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Old 08-16-2008, 06:40 PM   #1
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Today, your navigation system can get you into trouble with a seductive female voice telling you to make a left where no left exists. Any man married over 20 years is trained to listen to his co-pilot with no hesitation.

But back in the day, guys got into their own trouble with only a ˜quest' and a map. My quest was to visit all 50 states but I was not selfish in my quest – my whole family was forced to participate. The map in question was a AAA Triptik that showed that a government-numbered ˜road' (by my East Coast standards) existed between Alzada, Montana and Ekalaka, Montana (you know, home of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows Cemetery).

Remember those Triptiks? Some lonely person who evidently had not driven anywhere binding your maps together and highlighting your route with orange marker. Occasionally, if they were bored, they'd stamp ˜Under Construction' or ˜Speed limits Strictly Enforced' – usually with no rhyme or reason. You followed your Triptik diligently but it you wanted to bust out and explore – you unfolded the sheet to see the ˜secret' map inside. The map that showed you there were other roads in addition to that single line down the middle of your Triptik. Studying that secret map is what got me into trouble...

You see, if you are at Devil's Tower and you want to go to North Dakota for the sole reason that you have not ever been to North Dakota. AND your sons have never been to Montana but they have already been to South Dakota. AND you realize that the person at AAA did not understand this critical piece of information and had you going back to South Dakota to get to North Dakota, missing Montana entirely. Then, you MUST go to the secret map inside your Triptik.

And there it was, a road, a SHORTCUT in fact, that solved my logistical issue. Like pieces to a puzzle it all just fell into place. Take this road from Devils Tower, make a left, in Alzada make a right, the dotted part of the road does not look too long, shoot through Ekalaka, past Willard and Baker and I'm cruising on I-90 with no speed limit (or so someone told me) in NO TIME flat.

As I commenced the day's drive, no one questioned the dictator behind the wheel. Everything was under control – no need for navigational assistance or opinion. The travel plan was impeccable – implementation would be flawless. ˜Honey, just sit back and enjoy the scenery'.

Filled up the tank with cheap Wyoming gas. Cheer with the boys at the ˜Welcome to Montana' sign – another state checked off for them. Ah, Rt. 323 in Alzada. Make that right and...

Wife: Dear, why is the road dirt? Motorhomes don't go on dirt roads.
Dictator behind the wheel: Honey, it's just like this for a couple miles. You wouldn't believe the amount of time we're saving on this road.

1 hour later:
Wife: The road is still dirt.
Dictator behind the wheel: I'm aware of that, HONEY!
Wife: I thought you said it was only a few miles.
Dictator behind the wheel: I'm aware of that, HONEY!
Wife: How come we see mail boxes but no houses?
Dictator behind the wheel(sarcastically): I don't know. Why don't we ask that cow in the middle of the road?

2 hours later, Grandma chimes in:
Grandma: I just finished my SECOND rosary and we're still on the dirt road.
Dictator behind the wheel: I'm aware of that, MA!
Grandma: I thought you said it was only a few miles.
Dictator behind the wheel: (thinking, this sounds familiar) I'm aware of that, MA!

Finally, there is was up ahead. The dirt road climbed a ridge, a vantage point where one could see the terrain for miles around. I was certain that we would see the paved road from the crest of the hill.

I hit the gas cranking that Ford V-10 up the hill. I anticipated seeing that long line of blacktop glimmering with a mirage of wetness. Perhaps a comfort station. Maybe a convenience store.

But alas, as I reached the summit, I could only see that lonely, chalky, dirt road undulating in the rolling hills for miles, touching the horizon. The contagious excitement and anticipation was swept out of the motorhome with the dry, dry wind.

Needless to say, we eventually did get to the oasis of Ekalaka, Montana. The family of weary travelers broke through the crust on the outside of our Class C and filed into the lone grocer. The richness of ˜civilization' captivated us. Had we only been away for a few hours? Look, there are sidewalks. Ah, a stop light. Kids, look both ways in this hoppin' town. We loaded up on provisions and, with co-pilot review and approval, continued on a PAVED route. As we left scenic Ekalaka:

Wife: You know we started at 8 AM and now its 4 PM and we've only gone about 120 miles. I thought you said it was a short cut.
Deposed Dictator behind the wheel: I'm aware of that, HONEY!
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Old 08-16-2008, 06:40 PM   #2
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Today, your navigation system can get you into trouble with a seductive female voice telling you to make a left where no left exists. Any man married over 20 years is trained to listen to his co-pilot with no hesitation.

But back in the day, guys got into their own trouble with only a ˜quest' and a map. My quest was to visit all 50 states but I was not selfish in my quest – my whole family was forced to participate. The map in question was a AAA Triptik that showed that a government-numbered ˜road' (by my East Coast standards) existed between Alzada, Montana and Ekalaka, Montana (you know, home of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows Cemetery).

Remember those Triptiks? Some lonely person who evidently had not driven anywhere binding your maps together and highlighting your route with orange marker. Occasionally, if they were bored, they'd stamp ˜Under Construction' or ˜Speed limits Strictly Enforced' – usually with no rhyme or reason. You followed your Triptik diligently but it you wanted to bust out and explore – you unfolded the sheet to see the ˜secret' map inside. The map that showed you there were other roads in addition to that single line down the middle of your Triptik. Studying that secret map is what got me into trouble...

