Day 4 – October 27, 2017
After our fueling debacle, and with a need to do some shopping, we decided to uncouple the truck from the fifth wheel for the previous afternoon when we arrived in Virginia. In the morning we set out to fuel up and buy some provisions at Target.
We stopped at a Sheetz. These are all over the South and Midwest. They offer fuel, but also a large convenience store and a restaurant offering a variety of prepared food from chicken and pizza to burgers and breakfast items. We filled up and then I decided to go through the drive-thru for coffee and a breakfast sandwich. As I drove up to the ordering station I knew something was different. There was no menu. Just two screens. Something was gurgled through the speaker. The only thing I understood was the word “touchscreen”. I got out of the truck and began to touch the screen. Immediately I was overwhelmed with the detail required to order a simple sandwich. I asked, “Can you just take my order?” A sympathetic voice said, “Sure, just pull up.” I noticed that there were no other vehicles in line at 8:00 am. Odd.
When I got to the window, the nice southern lady (everyone is polite below the Mason-Dixon line} asked what I wanted. I said I wanted a medium coffee with cream and one equal. This was not Dunkin Donuts. How many creams did I want? Did I want Equal, Splenda, Sweet and Low? I told her to please make it the color of caramel and one Splenda. Onto the sandwich. I told her I wanted a bacon, egg and cheese biscuit. How did I want my egg? Scrambled, fried, egg whites? Scrambled please. Did I want salt and pepper? Yes, please. Did I want anything on the biscuit? Butter, margarine? No, thanks. I began to understand why there were touch screens and no customers in line. Who needs that level of detail in a breakfast sandwich? Here is how we make it. We think it is good. Do you want to buy it? Done.
After the ordering interview, we made our way to Super Target. Super indeed. The store was gigantic and had a CVS Pharmacy and a full Starbucks inside. Just walking through the store was a workout.
We decided to play it a little safer today and stick to 95 for most of the trip. GPS told us to take a right out of the KOA when we knew that a left would bring us back up to Jefferson Davis Blvd. We obeyed. At one point the graphic showed a left turn so Eileen told me to take a left. Mistake. Miss GPS immediately began to instruct us to perform a U-turn. On a country road?
I had decided to try to tamp down the drama and takes things a bit more calmly today after yesterday’s debacle. I just started to look for a U-turn opportunity. Suddenly I spied a house with a large circular driveway up ahead on the right. Perfect. It was now or never. To Eileen’s surprise, and concern, I went for it. It was just big enough to turn without hitting any trees along the way. We both waved and said good morning to the residents, who fortunately did not seem to be home. Whew!
We finally made our way to Stonewall Jackson Rd. which led us to the entrance to 95 which was a block down from Jefferson Davis Blvd. GPS. Gotta love it.
The trip through the rest of Virginia was uneventful and it was a nice, sunny day for a drive. We stopped at the North Carolina Welcome Center for a break and lunch. It was not Monticello but a vast improvement over Maryland.
At one point it was time for fueling. We scoped out a Pilot “travel center” and pulled off. I decided to fuel in the same section as the trucks which is perfectly acceptable. What I did not take into account was that the pressure in these hoses is far greater than a normal pump. It stands to reason. Tractor trailers carry a couple hundred gallons of fuel. They would not be patient for that much fuel to pump at the same rate it does at your local Mobil.
I started to pump and flipped the auto pump latch down and was watching the meter absentmindedly. Suddenly, without warning, an explosion of fuel. I was full. I quickly cleaned up my hands and we left. Lesson learned. I know there will be many more.
We finally made our way to the Lumberton, NC KOA. As we checked in the young attendant warned that we would not have power for another hour or so. A motor home departing this morning took out a ground transformer knocking out power to our section. We later found out that the person destroyed the transformer, which is six feet off the road, stopped outside the office to inspect the damage to his vehicle and then just got back in a drove away. Of course, he did not realize that the cameras at the front office caught him checking out the damage. Calls have been made to the person, which he have not returned. Somehow, this made me feel a little better about my mishap yesterday.
Power was restored within the hour with no negative effect on us one way or another. It was an eventful day. We are leaving early tomorrow to get to Charleston, SC. We may try to go in and check out the city. That’s if we can avoid any drama along the way.
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