Travelogue: Stardate -313612.3037480975 (No, seriously, there's a website that will calculate the Stardate based on the actual date...)
Lola is a stupid, stupid, stupid whore. No, Lola isn't the neighborhood hussy, she's my ridiculously stupid GPS. Okay, maybe she's not that ridiculously stupid, seeing as she did deliver me to my intended destination. Maybe, I'm just that stupid for following her. I had received directions well in advance. Two sets, actually. The first set from John courtesy of MapQuest and the second a TripTik courtesy of my boss Judy Ward and her AAA membership. Which did I choose to follow? Neither. I followed Lola. The stupid whore. Sadie, Kaiser, Kizmet, Bogey and I set off from South Boston about 12:15 on Friday May 22, 2009 after having to wait for a prescription to be ready for pick up at Walmart. I headed up 501 toward Lynchburg as all three sets of directions began. This is where they all seemed to deviate and I apparently, chose the road less followed. SERIOUSLY less followed. Lola took us through some delightfully quaint towns including Lynchburg, Bedford and Clifton Forge and right up onto the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Here's where the wheels kinda fell off the wagon. The Blue Ridge Parkway is GORGEOUS. It's is also extremely curvy and tight. So, here's me, the dogs and Sadie ascending the mountain in an overpacked SUV praying we wouldn't fall off the side. My knuckles gripped the steering wheel tightly as I looked out the passenger side window on a few turns and could still see the back end of the Trooper coming around the turn it was so tight. On two occasions I actually had to STOP THE TRUCK so the car/truck coming around the corner could go as we couldn't both fit at the same time. As the Trooper is a manual and I'm nervous driving it anyway, I thought for sure we were going to roll back down the mountain as I tried to get it started back up the incline. I wasn't sure whether I was going to throw up or wet myself. Even Kizmet was dry heaving in the back of the truck from the curviness of the road. The lines coming up on the GPS screen were so on top of each other they were just one big pink blob instead of individual turns in the road.
Then we had to come back down the mountain! YIKES!!! Oh my goodness. I really thought for sure in a few spots we were just going to slide down the road. It was like I couldn't even grip...and it wasn't even wet. Just that steep. The no truck/trailer warning signs should have been my first clue that this drive was going to SUCK. The speed limit on the Blue Ridge Parkway is 45mph. In who's friggin' dreams?!?!? I cannot imagine ANYONE (even the biggest idiot driver on the planet) going 45 mph on that road. I managed 25 at some places, but usually somewhere in the 15-20 range was pushing it. And it wasn't just me...no one was going quickly. It's a leisurely drive. Absolutely gorgeous scenery. And scary as hell.
Eventually we arrived at our destination (in about 5.5 hours...not bad for a 3.5 hour drive) : Bolar Mountain Campground on Lake Moomaw in Warm Springs, VA. A truly lovely place. Woodsy. Lakey. Isolated. Just the refreshing, relaxing setting we needed for a rejuvenating weekend. Which was good, since I had a tension headache from clinching my jaw as visions of Sadie, the dogs and I flying off a mountain.
Dinner was fabulous. Cold salads and hamburgers and hot dogs cooked over the campfire. Is there anything better than food cooked over a campfire? It just has this...taste. So, so yummy. Sadie had formula. There was lots of visiting and passing the baby around. Sadie, John and I took tour of Uncle David's enormous motorhome. It is insanely nice! It really is like a rolling home. It's got a kitchen and master bedroom, big bathroom, living area with a sofa, a dinette and three recliners! SO NICE! Our motorhome warming present was a gallon of fresh apple cider I stopped and bought in the mountains from a little roadside stand.
Our new home away from arrived that evening around 10:00pm. John, David and Scott got the camper set and we pretty much just threw our stuff in that night and then got into bed. Sadie was already asleep and we were struggling to keep our eyes open. I only had enough energy to wash my face, brush my teeth and put linens on the bed.
I will never trust Lola again... or maybe next time I will just follow the directions John gave me since he had already checked out the insane route Lola had chosen for us. :)
I did make one mistake aside from following Lola: I followed Lola. No one knew I was following Lola. Cell signal? HA! These people haven't even discovered banjos to make that scary lost in Deliverence-type music much less a cell tower. What if something had happened? Seriously, I didn't even think about it until Saturday and I was reflecting on the beauty of being alive and not dead at the bottom of a mountain. Stupid, stupid, Sam. Nothing I can do about it now, but I will never do it again. Especially with Sadie in the car.