Tuesday through Thursday 12\17 thru 12/19
The first day started out like most trips, full of excitement and eagerness to get on the road. That excitement was damped when the light drizzle turned to full-on rain. Our goal was to make it as far as possible. I suppose the slap-slap of windshield wipers makes the time go by.
We have not traveled like this in a long time, things change, I mean really change. Drivers are less courteous, and some are down-right rude. Atlanta, well trying to circumnavigate Atlanta, at what we hoped to be a good time, was akin to any six-lane motorsport event. The flag was dropped, and we helpless yokels only tried to imagine the commute here on any given weekday.
Interesting was using a GPS device with all the bells and whistles. Your brain relinquishes all control of your own destination. The problem comes in when our own logic suddenly takes over and attempts to override what you hear from the demanding voice of Greta, sometimes Lucy, sometimes other not so endearing names.
In my day, you scoured a map and even wrote things down on a piece of paper, the directions, the route, and so on. Something like, “Take I-20 West, then turn left ( north). With a navigator looking at a folded map on their lap, calling it out to you. Heck, I remember Triple AAA and their Trip-Tics, ok I’m old, right?
The GPS device (Greta) suddenly said, “Take the ramp on the left, stay to the right and take the ramp to go west!”
I said, “Wait, what did she say? Shit…shit…shit!”
Marlene said, “stay to the right, the other right,” as we whizzed right on by in the wrong lane.
I said, “Crap, now we have to go the other way.”
Marlene said, “I tried to tell you.”
Greta said, “Please make an F’ing U-Turn, and please; do try to follow my directions.”
I said, “Yea, but the pace car was on my bad side.”
On to Texas, we go! If you have never driven in Texas, my advice is to proceed with caution. I say this based on trying to stay off the Interstates and avoid Dallas traffic overall. You see, I had flown down a month ago to firm up the deal. I was shuttled to the RV lot from the Dalla-Love field. No problem, right, wrong! Seeing Dallas with six lanes, then others crossing overhead or underneath, was beyond any normal I know.
The secondary roads turned out o be no different now, posted speed limits range from, Go fast to a wild 75mph at times. Then there is the local speed called DeLorean, a whopping 85mph. With an open highway and limited access, I’m ok at 65, approaching 70. No lie though, when side streets simply enter that same lane, the one you are in, it can be unnerving. Seeing Granny Gatewood at her driveway, ready to ply the roads, is surreal. Really, people literally have their driveways coming to these same secondary streets with posted speeds of 70mph.
I will admit Greta somehow took us directly to our destination, I guess she knew I wasn’t happy with her. Then we discovered our salesman was off that day. We were ok with this as we were tired and wanted to be fresh and ready to take on this 38-foot beast, attach a tow dolly and add 16 feet of SUV to the total length and reverse course. What could go wrong?
My confidence overall was waning with the adding of speeds of 75mph, and a lot of male bravado; slowly sinking into the west. Reverting into the territory of “GET ME OUT OF THIS, for the love of God.”
We arrived hopeful that all was well at the dealership and not to be told something weird, like, “We got your email about letting Bob pick up your coach?”
Ok, no, that did not happen, but we sat for half an hour while we thought up things about this situation, and it not going well.
Our three-hour tour whizzed by, hearing everything about the operation of the coach. By 3pm Friday, we had been moved to their overnight section, wanting us to stay to become accustomed to things. We were now alone, watching the main TV, which picked up local channels well after figuring out how to turn off the other four TV’s. So like home, TV for Marlene, and me writing this blog.
Our whirlwind, stomach-churning morning of learning everything about the motorhome, you know, those instructions you listen too, nod your head and say, “got it,” are retained at a percentage of about 3%. This is based on trying to figure out how to turn off a light. It took roughly 10 minutes to find the damn switch.
Good night John-boy…