A Trip From Hell

 Posted by at 12:37 am  Nick's Blog
Aug 182014
 

I wrote in yesterday’s blog that we only had a short 45 mile drive from the Hershey Thousand Trails to the Gettysburg Farm RV Resort near Dover, Pennsylvania. Easy peasy. Yeah, right.

It was raining when we woke up and continued while I had my Corn Pops, checked e-mail, and answered those that needed immediate attention. Not hard, just a steady gentle rain that lasted while I took the trash down to the dumpster, came back and dumped our holding tanks, put the window awning up, unhooked the utilities and stored things away, then went inside to pull in our slide rooms and retract the jacks, and went back outside to get the jack pads out from under the motorhome and stored them away. Once I had all of that done, the rain stopped. That should have told me something about what my day was going to be like.

Once we had the Explorer hooked up to our Blue Ox tow bar we pulled out of the campground about 10:30 a.m. There is a Hess gas station about five miles from the campground with diesel pumps and easy access in and out, and their prices are always competitive. We had a little over half a tank of fuel but I wanted to top the tank off because I’m not sure what we’ll find as we travel south in a couple of weeks.

Back on the road, I missed a turn and somehow ended up in a huge pack of cars seven lanes wide going into Hershey Theme Park, with no way to turn around. Now that was fun! We eventually inched our way up to a VERY narrow entrance gate where I told the attendant that all I wanted to do was get the hell out of there. He gave me directions around the complex to get back out onto the highway and I managed to thread our way through all of the cars to get there, nerves totally frazzled.

You’d think that would be enough fun for one day, wouldn’t you? You’d be wrong. We planned to go west to U.S. Highway 15 and follow it south, the same route we took a couple of weeks ago when we drove down in the Explorer to check out Gettysburg Farm. But I’m pretty sure that the spirits of both of my ex-mothers-in-law had invaded our Rand McNally RV GPS and it had other plans. Before I knew it we were on the north side of Harrisburg, then got dumped off on two lane roads, turned here, turned there, and pretty soon I was wishing I was back in the crowd at Hershey Theme Park.

Finally I saw a sign for Interstate 83, which I knew would take us to York, from which we could follow U.S. 30 west toward our destination. But again, the GPS kept nagging me to get off on every exit, gravel road, cow path, and weigh station along the way. I don’t know what the heck was wrong with it, I checked and it was set in RV mode with our rig’s size and weight entered in. Tired of its noise, Terry turned it off and we resorted to our tried and true road atlas.

By the time we arrived at the campground, our 45 mile trip had stretched to over 85 miles! It was 2:30 by the time we got settled into our site, only two hours later than I expected to be there. But the good news is that even though the campground is very crowded we got a nice back in full hookup 50 amp site with a clear view of the sky for our satellite dish, and everybody here seems very friendly. So it was worth all the time and aggravation. Well, maybe.

I guess whoever vacated our site just before we got here must have read yesterday’s blog about smoky campfires, because they left a smoldering log in the fire ring. Once I had everything hooked up, I poured a couple of pans of water on it and put an end to that nonsense. We’ll be here through Labor Day weekend, seeing some of the local attractions and taking life easy once I get the new issue finished and off to the printer.

And finally, congratulations to Sandy Dealy, this week’s winner of an audiobook of George Wier’s Longnecks & Twisted Hearts in our Gypsy Journal drawing!

Thought For The Day – Sometimes you succeed, and other times you learn.

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Nick Russell

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  8 Responses to “A Trip From Hell”

  1. Ha. Spirits of your ex mothers in law. That made me laugh out loud. Thanks.

  2. Never trust a GPS unless you have the road atlas open too! Then trust it only a little bit.

  3. We use our Garmin GPS just as a tool. We NEVER follow it exactly. I still use our old maps. Right now we are in Nova Scotia and have no GPS for this area. Don’t miss it. Don’t depend on electronics.

  4. This summer with the car I have been using my I phone and it seem to work better than the GPS and it always knows my location.

  5. Once again, my own laughter confirms the reasons I read this daily blog.

    By the way, Nick — if you ever do manage to visit Centre County — I’ll drive.

  6. I sure can sympathize with you. We have just recently experienced a Rand McNally trip from hell, also. We can only say one good thing about Rand McNally GPS–they must know how bad they are. We are on our fifth replacement (first trip with this one) and it still sends in circles and dirt roads and sharp turns and more. Calling them again as soon as we get home.

  7. Thanks Nick you just confirmed for me that we are not the only one with a haunted GPS, your x-mother-in-laws haunt yours we don’t know who haunts ours, but he has sent us on some adventures. This last trip was one of them, we ended up on a road that took us a good 10 miles on a detour. Not as bad as yours though, we were just thru lots of cornfields and cows. Thanks for the giggle this morning. We leave Owensville Missouri next Monday for Branson, can’t wait to see what George (yes we named it) has in store for us. As for campfires our neighbors did leave it smoldering but sure left a mess for the ground crew to clean since they were in one of the rentals

  8. Our Garmin GPS is good for speed only. iPad map much more reliable!

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