Monday, January 21, 2008

The Trip - Fun in Savannah

We got up this morning in Charleston, and the drainage ditches had a thin layer of ice on top. Sometime during the night, our electrical box lost its power, so this morning we were running the motorhome off batteries. I pulled on my jeans and sweatshirt over my jammies and went outside to try flipping the circuit breaker, but it didn't do any good. At least our morning routine isn't heavy on the electricity, so we got by.

I had parked the car behind the motorhome last night without putting it back on the dolly, so that needed to be done before we could leave for Savannah. We pulled in the slide-outs and unhooked our utilities, so we were ready to go except for the car.

I grabbed my keys, but when I turned them in the ignition, nothing happened. Not even a click. So I looked around and spotted a neighbor who hadn't hooked up his pickup to his fifth-wheel yet, and I asked him for help with a jump. I had the jumper cables.

He drove over, and we got the car started, and I put it up on the dolly and strapped it down.

It's only about 100 miles from Charleston to Savannah, so even with our late start and slow highway (not interstate) speeds, we got to Georgia by lunchtime.

Most of the states in the eastern half of the country have Tourist Information at the Rest Area just inside the border, so we stopped there for lunch and grabbed a bunch of brochures for the Savannah area and looked them over while we ate.

More carriage rides. With the cold weather, that didn't sound quite as good as it did yesterday. But they have a couple trolley tour companies too, and those had a little more appeal.

We got to our campsite and hooked up, then I tried the car again, and of course, the battery was dead. I went to the office to find out the closest place to get a new battery. Wal-Mart. Go out here to Goshen Road and go for a couple miles to the 21, then turn left and go a couple miles, and it'll be on the left at the second light.

Then I went back and found a neighbor (un Qu├ębecois), and asked if he could give me a jump, but he said his battery wasn't set up for that. He had tried it before, and it blew out his alternator. Another neighbor was able to help, so we got the car started, and I backed it off the dolly and left it running while we closed up the motorhome.

By this time, my memory of the directions to Wal-Mart had faded. I headed out whatever road the RV Park was on, but I don't think it was the right direction. And we didn't bring a map or our RV Park directory or Gina. When we came to an intersection, I took a guess and turned right and kept driving, because there was a really big SUV on my tail. By my best calculations, based on the sharp angle of my right turn, I figured that the road we were on would get us to the Wal-Mart road. When we got to the highway, we stopped at a gas station to ask for directions (I left the car running with my mom inside for safety). We were only about a half-mile away. Sweet!

At Wal-Mart, I left the car running and went inside to be sure I knew how it was supposed to work. When a worker finally came out to look at the car and get my info, he gave me permission to turn the engine off.

After we bought a few things and paid for the battery, we got back in the car, and it started up right away! I tell you, life is good. But it was too late to get into town for a tour, so we'll do that tomorrow.

On the way back, I went the way I thought I should have come, and when we came up to Goshen Road, it sounded familiar. Just to be on the safe side, I asked at a gas station if she knew where our RV Park was. She paused a second, then gave me the kind of smile that was pity mixed with the assurance of being able to help. She told me to go down Goshen Road, and I'd get there just fine.

In the end, even with the surprise troubles, my mom and I are hanging out together, so it's all good.


Bekah said...

My goodness! What an ordeal! Last Monday I had to take one of my co-workers (incidentally a girl and younger than I am) to wal mart so she could get a battery for her car. While we drove there, she rattled off a list of tools she intended to purchase to help her install it. I just stared in awe. If my battery died, I'd probably have to call Dad (911 if he's not available) because I wouldn't even know where to start. You people amaze me.

SkyePuppy said...


There's nothing to be amazed about (except that I found Wal-Mart without Gina, my GPS). At Wal-Mart, I asked them how it works and how I know what battery I need, and they said they'd figure it out. They installed the battery for no extra charge (so your friend might not have needed all those tools). Then I paid, and I drove away. Simple. Not amazing. You could do it that way too!

janice said...

Wow! You and mom sure are adventurous. Yes, life is good...