Appalachian 

We officially launched our family road trip on August 26th and made our way to High Point, NC. 

Note to everyone: NEVER spend a Friday night at the Walmart Supercenter in Hickory, NC. Apparently it’s the (not so) cool kid teen cruising strip…drag racing and burning tires until after 3am. One couple decided to park directly in front of our RV despite the massive empty parking lot surrounding us, and…spend the night?? No sleep was had. 

However, the next day we arrived in High Point and were blessed with the hospitality of some friends who let us enjoy their pool, beautiful home and hosted a dinner for Hands and Feet. 

The next morning we attended Hope City Church and Mark shared the vision of Hands and Feet. The church prayed for and encouraged us and actually opened our eyes and hearts to the bigger picture of what God wants to teach us on this 2+ month journey. 

After Hope City, we met with another amazing supporting couple and their church family and friends in Canton, NC for a sweet ice cream social and another H&F presentation. That night we headed to Asheville. 

We were denied overnight parking at two Walmarts, so we made our way to “Another Broken Egg Cafe” and parked out front on the street and we, along with the 4 skateboarders in the adjacent parking lot, hoped that no security guards would bother us. We slept great and walked into the cafe for breakfast in the morning, and then headed to the Biltmore Estate where we were blessed with tickets to see the Biltmore from our Canton friends. 

The kids and I walked the gardens, conservatory, bass pond and waterfall, while Mark did his morning meetings. 

Then we did the self guided tour – which we highly recommend for kids and adults!

Unfortunately, Mark, an avid history buff, became quickly uninterested in the history of Cornelius Vanderbilt and his grandson’s grandiose home. It seems Mark had ingested something not intended for human consumption but rather for human depositing. I’m talking about poop guys. Cleaning a clogged RV toilet didn’t bode well for him. Lesson learned. Hazmat suit ordered. 

Mark is a tough cookie though, and decided to finish strong. The bowling alley, indoor pool, and the Downton Abbey vibe of the servants quarters seemed to perk him up a little. 

From the Biltmore Estate, we rolled up to Biltmore Baptist. While Mark introduced them to Ikondo, and the future strategy of Hands and Feet mission trips, the kids and I tackled some road schooling. 

About an hour later Mark walked slowly from the church to the RV, looking rather pekid. He climbed aboard and made his way to the “luxurious” RV  queen. 

“Aegis!!! Get a garbage bag now!” 

“What?”

“I need a garbage bag!”

*hand him a Walmart shopping bag with holes in it* 

“Noooooo! I need a heavy duty garbage bag!”

*scramble to find a bag and hand it to Mark.*

Right then, in the Biltmore Baptist Church parking lot, Mark’s digestive demons were disposed of in that super duty contractor grade trash bag. 

I was then on driving duty and safely drove the family through the Smoky Mountains from Asheville, NC to Pigeon Forge, TN where we spent 3 days. 

With our first “working” weekend under our belts, it was nice to have a few days to have some family time. 

Things we learned from the North Carolina leg of our road trip:

  1. Walmart parking lots are not all created equal 
  2. When dealing with “number 2”, wash your hands and arms at least 3 times. Change your clothes, wash again another 3 times 
  3. RV’s are essentially rolling paper mache earthquakes 
  4. Mountain paths and babbling brooks are more than just pretty scenery. They rejuvenate your soul and are reminders of how creative God is
  5. RV living is more difficult than we thought, but more rewarding than we imagined. 

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