Last Tuesday Mona, Snuffy and I departed on another trip westward. After we departed from Hershey, Penn., on Thursday, I had one of those days when I could seemingly do nothing right.
It began when we exited the Pennsylvania turnpike where I-70 splits off the turnpike (I forget the name of the small town). As we exited the toll booths, there was a large I-70W sign with an arrow pointing straight up, which dumb me assumed meant straight ahead. Looking ahead, I saw two lanes going straight ahead, and one that curved sharply right. I chose the middle one and went straight ahead. I then found us on a one way street headed away from I-70 W, which I saw too late to make the sharp right!
Thinking I’d soon find a gas station where I could fill up and turn around, I drove several blocks before deciding to make a right turn to go around a block and reverse direction. When I finally turned right, I was on a dead end street, with only a small restaurant with a parking lot big enough to turn the camper around to re-cross the one way street; then I found that was a one way, "Do Not Enter" street. No choice, but to turn right and resume the wrong way one way! A couple blocks later, I turned left two times onto the one way street headed back to I-70W.
We soon came to an intersection with two gas stations to the right, where we could gas up before entering the interstate. I found myself turning into a congested multi-pump islands place called “Sheetz.” I swiped my MasterCard, picked up the gas hose and selected the grade I wanted and started to pump. The pump showed 18-plus gallons and $55 even before the gas started pumping! Frustrated, I tried again with the same result. I pushed “cancel transaction” and drove on without going inside to argue. (I’m not doing business with malfunctioning machines!). Too many islands and iron posts blocked the way for a camper to enter the station across the street. We got gas later.
Now, it was lunch time, and we decided to stop at a rest area. The only one within 50 miles or more was closed and being re-built! Finally, we saw a “Cabelas” billboard high atop a hill on the left, so we decided to pull in to Cabelas’ parking lot at the next exit, where Mona made sandwiches. Then we returned to the freeway, only to find the on ramp to I-70W closed off with orange traffic cones! After crossing the I-70 overpass, I turned right onto a frontage road to stop and decide how to proceed. This road was too narrow to turn the camper around until we drove over the hill and finally found a small dirt road where we could turn the rig. After a “Eureka!” moment, we took the I-70E on-ramp and drove back to the earlier exit, where we could re-enter the westbound lane and continued westward.
We soon entered Ohio and planned to camp on Wright-Patterson AFB, in their “Fam-camp” for military personnel and retirees. We arrived there after the campground management personnel had left for the night, so we decided to occupy a slot and check in next morning. Next morning, we packed up and drove over to the camp office, only to find a sign on the door that said they opened at 11:30 a.m.! No way were we waiting for over two hours, so we resolved to come back and pay on our return trip. After enduring road construction delays around Indianapolis, we made it to daughter Cheryl’s home in Mahomet, Ill., by mid afternoon Friday. No more I-70 W for us for quite a while!