Friday, June 4th: We took our time yesterday morning at Crawfordsville and didn’t have any set time to get out of bed and it felt really good to just keep rolling over and falling back to sleep for a while. The travel goal was 179 miles for the day. We had our breakfast, took our showers, put things away, dumped the trash, washed the dishes, secured all the moveable objects, pulled in the slides, unhooked all the hoses and wires, hooked up to the truck and began another happy day of travel……well, so we thought.
Leaving the RV park, we decided we should plug our new destination into the TomTom, but to no avail. The road leaving the RV park was ending and DeWayne had to know if he should turn left or right. Well…..it came down to an educated guess on his part that turned out okay. By this time, we were heading through Crawfordsville toward the interstate and I was still trying to get a signal on the GPS. After a few minutes, the thing finally registered a satellite, but I STILL couldn’t get the new destination entered. The keypad on the screen had disappeared and in the bottom left corner it said “safety lock enabled”. We passed the wretched thing back and forth between us trying to get it to a point that we could plug in a new address. Well…..NOTHING was working and sweet “Maybelle” kept instructing us to “turn around”. This went on for a while…..til we gave up. Then one or the other of us would grab the thing and try again.
Before I knew it, we were going through Indianapolis and the roads were TERRIBLE! Not to mention all the construction going on. DeWayne finally got the GPS to a screen that would let us put in the town, so he handed it to me and told me to find Springfield, Ohio so we could plug in the address to the Wal Mart we originally planned to stay at tonight. There were several (understatement) selections for Springfield but each had a suburb (I’m assuming) name after it and we had no clue which to pick. I finally just selected one and when I was supposed to select a street, the street we needed wasn’t listed. And since the keypad function wasn’t working, it was a process of scrolling through hundreds of street names in alphabetical order down to the T’s for Tuttle, only to find it wasn’t on the list. Okay……I’m frustrated at this point.
So DeWayne wanted me to call this Wal Mart to see if they could help us with all those strange names. Now before I go on, let me describe the conditions inside the truck during this time: When I need to look something up on the net, I have the laptop in my lap, of course. And since I despise the little touchpad thingy, I always have a mouse plugged into the computer and my mouse pad to use. This has to ride on top of the keyboard since there is no other place to put it and under normal circumstances, it works out fairly well. Sometimes if we hit a bump, the mouse will fall into the pocket of the passenger side door and I have to retrieve the silly thing. But when we are on a bad stretch of road, it’s difficult to even keep the computer in my lap, let alone keep the mouse from flying all over the place. What’s more, if I need to actually type something, I have to move the mouse and pad to do so, which leads to holding the mouse pad in my teeth at times while I unsuccessfully try to park the mouse out of the way, which is even more unruly when the mouse pad is gone.
And on a rough road, anyone that’s pulled a fifth wheel knows about the trailer bouncing behind you and causing (what I call) the “slow whiplash action” where the truck doesn’t just bounce up and down, but rocks from front to back.
Here is a picture of computer, pad and mouse, along with the Verizon gizmo that I have for internet access and the GPS system.
The GPS rides comfortably over by DeWayne in the console and the Verizon gizmo will ride in the cubby hole in the dash but sometimes doesn’t get a good signal that way, so I have a habit of tucking one end of it under my leg in the seat, which normally works okay.
Now, back to the fiasco. I now had all this equipment in my lap, plus my cell phone so that I could try and contact wally world. When I opened the phone, I noticed I had missed a call from my Dr’s office, so I was concerned about getting a chance to call them back. I had called them a WEEK AGO to get a new hormone pill called in for me and they hadn’t done it yet and I’m out of what works for me. When it concerns hormones, one doesn’t mess around. Know what I mean, ladies? Anyway, after a useless phone call to wally world, I tried to find information on the Wal Mart store locator on the internet. The truck was bouncing and rocking so hard that the mouse was flying all over the place, the cell phone and the Verizon gizmo flew under the seat and out of my reach, I was trying to type in a city and town on the website, but I couldn’t keep the mouse still enough to even click on the right blank to fill in and when I managed to get it done, I would have to move the mouse and pad, which were flying everywhere, in order to type in the blank. But then the mouse would do it’s own thing as it banged around and dangled precariously, so that the curser would no longer be in the blank when I tried to type. So I would go through the process of retrieving all this stuff to get back in the appropriate location on the screen just to have it happen again. During this time, DeWayne thought he had the GPS halfway back on track and handed it to me to, once again, plug in the address which was (once again) futile. And did I mention I was referring to both the road atlas and our printed yahoo travel directions during this time, as well? Needless to say, the camera didn't come out of it's case. How do you spell CHAOS????
