Sunday, December 30, 2012

Chapter 81 Beware the Pennsylvania Turnpike


Our next stop was Gettysburg Battlefield in Pennsylvania, which we all enjoyed, especially Tom. We then headed for New Martinsville to visit with my old buddy Robert Holzschuher, and his wife Mary Ann. We were due there at about 8:30 PM but turned right at Pittsburgh instead of left and wound up driving through downtown Pittsburgh at 5 PM pulling a travel trailer and my radiator steaming as well as me. We finally got to New Martinsville at 12:30 AM.

Robert met us at the city limits. I have never been in a city that had no streetlights, and it made it really dark. What made it worse, there was a really heavy fog. Robert stopped and came back to tell me we were going to go up a little hill. I said "okay, let’s go." Well, I was looking at Robert’s taillights and they started up and quickly disappeared at the top of my windshield. I wound the old Chevy up and away we went. I kept climbing until the car would not go any farther. It just stopped and kind of shuddered and shook but would not go another inch. Of course, everything around us was black. We could not even see the houses.

I set the brake and got out to check the situation. Robert had his flashlight and showed me where his drive was and asked if I could back the trailer into it and on up into his carport. I figured I could, just barely. It would have been a lot easier if I could have pulled my car forward a few feet, but that was not an option. I knew I had to make it on the first try so I started very slowly with a little prayer; I made it and parked the trailer for the night.

The next morning I got my coffee and went out to check the trailer. Roberts’ house was on such a hill that the roof of the house next door was level with the floor of the carport the trailer was sitting on. I walked around to the outside of the trailer and as I rounded the back of the trailer to peek around it to check I almost dropped my coffee. My heart skipped a beat. The outside tire was sitting half on the slab and the other half was out over space. If I had gone just four inches to the west, the trailer would have fallen off the slab.

After a nice visit with the Holzschuhers we were back on the road on our way to Mammoth Cave. The countryside through Kentucky was beautiful. The horse farms around Lexington were particularly scenic. We all agreed that Mampout Cave was beyond awesome and we enjoyed going through it.After spending the day and the next night at Mammoth, we headed home. After 20 days on the road, we were all ready to get back home.

Photo of exit to Pennsylvania Turnpike found here:

Photo of Mamouth Cave found here

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