You see, if you are at Devil's Tower and you want to go to North Dakota for the sole reason that you have not ever been to North Dakota. AND your sons have never been to Montana but they have already been to South Dakota. AND you realize that the person at AAA did not understand this critical piece of information and had you going back to South Dakota to get to North Dakota, missing Montana entirely. Then, you MUST go to the secret map inside your Triptik.

And there it was, a road, a SHORTCUT in fact, that solved my logistical issue. Like pieces to a puzzle it all just fell into place. Take this road from Devils Tower, make a left, in Alzada make a right, the dotted part of the road does not look too long, shoot through Ekalaka, past Willard and Baker and I'm cruising on I-90 with no speed limit (or so someone told me) in NO TIME flat.

As I commenced the day's drive, no one questioned the dictator behind the wheel. Everything was under control – no need for navigational assistance or opinion. The travel plan was impeccable – implementation would be flawless. ˜Honey, just sit back and enjoy the scenery'.

Filled up the tank with cheap Wyoming gas. Cheer with the boys at the ˜Welcome to Montana' sign – another state checked off for them. Ah, Rt. 323 in Alzada. Make that right and...

Wife: Dear, why is the road dirt? Motorhomes don't go on dirt roads.
Dictator behind the wheel: Honey, it's just like this for a couple miles. You wouldn't believe the amount of time we're saving on this road.

1 hour later:
Wife: The road is still dirt.
Dictator behind the wheel: I'm aware of that, HONEY!
Wife: I thought you said it was only a few miles.
Dictator behind the wheel: I'm aware of that, HONEY!
Wife: How come we see mail boxes but no houses?
Dictator behind the wheel(sarcastically): I don't know. Why don't we ask that cow in the middle of the road?

2 hours later, Grandma chimes in:
Grandma: I just finished my SECOND rosary and we're still on the dirt road.
Dictator behind the wheel: I'm aware of that, MA!
Grandma: I thought you said it was only a few miles.
Dictator behind the wheel: (thinking, this sounds familiar) I'm aware of that, MA!

Finally, there is was up ahead. The dirt road climbed a ridge, a vantage point where one could see the terrain for miles around. I was certain that we would see the paved road from the crest of the hill.

I hit the gas cranking that Ford V-10 up the hill. I anticipated seeing that long line of blacktop glimmering with a mirage of wetness. Perhaps a comfort station. Maybe a convenience store.

But alas, as I reached the summit, I could only see that lonely, chalky, dirt road undulating in the rolling hills for miles, touching the horizon. The contagious excitement and anticipation was swept out of the motorhome with the dry, dry wind.

Needless to say, we eventually did get to the oasis of Ekalaka, Montana. The family of weary travelers broke through the crust on the outside of our Class C and filed into the lone grocer. The richness of ˜civilization' captivated us. Had we only been away for a few hours? Look, there are sidewalks. Ah, a stop light. Kids, look both ways in this hoppin' town. We loaded up on provisions and, with co-pilot review and approval, continued on a PAVED route. As we left scenic Ekalaka:

Wife: You know we started at 8 AM and now its 4 PM and we've only gone about 120 miles. I thought you said it was a short cut.
Deposed Dictator behind the wheel: I'm aware of that, HONEY!
__________________

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'07 Winnebago Tour 40TD, 400hp Cummins
'17 Winnebago View 24V, '02 R-Vision B+
RVing for 19 years & 150,000+ miles
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Old 08-16-2008, 08:52 PM   #3
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by RVThere:
Today, your navigation system can get you into trouble with a seductive female voice telling you to make a left where no left exists. Any man married over 20 years is trained to listen to his co-pilot with no hesitation. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Now, that is funny.

My wife and I were camping near Carlock, Ill one year, and after unhooking the RV, thought it would be nice to go out and explore the area. We noticed a county road, that, because of the grid pattern, should of taken us right back to the campground. The blacktop road turned to gravel, past a house, then to dirt, then to grass, with spots of dirt here and there. My wife looked and me and said "Way to go Pathfinder." Hay, we made it back to the campground.

A friend of mine was going to the Dells on vacation. He called AAA, and told them he was pulling a trailer. The sent up to Chicago, on the city streets, to "avoid the toll roads." For those of you that have driven around Chicago, there is no way to "avoid the toll roads" if you want to get to anyplace. AAA had them making U turns in parking lots because no left turn intersections. So, he called me, and I'm happy he was in an area that I kinda knew. So, I got him to I-294, and on to the Dells. I told him when he came back, down I-39 to Bloomington, then over to Indiana. He didn't renew his AAA.

I think everyone on this forum can relate to your story. Ahh, the joys of road trips.
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Old 08-17-2008, 04:15 AM   #4
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I was totally captivated... Very funny and very well written.
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Old 08-17-2008, 04:28 AM   #5
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Great!! Had the same experience near the Bad Lands and the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in S Dakota. "It may be dirt or gravel, but it is only a short distance." Riiiiiggghhhhttt!! And this is from the co-pilot!
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Old 08-17-2008, 11:02 AM   #6
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Great story!!

Had my similar expierience with dirt road in Washington state. Not as many miles driven as your expierience, however my dirt-gravel road episode ended with a dead end road and a ditch on each side. Had to disconnect toad and back coach up about 1/4 mile in order to complete a U turn, then down the dirt-gravel road in opposite direction.
Wife was (still is) navigator. Map was from AAA.

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