I Lied

 Posted by at 1:21 am  Nick's Blog
Aug 042014

When I wrote in yesterday’s blog that we planned to break up the 450 mile trip from the Wilmington, Ohio Thousand Trails to the Hershey, Pennsylvania Thousand Trails into two days and to stop somewhere along the way overnight, I really meant it. Honest, I did. But as it turns out, I lied.

After bittersweet hugs all around with Greg and Jan, and promises to keep in touch until we see them again in a few months, we left the campground and traveled northeast on Interstate 71 to the south side of Columbus, where we picked up Interstate 70 and followed it east across Ohio.

It was a nice day for driving and we made good time until we were about two miles from the West Virginia state lane, where the sky opened up and the rain came down in buckets. Visibility dropped to less than a quarter mile and cars were pulled off the highway onto the shoulder. If there would have been room to do so safely I would have done the same thing, but since there wasn’t, we kept on, driving about 45 miles per hour with our emergency flashers on. We crossed the Ohio River and almost immediately the rain stopped and we were rolling under blue sky.

It was only 15 miles across West Virginia and then we were in Pennsylvania. At New Stanton we got onto the Pennsylvania Turnpike and were pleased that except for a few short construction zones with narrow lanes, the road was in good condition and traffic was light.

Pennsylvania Turnpike

I didn’t even snivel about the occasional bridge.

I70 Bridge

Pennsylvania is one of the prettiest states in the country and we love the scenery everywhere we go in the Keystone State.

Birds Eye view

It looks like this old barn has seen better days.

Old barn

About 300 miles into our trip there was a service plaza that I had considered as a place for an overnight stop, but it was only 3 p.m. and neither one of us wanted to stop so we decided to keep on going.

There are several tunnels along the route that go straight through the mountains. I wish they’d put tunnels under rivers instead of bridges over them, like the tunnel between Detroit, Michigan and Windsor, Ontario in Canada. It would make my RV travels a lot less stressful.

Blue Mountain tunnel 

Inside tunnel

Except for the occasional rain shower, we were enjoying our trip and pretty soon we realized that we were only 75 miles from our destination and decided that there wasn’t any reason not to just go all the way. Terry called the campground and asked if we could arrive a day early and the ranger said sure. Well alright then.

We arrived about 6:30 p.m. and got a nice level back-in 50 amp full hookup site with a good view of the sky for our rooftop satellite dish. We had not eaten all day and once we were parked and hooked up food was the first order of business. Somebody had suggested Lin Garden, a small mom and pop Chinese restaurant about four miles from the campground, and we were delighted with the food and service. This is a place we’ll be going back to again while we’re here.

Today we plan to sleep in and then do absolutely nothing. And if that works out well, we may do it tomorrow too!

Congratulations to Paul Sansaver, this week’s winner of an audiobook of Big Lake Blizzard, the fourth book in my Big Lake series. We had 149 entries in this week’s drawing. Stay tuned, a new contest starts soon.

Thought For The Day – Most of our assumptions have outlived their uselessness.

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Nick Russell

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  12 Responses to “I Lied”

  1. I used to travel that turnpike back in the 60’s and you would have rather taken a bridge any day over driving through the tunnels.

  2. Nick I hate to make you kick yourself but not only is there the Ambassador Bridge over the Detroit River but shortly after it was built so was the Windsor/ Detroit Tunnel built. It is only a two lane tunnel but it has been around longer than I have. Who knows maybe one day we will see you and Terry on our side of the Border.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It’s about time.

  3. Glad to hear there was no sniveling across the bridges for you. Have a good time and in PA.

  4. Rick, I was referring to the Windsor/ Detroit Tunnel. When I was a kid I went through it several times.

  5. I’m not real comfortable on high bridges but tunnels scare the bejesus out of me. I have the same panic attacks you do on bridges whenever I go through a tunnel. Even a short one. Last winter we were in Phoenix area and had to go through the one downtown where 1-10 and I-17 join up and I’d get scared every time. We also made the mistake of going through Mobile on I-10 and that tunnel there had me white knuckling it all the way.

  6. I can’t do tunnels at all Nick. I have visions of all the mountain on top of me caving in and crushing me and I can hardly breath. I’ll drive 100 miles out of my way to avoid a tunnel unless it’s very short and I can see the opening at the other end before I enter.

  7. 450 miles is a long day but I know what you mean. Sometimes it just all comes together and makes a trip go by fast and before you know it your there.

  8. Glad you safely reached your destination…we sure do know about those downpours…VA and NC are prone to that as well!! SCARY sometimes. I am not fond of either bridges OR tunnels….both bother me!!

    Hope further travels will go well too. Glad you already found one good place to eat!! That makes life so much nicer!!

  9. Glad you made it safely, thank you Nick I won my bet with Mike that you would drive the entire 454 miles, glad you did not snivel to much on the bridge, sorry I still do and tunnels are a real nightmare for me even the ones I can see the other end. Don’t know when we will get on the road, we are sitting at the Visitor center at Winnebago, our stairs broke, they cracked all the way thru, thought we would need the new stairs but the fixed them as good as new, found a big problem with our passenger bin, it has almost totally separated from the rig. Hopefully they will get to it tomorrow. Plans in jello stay safe

  10. Hi Nick,

    Nice trip! And I have a question, regarding this part:

    “Terry called the campground and asked if we
    could arrive a day early and the ranger said sure.”

    A ranger? In a Thousand Trails park? I thought only public parks had rangers… or can the term also be used generically, to mean just someone in any park’s staff? Can you please clarify?

    Thanks in advance,


  11. Zion Nat. Park is unbelievably beautiful, but Nick, you don’t want to enter from the East Portal:you enter a very long UNLIT tunnel, with only two small widely seperated openings to the outside…..you exit by a very scarey, very steep switchbacked road down into the canyon. Now THAT is “sniveling” driving!

  12. Vall,
    The folks who work the gates at Thousand Trails campgrounds are called rangers, but they are employees of the company, not public employees.

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