Has it really been only two weeks since we were boating down the Colorado River in Arizona? Coming home after our “Great Adventure” has left us in a bit of a blue funk. Laundry is done, the 5th wheel is winterized, we’re getting back to routine at home and we’ve reconnected with family and friends who missed us while we were away. It’s great to be home, to be sure, but it’s hard not to long for the open road again.
Our last few days driving home from Nevada had not been without its challenges. For one thing, it seemed like we were the only Snowbirds travelling north! All the RV traffic we passed (mostly fellow Canadians from B.C. and Alberta) must have thought we were going in the wrong direction…and they would have been right! Especially when we hit snow in Ely, Nevada I wished we could just make a U-turn and head back the way we had come. We waved to the southern-bound Snowbirds and continued our trek northward but not without some regrets we were not going in the opposite direction.
Stopping at the Craters to the Moon National Park for lunch enroute to spending the night in Dillon, Montana we mistakenly depended on our GPS to guide our way through unfamiliar territory. We had discovered throughout our “Great Adventure” that the GPS was a good tool to use at times to help us navigate in the cities but we also discovered that it was not without its quirks. For one thing, the GPS “lady” insisted on leading us down some routes that contradicted the road signs ahead. Then when we followed the signs that clearly took us in the right direction, GPS Judy (as I started to name her), would demand that we make a “legal U-turn” until we were ready to strangle her. There were times that road construction seemed to throw off our GPS and “Judy” would advise us that “guidance could not be given at this time” as we detoured on. Our GPS didn’t understand the fact that a rig our size needed more than 50 feet to change lanes and turn in the direction she insisted we take. We’d miss the turn and she would once again hissy-fit at us to “make a legal U-turn” until she could recalculate an obscure route that would circle us back again. By that time, ignoring her incessant squawking to legally U-turn, we’d usually found our way back on track by following the posted road signs and then she wouldn’t talk to us again, put off that we found a better route than she had intended for us to go. Many times I thought of our GPS as the blind leading the blind. (Matthew 15:14)
As the weather was growing more snowy and road conditions started to deteriorate the further north we travelled, we were content to have GPS Judy calmly guide us while we concentrated on the winter driving. Perhaps she decided this was going to be her way to enact revenge on us for all the times we had ignored her advice before, but we were too busy concentrating on icy road conditions to question her choice to go left to Dillon rather than right. We blindly followed her direction and a few miles later we found ourselves on a snowy, icy, muddy, gravel road going up a mountain pass with no way to turn around. GPS Judy was silent while I wept. I feared we would get our 52 foot-long rig stuck or jack-knifed and I cried and prayed and prayed and cried as my husband kept his composure despite a caterwauling wife beside him. For twenty miles he brilliantly maneuvered our truck and fifth wheel, having more faith in God and his driving ability than I did at the time, and safely got us over the worst road we had ever been on!
“Another lesson learned!” he declared as he washed off two inches of mud, snow and ice caked on the front, sides and back of our trailer at an RV power wash in Dillon a few hours later. “Never solely trust the GPS,” he said.
Yeah, no kidding.