Back In The U.S.A.!

The last of the furniture was toted out of the Ecuador house around 2 pm on April 15 but I had to wait until 4:30 to be picked up & taken to a friend’s house for my last night in Ecuador.  There was nothing to sit on except the toilet or a cement ledge out in the front patio!  Strangely enough, the cement ledge was more comfortable.  We spent a nice night back at Jani’s place in Paute and then left for the Quito airport at 10 a.m. on the morning of April 16, arriving at Charleston, SC airport at about 10 a.m. the following morning.  UGH!  Hope to never have to  have another long long travel day like that one. It was pretty uneventful though except that I accidentally left my carry-on bag at Customs in Atlanta. Turns out they really hate when that happens, LOL!   I had to  wait about 15-20 min. for a Delta employee to escort me back to Customs to retrieve it.

We’ve been staying in a big borrowed tent at Hunting Island State Park in SC for 2 weeks….the weather has been pretty good overall, and it’s great to be among my camping friends again.  We spend time at the beach reading and chatting, eating in restaurants, going to town.  . I have a one burner electric hot plate that’s been named “Christine” (after the famous unruly car) because she’s so unpredictable and diabolical!!  She pays no attention to what temperature her knobs are set, she heats madly or not at all, and one time I set her on top of my ice chest and she leaped off onto the ground, all on her own!!  Sometimes it takes 5 minutes to heat water for morning coffee, sometimes 15.  In order to get her to turn off completely, I have to unplug her; I can’t just turn the knob to “off”.

We are leaving here on Saturday to spend 3 nights at a campground in Asheville, then I’ll be parked at two friends’ house in Asheville for the rest of May.  I will be house-and-dog-sitting for them from May 16-31, and then I’ll be starting my Summer Adventures!   Can’t wait.  I am picking up my dear little camper on the way to Asheville…with my NEW CAR!!  I bought a 2006 Toyota Highlander which will be a much more appropriate tow vehicle, with more engine power (6 cylinders instead of 4) and better braking power, not to mention a whole lot more cargo space than my little Subaru.  I’m going to need it if I’m to live full time in the little camper.  The prospect of having car payments again is a little daunting but it’ll be fine once I get used to it.   It seems to be a great car that looks & drives like new! I guess I’ll have to TRY to be better about keeping it clean than I did the poor Subaru.


6 replies on “Back In The U.S.A.!”

You can certainly see your skills within the work you
write. The arena hopes for even more passionate writers like you who aren’t afraid to mention how they believe.
At all times follow your heart.


As an American, my very first overview to English clubs,
draft beer and glasses was in the very early 60’s, while I was still a teen, in the comic strip Andy Capp.


Hi Janis. I just bought an Aliner, went searching for an Aliner blogger and found yours and started reading from the beginning. I plan to do long trips but not quite fulltime so have lots to learn. Have a question right away: How is the Highlander doing (if you still have it)? I’m now looking for a tow vehicle and am an old Toyota fan. In addition to how it tows, what kind of gas mileage does it get? Any issues at all? Thanks, looking forward to reading more of your adventures.


Hi Lynn, congrats on the new camper! I love my Highlander! It’s got 180k miles on it and doing great…the only issue I’ve had is an alternator failure. I have the 6 cyl. front wheel drive and it does great even in the mountains, though my A is the smaller one, 12′ long. Equivalent to today’s Ranger 10. I get 17-18 mpg towing.


Thanks for the quick reply. Mine is a Classic, no wings. Box is 12′ but 15′ including tongue. I’ve heard rear wheel drive is better for towing, so good to hear yours does great even in the mountains. Is it high enough to be able to drive rough roads? Do you have enough cargo space, do all back seats fold down or remove? Have been leaning a little toward a van or truck with cap for more cargo space.
BTW, I’m in NC. Sure hope to run into you on the road and some of your WAC friends.


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