West Virginia Part 1

Alice and I packed up the motorhome and headed out for a quick visit with our son and partner. We left early on Sunday, August 12 and drove the 500 or so miles to Lansing. The day before the trip, we were feeling pretty good about things. We were mostly packed and were just leisurely working through a list of details during the day. Around dusk we decided to move the motorhome to our turn-around and hook up the car so we’d be ready to just start up and hit the road in the morning.

We’re getting pretty good at hooking up the car. I do most of the actual hooking, since the parts are all pretty heavy, and actual grease might get on your hands if you’re not careful. Alice consults her checklist and makes helpful suggestions when I forget something. We were at the end of the checklist, the item of which reads, “test the car lights.” I started the motorhome and ran through the procedure. Turn on the lights, turn them off, pump the brakes, left and right turn signals, etc. I looked in the mirror and Alice was just standing there. I called her over. “Did the lights work,” I asked. “I was waiting for you to start,” she said. Uh-oh.

No lights. None. It was getting dark but I grabbed my tester, and found no current of any sort at the socket the car plugs into. Shoot. Now what? We unhooked the car and put it away and planned our next strategy. By the time I got inside, we’d decided to check into rental cars. It would have to be something big enough to handle the dog crate, so we settled on a smallish SUV, booked it, and took off the next morning.

On the plus side, the motorhome is much easier to drive without the car being towed. The trip to Lansing went fine. When we got there, we got settled in my parent’s driveway, and then took Mom and Dad out for supper. By about 9:00 I was too tired to stay awake, so we said goodnight, set the alarm for 4:30, and hit the hay.

In the morning, we unhooked and started down the road for West Virginia. Leaving as early as we did got us through Lansing, Ann Arbor, and even Toledo with minimal traffic. There were cars, but no serious delays. Once on the Ohio Turnpike, the miles just seemed to evaporate. It is surely one of the most boring roads in the world, but the service plazas are really great. You can get something to eat, get some fuel, walk the dog, and park for a while if you are so inclined. I really think the model they use in Ohio should be copied across the land. If you’re going to be on the Interstate, it is comforting to know you can get most of what you need at these convenient places.

Once in Pennsylvania, we headed south on 79. We could tell we were getting closer to West Virginia when the hills started to rise. A little past Bridgeport, we exited 79 onto 33 east, and made the short drive to Elkins, our destination. We filled up with gas at the local gas station and drove to our RV park in the Monongahela National Forest. A big two days for sure, but we were parked for a while in a very lovely place (on top of a hill, of course.)

One Response to “West Virginia Part 1”

  1. […] Later that fall, we took another trip with the motorhome to West Virginia, and planned to tow the car. The story of why we didn’t take the car is talked about in detail HERE. […]

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