Crazy Traveling

March 5, 2019 (by Angela)

Wow! This past weekend, Jim and I moved from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina to Blacksburg, South Carolina. Blacksburg is located in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, and we had been on the Atlantic coast. We crossed the state from a southeastern point to a northeastern point, and it was crazy from the beginning.

Following the GPS directions pulling out of the campground, we made a turn right only to find shortly that our path forward was shut off to us due to a Saturday morning marathon. Thus, we made our first change of direction and had to go out of the way to get where we needed to be. Things went pretty smoothly after that until I decided I was hungry and asked Jim to watch for a truck stop or some place he felt comfortable stopping for us to have lunch. Dear man that he is, in an attempt to appease his hungry wife, he didn’t wait too long before exiting the Interstate. He made a miscalculation and ended up in a tricky position. In his defense, I would have thought and done the exact same thing that he did, but I would not have been talented enough to get out of the tight spot. He later found a Cracker Barrel, our go-to lunch on the road when traveling Interstates. That worked much better.

Since our RV-specific (recreational vehicle to most, but residential vehicle to us) GPS (global positioning system) saved our butts so many times while traveling in the Northeast, we rarely question it as to the route it is plotting for us when towing. This route, however, left us shaking our heads, but Jim and I chose to assume it was for the best. If you look at the map below, you will see the route we followed. If you think, “Hmm, that doesn’t seem to be the most direct path,” then we would agree with you. When we stopped for lunch in Columbia, South Carolina, we expected to continue on I-77 toward Charlotte, but our wise RV GPS decided the alternate route shown was the way we should go, so we did.

The route we took is green.

Confused by the GPS’ choice of route after lunch, we still followed. Just when Jim and I thought we were almost there, we ran into a huge amount of road construction at I-85 in Spartanburg. Of course, there was one entry ramp closed. It was, of course, the one we needed to take. The detour sign instructions were convoluted and confusing. As fate would have it, one of the last detour signs was damaged, making it hard to read. Yep, you guessed it. We went the wrong way, finding ourselves on the road going toward Atlanta, Georgia instead of Charlotte, North Carolina. After going few miles down the road, Jim and I got turned around and were once again headed in the correct direction. Unfortunately, we never got out of construction until taking our exist off I-85 near Blacksburg.

The wild adventures were not over. That morning, Jim calculated that he had enough fuel to go from point A to point B, but that calculation did not allow for not one, but two, out-of-the-way jaunts and going what seemed to be a much longer route than needed to arrive at our new home on the roam. When Jim exited the Interstate, he didn’t even have enough fuel to make it to the campground. Luckily, there was a station with diesel nearby. It could have been worse. He could have run out of diesel before reaching the exit.

Checked in and set up before dark Saturday night, we thought our crazy travel adventures were over. We thought wrong.

Sunday morning, as we sipped coffee and relished in the fact that Jim didn’t have to leave very early for the airport to return to Massachusetts, we heard the weather prognostications. A major weather system moving across the country was expected to begin dumping between 4 – 8 inches (lower estimates) of snow on Boston just before Jim’s scheduled flight would arrive. We listened and contemplated. He and I both decided perhaps an earlier flight might be better. I checked, and there was one (1) seat remaining on an earlier flight that would allow him not only to get to Boston before the storm arrived but also, hopefully, to his hotel. He made the call to see if he could get on the flight and what it would cost. I don’t know exactly why, since his flight for later in the day had not (yet) been cancelled, but Jim was able to get that last seat on the early flight. He was able to retain his first class seating, and it didn’t cost him a penny more to make that last minute change.

He did make it to his hotel before the storm arrived in that part of Massachusetts, and when Jim saw what was before him the next morning, he and I both were thankful that he had been able to take an earlier flight. If he’d arrived at his originally planned time, he’d been driving in a mess.

So, although it was a wild and crazy travel weekend, all ended well for us, and for that, we are thankful. Sometimes one must remember to just roll with what comes and do the best that you can.

 

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