Autumn in Virginia – a Camping Trip – Day-1


Building a HOME-BASE Campsite - Part-1

What a horrible day!

We had decided to take our time on our trip up from Tampa to Lynchburg, so we didn’t get on the road until 6:00 AM. With any luck at all, we should get into the ‘Burg an hour or so before dark. Just enough time to set up the camper and get the car unloaded, we thought.

We had loaded the car the night before, so it was just a simple stop to fill up the gas tank and get a couple of cups of Coffee and we were on our way.

Everything was going great and a few hours later, right on schedule, we pulled off of US-301 and onto I-10. It would only be 12 miles and we would be on I-295 and heading north.

That’s when it happened.

We had only gone maybe 1/10 of a mile when the traffic came to a standstill. I looked behind me and there was no way to get back onto the ramp because the traffic had immediately stacked up behind me.

I checked my Garmin and it’s trusty traffic warning ICON on the display and it was a happy Green color, with no delays projected.

It was at this point that a cold chill ran up my spine.

But, I dutifully spread the scan to a larger view and as I suspected, it was over 6 miles before there was any ramp at all off of I-10. I could only hope that the problem up the road was minor, and we would be moving again shortly.

But the traffic was still not moving.

I will not bother you with the details of our frustration with the Florida Highway system, and the world of travel in general, but it was over one hour and 45 minutes later, with only less than two miles traveled, that the traffic magically opened up and we were all running at a normal speed once again.

My trusty Garmin? it was still showing me that, by now, irritating green display indicating no traffic problems. So much for technology and this much touted early warning system. Hah!

I cursed a little but being the travel veterans we are, we made a few calls changed our planned rest stop plans and continued on with our trip.

But now, with the delay, we ended up going through Greensboro at their peak traffic time of day which no one in their right mind wants to endure. Also, when we finally go to Lynchburg, it was seriously dark outside.

And we were seriously tired.

So we crawled wearily out of our car and walked over to get into our camper and guess what? It was locked. As it should be, normally.

Here was the problem. We had lost our keys to our camper, but I had asked my wife to tell my daughter to, in turn, tell her husband that we need him to leave their set of keys to our camper in a special place for us.

But, like the old child’s game where you have a line of children whisper a phrase in the ear of the child next to them, by the time my message got yo my son-in-law, it was something totally different than what it was originally.

So, after 14-1/2 hours on the road, we got back into the car and drove for another 20 minutes to get their set of keys.

I’m not complaining, no one did anything wrong. Things like this just happen to people I guess.

Anyway, we slept like a rock that first night in our camper. More to come once we gt the kinks out and start moving around.

by Don Bobbitt, 2013

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