Day 3 – October 26, 2017
After a very chilly night in Hershey, Pa we started out early for Fredericksburg, Va. GPS provided a couple of options. We chose the option that called for less traffic. We had read several times to stay off the interstates so you can see the real America. Nice idea but the people who wrote that probably do not have 50 feet of vehicle to pull and try to get fuel.
The first hour or so of our trip had us on several two-lane highways and normal country roads. I will admit that it was interesting going through small towns and seeing how people lived in different areas, but the thought that GPS was somehow not understanding where we were trying to go and we would end up in some small hamlet in West Virginia after six or seven hours settled in the back of my head and admittedly made its way to the front a view times when I asked, “This is taking us to Fredericksburg, right?” Needless to say, I was driving Eileen crazy and making her question the input over and over.
After a couple of hours, and not being sure how long we would be on these small roads, I began to think about getting fuel. This is the never-ending worry when you need diesel and you have 50 feet of vehicle behind you. Truck stops, or travel centers, as they are referred to now, don’t exist along the small routes. Up ahead I saw a station that had diesel and look like I might be able to pull in and out. The good news was I could. The bad news was not at the angle that I approached. I knew immediately that my left rear panel was not going to make it past the iron post protecting the pumps. I tried to back up and take a steeper angle but the iron railing in front of me on the right was in the way. Ruh-Roh! Sort of stuck.
Eileen got out and tried to guide me in backing up. We noticed that a work truck pulling a long trailer had pulled up on the other side of the parking lot. Little did I know until much later that he had just fueled up in the back where the trucks had diesel pumps! A young gentleman, a little crazed, offered to stop traffic so I could back out onto the road. I began that process and was doing alright when the nice trucker began to give me some direction. Quickly swallowing my pride, what was left of it, I asked him if he would like to do it. He agreed easily. He easily backed it out into the road and then took a much wider angle and pulled it into the spot I had wanted.
It wasn’t bad enough that I had made us a spectacle, but Eileen overheard the young clerk say to his colleague, “they don’t even know how to put the sliders in all the way.” Ouch. Add insult to injury. How was he to know that they are malfunctioning. Thanks, Jayco for adding to our misery and embarrassment.
Our First Ding
We proceeded and finally caught up with 95 about 30 miles outside Maryland. I did not think I would miss the back roads but driving through Maryland and Virginia outside Washington D.C. is an experience. And not an enjoyable one.
We have travelled by car and RV for years. And a good test of a well-run state is their rest stops and welcome centers. If you are familiar with Connecticut’s, need I say more. Virginia has beautiful rest stops with brick buildings that are reminiscent of Monticello. Maryland should be ashamed. Their welcome center was the most disgusting and deplorable center I have ever experienced. The rest stops on 495 in Massachusetts look good in comparison and they are basically heated outhouses. There were four young workers outside painting columns while the bathrooms were literally unusable. Thank God we can get the bathroom in the trailer. Talk about lipstick on a pig.
We finally made it to Virginia and got off of 95 onto a long and very busy thoroughfare called Jefferson Davis Blvd. The civil war is alive and well in Virginia. (I will save that discussion for a separate post.) Fredericksburg is in Spotsylvania County which is the site of several pivotal Civil War battles and where Stonewall Jackson met his demise. This is obviously a thriving area. There was two -three miles of stores everywhere with busy streets running through them. People must be doing well in Spotsylvania County.
We found our KOA with an issue and settled in for the night. We definitely had enough excitement and stress to call it a day.