Thursday, September 8, 2016

Mama Said There'd be Days Like This

Did you ever have a day when things just kept going wrong? Wednesday was like that, although everything worked out in the end. We got packed up for our trip to the Grand Canyon of PA, running just a little later than we had planned but that was fine. We don't need no stinkin' schedules! I went to pull in the four slides and the front passenger slide didn't move. Dead. No sound, nothing.

Bob checked it, turned off the engine and turned it on and it went in. Perfect! His motto is, when something doesn't work, reboot and try again. That often does the trick.

We headed out for Pennsylvania. The skies were blue, temperatures were in the low 80s, and it was a perfect day for travel, with lovely scenery along the way.
Now, it's a long way from South Jersey to the GC of PA, over 5 hours and 275 miles. We stopped once for a rest stop and once more to refuel so we'd arrive with just-about-full tanks. The GPS seemed to be taking us the right way. Until I noticed we were going on a road that the campground owner didn't mention in her instructions to get to our destination. I suddenly got the urge to call and check, and it's a good thing I did. There was silence when I described where we were.

"Um, you can't go that way," she told me, "There's a bridge out."
"Ok, so what should we do?" I asked.
"Turn around, and take these roads," she directed, giving me detailed instructions. "It's going to take you an extra hour to backtrack and get to the campground."

Ugh. By now it was after 4:00 and we still had a long way to go. Our poor animals had been inside since 10:15 without a way to potty and were starting to squeeze their legs together. There was no place to stop (roads in PA have no shoulder.) We were tired too--we really try to be to our destination by 3:30 or so.

We turned around at an exit and started heading in the opposite direction. A half hour south, then west and north again. It started to rain, and the roads were very narrow and curved around mountains. I was very nervous about taking the wrong turn again! Plus, our GPS kept trying to get us to turn around and go back the other way. I turned off the sound but I could see that it did not like our new route, no-siree, not one bit. Eventually it went into a sulk, declared that we were on a road that was "NOT LEGAL, THERE MAY BE WEIGHT OR HEIGHT CLEARANCES THAT ARE IMPOSSIBLE FOR THE RV," and stopped trying to direct us. OK, that's not a good thing. But at this point we were committed, we were following the CG owner's instructions, and we should be alright. Right?

Finally we reached a spot with a metal bridge where the GPS just flipped out, saying "STAY OFF THAT BRIDGE YOU CAN'T MAKE IT," or words to that effect. We stopped and looked at the bridge. Posted heights seemed ok. Weight limit--10 tons. We are over 36,000 pounds, 18 tons.

No one coming from the other direction (it was a one vehicle at a time bridge.) We moved forward slowly.

Now, I've often wondered, when going over a bridge that posts a weight limit that we clearly exceed, but that a CG owner has stated is fine, what we should do. Should we go slowly? Go quickly in case the bridge crumbles behind us? Back the rig down the curvy, narrow road twenty miles until we can turn around and just find another CG? We obviously can't go through a tunnel that says we are too high for it, but directions to CGs often take us over a bridge that looks very iffy to us.

Well, we made it across just fine, crossed over another couple of short bridges that also had posted max weight limits lower than we weigh, and even made it around a sharp turn that was clearly not meant for a 40' motorhome while pedestrians stood at the side of the road with their mouths gaping open, watching us inch past a poorly placed sign.

When we arrived at the campground, the steps didn't extend so I had to make a very ungraceful exit from the coach before kissing the ground in thanksgiving. Later, they worked just fine for Bob.

Well, we are in our site now, backed up to a river with lovely views.
It is very quiet here. We are also the only large rig here (go figure!) There is no Verizon signal and the only Internet is one of those pay-by-the -day ones that has a very limited bandwidth and very slow connection. If we have to drive an hour into town to post this, we will. Needless to say, we may not be able to post every day but I will write posts and get them up when we have a strong enough signal.

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