We finally abandoned the GPS as hopeless and I started trying to find something on the internet (between bumps) to explain the problems we were having with it. Turns out that the “safety lock enabled” means that you can’t change anything on it while you are moving down the highway and it decides to go into this mode all by itself whenever it feels like it. Apparently, from what I read, this is a common problem with these particular models and the fix is to stop completely and enter the information while sitting still.
So we did……and guess what?......it worked.
I need a hormone pill just thinking about it again. But oddly, what kept going through my mind was what my friend LaSonya could do with the situation in one of her wonderful cartoons. Whadaya say, Sonya? Are you up to the challenge?
Most folks that know me will say I'm not the most patient person in the world and being attention deficit doesn't help when I'm in a stressful situation, so after things calmed somewhat, I still had smoke coming out my ears and scowling in my corner of the cab, but I slowly began to mellow out. We found a Wal Mart parking lot to pull into somewhere along the road so DeWayne could do his 45 minute walk (and escape that crazy woman in his truck), then proceeded down the road, once again in peace. :) We abandoned the Springfield idea and decided to drive on to Columbus for the night.
The GPS was set, the cell phone and internet gizmo retrieved from under the seat, the computer abandoned, and I finally reached for the camera about the time we passed into Ohio.
Woohooo! Another state to experience! It wasn't long before traffic virtually stopped and crawled for miles. Jason, this was the picture I took when we were on the phone with you:
We finally crawled past two cars in the median with a patol car alongside with lights flashing and that was it, we thought. But then this:
Sure enough, there was a wreck on up the road.
We saw one person injured and hope that was all. The traffic picked up and we were once again rolling down the road at a decent speed toward Columbus. Not only did we some great scenery, but also some beautiful thunderheads. I've always been fascinated with clouds and I had to get pictures.
The last picture of the clouds is my favorite. This cloud hovered around us all the way to Columbus, where we finally pulled into our "home" for the night, had our supper and crashed.
Saturday, June 5th: We got up fairly early, had our breakfast, etc., and hit the road again this morning at 9:00, ready to tackle another day....a better day! I managed to get a shot of the Columbus skyline.
We were witnessing some great scenery, but the clouds just kept getting darker, so I managed a couple more good pictures before the the skies opened up.
We crossed the Ohio River and then into West Virginia, but it's hard to read through the rain on the windshield.
Then before we knew it, we were in Pennsylvania
and the rain finally let up to reveal some of the most beautiful country I've ever seen.
About this time, I noticed that the battery was dying on the camera, so I had to give it a rest so that I could get a picture of the RV park when we arrived. We turned north in Somerset, PA toward the park and I sounded like a kid in a candy store! What a beautiful town and countryside that we passed through. I'm in love with Somerset, PA! Five miles later, we arrived at our destination for the night:
What a pretty place to spend the night. I have the camera charging to that I can get some pictures of Somerset and the surrounding area tomorrow on our way back to the interstate. I'd hate to leave this area without recording the scenery. The homes are all so neat with perfect lawns and I felt like I was passing through a Thomas Kincaid painting.
We are set up, fed, and settled in for the night with Floyd Cramer playing "Last Date" on the stereo. We get to take our time tomorrow in leaving since we're only travelling 148 miles and will be utilizing another wal mart parking lot in Harrisburg, PA which will be our last night before we arrive at Bethany Beach, Delaware. Whew! I'm ready to stay put for a while and can't think of a better place than the beach, can you? At least we don't have to be concerned about tar balls like those on the gulf coast. What a disaster!
Okay, this post has gone on long enough and you're probably as tired of as I am, so I'll shut up for now and get this posted.
Let me see if I can remember which puppy pictures I haven't posted yet.......aha! Here ya go:
That's all folks! Tune in again tomorrow (or the next day...or the next) for another episode in our travelling adventures. In the meantime, HAPPY TRAILS!