups” for this vessel).
Truth be told, I enjoy the silence, the hum (and rattle) of Winnie on the pavement, the crunch and munch of Ms. D in her little open air seat compartment next to me (we don’t use the word “cage” around here), and the slow drip of my thoughts that come and go as I meander at about 45 down the highway.
Inevitably, my slower than molasses pace pisses a lot of people off behind me, especially when I cruise uphill, and the speed may go down to a slow crawl before we gather momentum again.
Note to anyone who gets behind me on the highways and byways of the Americas…if there is a passing lane, by all means, pass! I will always veer right for you. If there is a pullout, I’ll pull out. But if it is a two laner and you get stuck behind my slow caboose, why not just put the phone (and your watch) down and enjoy the ride for a little while?
Anyhow, eventually we made it about half-way to our destination. So, going with the flow, we had our first “boondock” on night one. We bedded down for the night in the front parking lot of the Petrified Forest National Park. No harassments. A couple of other weary travelers pulled in to “sleep it off” as well before heading out. We even found a fairly level spot too – an important requirement (I found out from a retired refrigeration expert) for an RV running the frig all the time on propane or electric. Stopping too long at an angle puts air pockets in the lines that can cause total meltdown. Who knew?
Anyhow, flat spot, no hassles, moved all the stuff that was on the floor to the table so Ms. D could have some running space. Slept like a log.
I woke up the next morning a little disoriented to the bright sun and an unfamiliar scene alongside route 40. A big family in a large black SUV was making noise laughing and fussing in the parking spot next to me.
I took Ms. D out with her stroller so they could have a looksy. Bunny petting always makes people smile. It’s partly why we are a traveling duo in this season of life, after all.
And I am thinking the whole time…Now this is the life!
What a minute. This is MY life! Can it really be? Yahoo and hallelujah!
And I realized right then and there that is almost as if I was born to do this. I just didn’t know it way back when. God knew however, when he/she put the idea in my heart several months ago that I may just be able to acquire an RV and hit the road.
What? I remember thinking. Ridiculous!
I had no money.
I had no real experience with RVs
I had no plan on how I was going to actually purchase one either.
And I had bad credit.
What I did have was a crackling, electric idea, placed inside me by Holy Spirit. It was most colorful firework of inspiration shooting off rainbows of fun, possibility, and adventure in my imagination.
Have you ever eaten a pop rock? You know how it feels like an explosion in your mouth?
That’s how this inspiration felt in every cell in my body. It was a pop rock going off in my belly. That’s how I knew it did not come from my little pea brain, but was a direct download from Yahweh him/her self.
And because Yeshua knows me so well, and always has my very best at heart, and is so good, and so kind, and so wise, and so amazingly supportive of me in every way… He/she knows 😉 that when an inspiration hits me like that, I, for one, am just childlike-enough, just Polly Anna enough, just crazy (in a good way) enough to maybe, possibly say “yes” and follow it through …
My faith in His plans for me had grown just enough at the time for me to say, “What the heck? Let’s do it!”
After all, what have we got to lose?
In the long run, absolutely nothing.
What have we got to gain?
In the long run (and maybe even in the short run), undoubtably a deeper relationship in Love with God.
And, to me, that is ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING!
Stay tuned next time for Part 2, where we actually make it to the “Gathering” and get to be witness and even participate in some pretty miraculous and incredible events having to do with sound, frequency, and energy in worship …. It was truly an amazing event, and I can’t wait to share it with you in Part 2!
Learn more about myRV journey in THIS VIDEO! ☝️