Oct 092012

Okay, I’ll be honest, I sniveled a bunch! But most of it wasn’t out loud. I think that’s an improvement.

We left the Hershey Thousand Trails Preserve yesterday morning, stopped for fuel, and then headed south toward the Harbor View Outdoor World Resort in Colonial Beach, Virginia, a distance of about 200 miles. It wasn’t the easiest trip we’ve ever made.

One of the employees at Harbor View had called Greg White a couple of days before, telling him not to follow his GPS and giving him directions. Somewhere between Baltimore and Washington we got off track a couple of times, and then got hung up in a major traffic jam caused by a car that had flipped over onto its roof. But eventually we managed to get onto US Highway 301, where we had to get through several miles of stop and go traffic.

Traffic Jam 2

I had been dreading crossing the Governor Harry Nice bridge over the Potomac River between Maryland and Virginia, and all the way down I vacillated between trying to drive over it, or having Miss Terry take the wheel. I had about convinced myself I could do it, but about 15 miles from the bridge we stopped for a potty break, and Terry told me it was now or never if I wanted to change seats. And I decided that the whole world already knows I’m a sniveling wimp, so what did I have to prove? I asked her to drive.

And I’m glad I did! The Astoria-Megler bridge over the Columbia River scares the hell out of me. The Mackinac Bridge between Michigan’s Upper and Lower Peninsula gives me nightmares. But that bridge yesterday absolutely terrified me! It is very narrow, two lanes wide, very high, and the walls on the sides are not high enough. I closed my eyes when we left the toll booth ($12 for our two axle Winnebago motorhome towing our Ford Explorer), but peeked quickly a couple of times and almost had a coronary! Never again! I’ll gladly go 50 miles out of my way and drive the Washington Beltway to avoid that bridge if we ever make the same trip again!

I wonder if this helps people cope? I don’t drink or do any kind of drugs, but I’d have said yes to anything that would have made the trip easier yesterday.

Open Joints 

Fortunately, I didn’t need any of that, because I am married to an incredibly brave and competent woman, and Terry did a fine job. A lady on Facebook said Terry was a better woman than her. Yeah, and she’s a better man than me, too!

After we crossed the Potomac, it was another 25 miles or so to the campground. We got a pretty level, back-in 50-amp full hookup site, and though the campground has lot of trees, we were able to get our rooftop TV dish to lock onto the Dish Network satellites with no problem. The one thing we don’t have here is decent Verizon service. Even with our Wilson rooftop antenna and signal booster, our MiFi won’t work at all, and our old 3G modem has a shaky two bars of very slow service. It was slow in Hershey and it’s even worse here.

By the time we were parked and hooked up, we were all famished. So we jumped in the Explorer and drove about 10 miles back to Colonial Beach for an excellent seafood dinner at Dockside Restaurant. This one definitely goes in our Favorite Restaurants guide!

It was dark by the time we finished eating, so Terry drove home, and we got a good lesson in why you should never trust your GPS. Our Garmin took us onto a side road, and then a narrower side road, and then a dirt road. We were laughing about it steering us right into Chesapeake Bay as we bounced from pothole to pothole, but we weren’t worried because we have four wheel drive and the road was dry and had houses all along it. And then we came to the sign that said Road Closed and what was left of an old dam or bridge! We all completely broke up at that sight!

Fortunately, I was able to get enough of a signal on my Droid Razr Maxx to use its GPS feature, which took us back to the highway and home without further incident. It is supposed to be cold and rainy today, so we’re going to stay close to home. I want to get started on my new book, and Terry never seems to stop, so I know she’ll keep busy. And there was a rumor of some of her hot, delicious peanut butter cookies if I’m a very good boy. For that kind of treat, I think I can behave for a while.

Thought For The Day – The only time I open my mouth is to change feet.

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Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  5 Responses to “I Only Sniveled A Little”

  1. I understand your fear of bridges. I get sweaty palms just reading about it. I’ve tried every logical argument with myself to get over that fear…but it still remains. I plan to continue letting my husband drive over those obstacles and I will continue to keep my eyes tightly closed:) I’m brave on many other fronts and when I remember them, I’ll let you know.

  2. Our experience with the bridge was also scary. We were pulling a fifth wheel and had 2 talking granddaughters with us. They were told in no uncertain words not to even squeak. Made it fine and have crossed it several times since sand made it fine. They do. Not charge when you cross from Virginia into Maryland so it would be cheaper this time.

  3. You are so lucky to have her…but you certainly realize that yourself.

  4. I understand your frustration with your GPS. We were driving in Oklahoma last year going down a beautiful 4-lane highway and we knew were getting close to our destination. The GPS told us to take a left turn onto a narrow country lane. We did. What we didn’t know was that our destination was less only 2 miles ahead on the 4-lane road. The GPS proceeded to take us along a narrow, winding back road with many trees and sharp corners and over two narrow country bridges that were posted for maximum weights less than what our motor home weighs. There was no place to turn around so we had no choice but to keep going. Seven miles later the GPS finally brought us out of the trees in front of the entrance of our destination which was only about 200 feet from the original 4-lane road if we had come the correct way. I truly believe that the little people that live inside our GPSs just like to mess with us once in awhile.

  5. Nick, so great to meet you and Terry this weekend at Harbor View. Doug and I were just laughing at your bridge story! Since we live in Southern Maryland and must travel across that bridge going & coming to Harbor View every weekend as we are seasonal/annual site campers we understand completely. I also have a fear of bridges, but mine means I need to drive, have to be in control of the unit, and I think Doug is all good with that! The bridge needs to be replaced/widened/everything you can think of, but for now it sure beats the craziness of going up 95 and around a portion of the beltway and back down various roads to get back to Southern Maryland. We hauled home today as the park officially closed for the season so I enjoyed driving our Mobile Suites over the bridge and home 🙂 Thanks again for all the information and we are now hooked on your site! Prayers for safe travels…..

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