Chuck and Donna's Michigan Trip via Niagara Falls 2008 travel blog

Yeah, is this the way Grampa wears them?

June 25

We got up early, but after showers and breakfast we still did not leave the site until 9:00. AJ and Grampa went for a walk. The other campers were walking their dogs, but AJ was walking his Grampa.

AJ travelled very well. He sat in his seat and then we let him move around. It is hard for him to understand that he cannot play with the switches while Grampa is driving.

Sara’s Aunt and Uncle live in Charlotte, NC. We were making good time and were ahead of schedule, so we called them. They were happy we were going to stop and visit. We were only going to stay a few hours, but with dinner and talking, before we knew it, it was 8:30. I wanted to stop in Concord, just north of Charlotte, but Chuck wanted to get further up the road towards Shelley’s.

This is where the story begins…. Fortunately, you all will get two perspectives on this part of the trip, mine and our guest writer, Sara.

Me first…. As we were approaching the Concord exit, I told Chuck “do what you want, you are driving”. What? I must have been delirious. Had we known it was the only marked campground in that part of NC I would not have given him a choice. So we drove and drove and drove. It was pretty dark. No street lights, few cars on the road, few towns, and the towns what were there, were dark and deserted, except for the occasional person staggering along the side of the road. Remember, this is Friday night in NC about 10:00.

I am scouring the pages of the travel book to find the next camping spot. Nothing. Finally, we are just outside of Salisbury and I find a campground in my book. We get off the interstate. We are twisting and turning. After a while I give up and say, well it must not be here, turn around. He drove a few miles further and there it was, the park. CLOSED!!!! Now we have to back out of the park. It is so dark Chuck cannot see the road, he asks Sara to look to see if any cars are coming and where the road is. She opens the door, “Dad, you are, still on the road, yes, there is still some road over here.” Finally, we get turned around and back to the interstate and continue to head north. On the way back to the Interstate Chuck points out a deserted Church parking lot, then a school. I don’t think so, lets just look for a campgrounds Two exits up there is a camping sign on the exit sign. Hmmm… this one doesn’t show up in the travel book, but oh well, the sign is an official sign. So we start down the two land road. No campground. Well maybe it it around this turn…maybe this turn….. Then the main road turned to the right, and do you think Chuck went right? Of course NOT, he went straight! The road begins to narrow, now the two land road is 1 ½ lanes without paved shoulders, if you call the ditches, shoulders. Every once in a while we approach a car; I guess in these parts, the bigger vehicle hits the shoulders and every so often we past the roadside staggerer. Afterall, it is almost 11:00. There isn’t any where to turn around. We continue down this road, past the “Children of the Corn”, a little further past the “Hills have Eyes” and then he turns into this driveway (I know I saw a “Vacancy” sign) and he begins the turnaround, with Sara looking out the door to make sure we are staying on the road paved or unpaved). My nerves are shot, but I don’t want to alarm Sara. This is only her 3nd night RVing. We get back on the interstate. By this time, everyone is tired (AJ was sleeping), I am giving into the idea of staying in a parking lot. I40 crosses 51. There are always places to stay at the interchanges. Nope, not at this interchange. So we turn around again. I did not want to get too far off our track.

Finally we see civilization. A shopping center, full of kids. Of course, Friday night 11:30 in NC. Kids hang out in the parking lots and drive through the McDonalds or whatever fast food joint the town has. Chuck’s back hurts, I am tired of navigating and Sara is very quiet. We pull around to the back of the shopping center, under a light and

that is where we stayed. My thought was if we get arrested, at least I will have a place to sleep. We get settled and then a tractor trailer comes in to drop his trailer. Then at 3:30 one of the alarms goes off. I finally find the button, turn it off, turn on a fan, who knows what it was, but a fan should take care of it. Wow, what a day. I hope this trip gets better.

Love to all

The Weary Characters

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