Yet Another Heroic Journey
Every time we decide to take the Beach Buggy out for a trip it’s all excitement and expectation. “Let’s spend time on the beach, and go see some botanical gardens, and eat seafood!” It all sounds good, and, in the end, it is usually, mostly good. But there is always, every single time, some situation that requires patience and deep level brain power. Here’s how it has gone so far on this latest “vacation.”
We prepare for the trip two weeks ahead of time, making reservations, knowing that a trip which Google says takes 3 1/2 hours will end up being about 6 hours if we’re lucky. OK. We know that, so we plan for it. No big deal when you have two weeks to go 500 miles. Today it was sprinkling when we started the loading of stuff. But it was unseasonably cold and windy. OK. No big deal. We were ready, mostly, by 8:30 a.m., and that is unheard of in our travel history. Then I remembered that I hadn’t eaten. And Sam wanted to rest for a minute.
By 9:30 the time had come to face “The Hill.” (I wish I had taken a picture of this so you might understand the gravity of the situation.) We park the Beach Buggy on a pretty steep, gravelly hill next to the house. It’s Sam’s job to slowly inch it down the hill when we are ready to leave. It’s my job to guide him down the hill via his rearview mirror, making sure he doesn’t slide off into the ditch or hit one of the hundred trees on either side, or run into the shed, or run over me. It’s tense. But we’ve done it at least ten times by now and, once the Beast, I mean the Beach Buggy is on a flat road, we both start to breathe again. A few more steps and we’re on our way….
Rain. All the way to New Bern. Sometimes light and barely noticeable, other times enough to make us wonder if the roads might flood. But, as the passenger, I get to stare out the window, at whatever catches my eye. Today it was the distorted images of houses and barns through the rain-streaked windshield of the RV. Without the rain, they would be just plain old NC houses with all their history hidden inside. But captured by my iPhone while driving by at 45 MPH, they become art. I might frame them when I get home.
Anyway, it rained a lot, and it took us 5 1/2 hours to get to New Bern after being misled by our friend Ms. GPS. She always wants us to go through the middle of the smallest towns and neighborhoods. She doesn’t realize we are in a 35 foot bus pulling a large SUV behind us. But that’s not her fault. We really should just download one of those apps for RV’s. So, we end up in the middle of downtown Whaleyville, or Vanceboro, or driving down some farmer’s lane through fields of hay and scrub brush. Eventually, we find our way back to the main highway and vow never to listen to Ms. GPS again, at least until we get a proper app.
And the last challenge for our first day of vacation was when the tow car would not start. By then it was raining with some force. And the wind still howled. Sam and I both shook our heads. “No gas?” “Did someone steal our gas?” “I just filled it up the other day.” We detached the almost dead car, left it by the campground bathroom and parked the Beach Buggy so at least we could have a warm dry place to problem solve, again.
Good thing we have AAA. We have used them more times than I can remember. And the guy came within 30 minutes. As soon as Sam sat in the driver’s seat and turned the key, the damn car started! Sigh. The AAA guy smiled and said it happens a lot. Then he said it might be a fuel pump. Or it might not. Fuel pumps go out gradually, or sometimes suddenly. So, that gives us something to think about for the rest of our “vacation.”
On the bright side, here is our view from the RV…for now:
Tomorrow is another day. Yeehaw! Bring it on!
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