Ok, so we would have also been in West Virginia when we hit the bottom of the ravine. Just stay with me. And just a side note, none of the photos in this post are mine. I was too busy wishing I had worn my brown pants to take any photos during this ordeal.
We booked a nice place with the Army Corps of Engineers as a stop on our way home from Annapolis to break up the long drive back to Kentucky. When we clicked on the map button on their website *boop* it sent us to google maps, which then routed us to said boop. I am telling you right now I will never trust a boop again. It started out a two lane road, going over a questionable bridge, seen here:
I had doubts, people, but semi trucks were using it so we trucked right along with them. We eventually turned off the paved road onto dirt road and felt uneasy but we kept going because the map said go. Then I saw a chicken and the road turned into one lane of dirt and empty promises. We drove for nearly an hour through the backwoods of West Virginia with our giant rig, stressed and doubtful, and never saw any people. I could see the campground on the map, we had to be going in the right direction. That’s when it happened. We were about a quarter mile from the campground when we came across a turn that should never have existed. The road was soft, the ravine was off to one side, the solid rock wall to the other, and there were no guard rails. The first attempt to turn the corner left us stranded and absolutely stuck. Backing up made it worse. Going forward made it worse. The rig was tipping to the ravine side. Justin started to panic, I started to panic. What do I do with my kids? Do I get them out and move them down the road? Do we hope for the best and inevitably flip into the ravine together? As I contemplated the fact that we had absolutely no cell phone service and no one would know we were missing, a truck showed up.
It was a very nice couple who couldn’t believe we had made it as far as we did. The gentleman assessed our predicament and decided that we could probably do it but we’d have to really work at it. Thankfully he was able to guide us backward away from certain death and around the bend. It was not as easy as that sentence would have you believe. Trust me when I tell you it was horrifying and it still takes my breath away thinking about it. After thanking him profusely we headed to camp. Here’s where I tell you we had a great time and went home the next day, except that didn’t happen. We made it to a camp, alright. THE WRONG CAMP. An extremely shocked camp – I heard one unseen person exclaim “I can’t believe they drove through THERE with that RV!” The magical boop, the one that sent us to our near death experience, was a lying sack of boop.The woman running the camp store was kind and generous and talked me through getting back to town so that we could follow the signs to our actual campground. She also asked if we had seen the bear that had been lurking on the road we had just traversed, and expressed that she’d like to have some bear meat so maybe it would visit camp soon. With that parting thought I again expressed our gratitude and we set out to follow the directions. Along this new, non-threatening route we saw this:
I would have been more interested in this tidbit if I hadn’t wanted to cry right then.
Somehow we made it back to the green, scary looking bridge, except this time it looked like a dream come true. Pavement, structure, people, vehicles. All things I will never take for granted again. It was now time to find our actual camp; a place that was, although not as far, still back in the woods. I decided that I had experienced enough of the wild and begged Justin to get us the hell out of West Virginia. We drove to the nearest rest area, cooked hot dogs on a camp grill, and stared at each other with disbelief that we had actually survived that experience unscathed with our rig undamaged. We decided to camp in the parking lot of a Cabela’s that night. Justin graciously drove another hour to get us there even though he truly did not want to drive any longer. Could you blame him?
It was incredibly hot, it rained like crazy, and the hawks would not shut their beaks, but it was wonderful.
While we were lost in the woods, my parents were on the way back to Michigan and blew out BOTH camper tires, one at a time. They ended up leaving it on a farm in Ohio and retrieving it the next day.
In true pile-it-on fashion, the shit storm continued the next morning.
Wesson woke up with what sounded like croup. You know the barking, if you’re the mom you can probably identify it in your sleep. He was so, so sick. We were only a few hours from home, though. We decided to get him home and to the doctor. On the way there he told me that he had a knot in his hair that had to be cut out. I kind of dismissed it at the time and told him we’d deal with it when we stopped. When we finally sat down to lunch I ran my hands through his hair and found the knot he was complaining about. It was a TICK! He went straight to the doctor! I’m glad we did it this way because they were able to extract the whole creeper and identify it as a lone star tick, something we may or may not have done (on both accounts). We haven’t seen any adverse affects from the tick so far. He does now have pneumonia and may be asthmatic – something to investigate further once we get rid of the sickness. Breathing treatments are his current reality.
This was a learning trip to say the least. I’m thankful that everyone made it home and that we’re all alive. Wesson will recover. Hell, we’re all recovering. Maybe we can manage to never repeat these events. I can tell you this much, though: I will never go through West Virginia again.