It was an amazing Friday in May when I received the email that we had a tent available for pick up. The awesome folks at Cascadia Vehicle Tents (@CVTTents) had set aside a Mt. Rainier Summit tent for us to pick up. So, after a very late night of working, I fell asleep at 11 pm only to wake at 12 am and get our trip started.
I woke my son, who is 7 years old, and walked him out to the truck with his blankets. As soon as his head hit the headrest and reclined in the Tacoma, he was out cold yet again. We started our journey around 12:30 am on Saturday May 4th. What would be a 1,000+ mile round trip journey, would not be his first bout at a truck-ride with Dad. Nope, this 7 year old was accustomed to the journey, as our destination was only 30 minutes past where his puppy, Biscuit, was born.
It was an uneventful ride out. We stopped once in the middle of the night to grab an energy drink (insert sponsorship here) and to use the bathroom. He came inside the store with me, and once he was in his seat again, he was out cold again…. lucky guy. As we crossed from North Carolina into Tennessee, the sun started coming up around 6:30. I was able to snag a few photos while he remained unconscious in my passenger seat, but soon he would rouse and was shocked to hear we were one state west!
The only traffic on the whole journey was in Knoxville. There was a terrible accident involving two vehicles that I hate to say were indistinguishable. My professional background involves 5+ years of EMS and 5 years of Law Enforcement. It didn’t look good. I hope all are well but I fear that there may have been casualty involved. An hour later though, and we were arriving at our destination, Cascadia Vehicle Tents in Chattanooga Tennessee around 10 am.
Nick welcomed us into the shop. I was impressed with what I saw. Inside the showroom were 5+ Roof Top Tents on display amidst some merchandise and some awnings. Nick allowed us into the warehouse portion of the shop, and we were impressed to see not one, but two, old Model T Fords! Apparently one of the guys that works at this location is a bit of an aficionado with these. We really appreciated being able to gawk and gaze at these beautiful pieces of automotive history – but as Dad said to son… look and take pictures, but DO NOT TOUCH!
After a call with Bobby, the owner of CVT, we were able to locate our tent. Nick fired up the forklift while my son and I perused the showroom. We climbed up inside different tents, and I drooled over the awnings and the trailer inside the showroom. I hope to return to Chattanooga to camp sometime soon and pick up a nice awning in the process.
Nick and I loaded the tent in the back of my 2019 Toyota Tacoma TRD Off Road, and I strapped it in for safety. Nick was a great guy, and I found out he doesn’t even work for CVT. He offered to help Bobby out when Nick overheard CVT was in need of some extra assistance – what a cool guy! (Follow him on Instagram @OverlandNashville)
We started our 8 hour trek back to our home and thanked Nick (repeatedly) for covering so we could pick up our tent. While we drove in the rain for nearly 60% of our trip, we were able to stop for gas around Pittsboro and to pick up a TRD Shift Knob for my truck off Facebook Marketplace (Thanks CW!) for only $60! It was a nice addition to my interior since I have the reddish orange accents on the dash and stitching.
A short while later we stopped in Apex for some Five Guys burgers and finished our last 1 hour trip home. It was rewarding to get home and be done with a very long day. We are really excited to be able to share our adventures with everyone as we learn and improve our camping skills.