Virginia, Shenandoa Valley
Sep 5, 2007
|So we left the campground with our maps in hand. I had spent the early morning planning our trip for the fllowing few days. Our next destination shouldn't take us too long and besides we were ready to travel again ....but first we must get lost in Charleston for the third time.
It was inevitable that we would - get lost that is. How do you find a Walmart without a map or any clue as to where it is. We went one way and then followed the directions of someone in a car next to us in the opposite direction and eventually found an area that had a bunch of shops. It had only taken us about an hour. It was then that I spied the Circut City, a shop that sells everything electronic, including a GPS. GPS - Global Positioning System the travellers delight. It can tell where you are, exactly, directions to where you want to go and even gives you detailed info on useful stuff like where the nearest Walmart is. "Today Trev, we have to get it today." and we did. When the salesman told me what it could do I nearly cried right there in the store from sheer relief. I think the salesman thought I was more than a little goofy the way I was carrying on. Weird foreigner that I am.
We get back to the RV, have an argument over a toy Elton bought that I said he couldn't buy which he then bought anyway because he thought he knew better and then set up the GPS. To me this GPS is going to relieve all the stress of map reading, the hours and hours of being lost in strange cities and the frustration of missing turns and off ramps. I typed in the address of the campground we were headed to that was printed in the book and hit the GO button.
(We have named our GPS Lola in honour of her famous cousin Lola in the movie starring Robin Williams called RV. If you haven't seen it yet do get it. It's funny, a nice family movie and gives a hint as to what it's like to go on an RV trip.)
"Turn left at intersection 36" says Lola in her computerised voice. I am so excited. I sit back pick up my knitting and relax.
A little while later I swop seats with Elton. I can do that now that I don't need to navigate. I feel confidant Lola has it all under control.Hmmm
When Trev misses a turn and needs to turn around we unhitch the Honda and I drive the Honda and Trev the RV. After all Lola says it's only 10 minutes to our destination. So we're driving along and I'm wondering why we're going into an area that appears to be a neighbourhood. A neighbourhood that has very narrow streets and is very hilly. Not exactly the kind of place for an RV. Trev stops ahead of me, gets out and walks towards me with a huge grin.
"Lola has just told me that we've arrived at our destination." he says laughing and looking around. It's already dark and we are obviously not at a campground.
I fiddle with Lola. She has brought us to the address that I typed in. There has been some mistake. By this time there's no one answering campground phones to give directions and I haven't a clue of where we are. We are completely reliant on Lola to get us out.
A few hours later, having driven around trying to get out of this town, going down wrong streets, unhitching the car several times we realise that we have quite a seriuos problem. Our only alternative is to get to a Walmart. Where's the nearest Walmart Lola? An hours drive away she says sweetly. Okay, we will drive to that Walmart except that Lola doesn't know that we are an RV and that we are 31 feet long and 10 and some feet high so and she takes us down country roads and up mountains with no street lights, deer satnding all over the place including in the roads and eventually to a tunnel that is exatly 9 feet and 9inches high. Thank the good Lord there was a turning circle just before the tunnel and we didn't have to unhitch again. By this time the kids are asleep and it's just Trev and I intermittently laughing hysterically or solemly quiet. Lola is determined we go thorught the tunnel and keeps repeating that we should make "the next available u-turn". I turn Lola off but not before she has us drive down some forgotten road and up someones driveway. We unhitch. Trev is worried the owners will wake and set the dogs on us or worse haul out their shotguns and ask questions later.
We eventually reached Walmart at 1am. IT was a long night and we were glad for our beds.
This morning I took more care about typing in the address by choosing a KOA. KOA's always have their physical address at the top of the write up. We double checked Lola to make sure she was headed in the right direction and pressed GO! She got us here perfectly and we love her again. She can stay.
Another beautiful campground. This ones in the Shenandoa Valley which John Denver sang about in that same song I mentioned earlier. There is plenty for us to do here and so we've decided to stay until Sunday. Hopefully there will be no more surprises for the next couple of days at least. We could do with a break.