Warning: These images may cause you to think twice about purchasing an RV. This small video clip (WMV, 696KB) will bring you into the world of RV Driving. See the panoramic view of the landscape, experience the gentle sway of the pavement, and hear the melodic tones of cross country driving.
Confidently, the GPS guided us along the highway as we approached a major fork in the road. As we passed through the Big Apple, David, Kate, and Olivia kept pointing to what they thought was the largest building in the skyline. I nervously commanded the GPS, “Which way”…the GPS was silent! Alarmed, I appealed, “left or right… am I heading towards the blessings on Mount Gerizim or the cursings on Mount Ebal?”
Soon we found ourselves, 37 foot RV and all, in downtown NY on a one-way street, cars on the left, cars on the right, and 6 inches of clearance on either side! My wife, Stephanie, white-knuckled and clutching the dashboard is shouting, “you’re too close, you’re too close!” With a nervous sweat on my brow and two hands gripping the wheel I yell, “I know, I know! I See I see! Show no fear!” We can read the lips of the bystanders who are awkwardly gaping and reading our RV: “Bible Road Trip?”
We frantically look left and right for a larger road with fewer cars, and we turn onto a larger road only to face a low bridge with an 11 foot, 8 inch clearance. I turn to my wife and quickly ask, “How tall is this RV…do you know?” She replies, “I don’t know”. So I say, “Quickly hop out and see if I can make the clearance.” As she gets a closer look she starts to feverishly wave her hands back and forth mouthing, “NO…NO…We won’t fit”. Soon cars are backing up behind us. Stephanie tries to direct the traffic to give us room, but it is too late…GRIDLOCK in New York. She hops back in, I put on the hazards, and soon the police arrive and “part the traffic” like Moses parted the water and we escaped New York! Stephanie remarks, “I sure am glad for all your hours of video game playing as a boy, it is a miracle you did not hit any of those cars!” I exhaustedly replied, “Grace….it was all grace!”
During the road trip, I had to leave the family behind to present Logos Bible Software at Kay Arthur’s National Women’s Conference. Fortunately, Stephanie has a friend by the airport and the kids had some friends to play with. Their family runs Green Circle Growers Inc. a supplier of plants and seeds to distributors around the world, including Wal-Mart. Read the fascinating history of this family.
It’s 8 pm, Dayton, OH and I am presenting Logos while Stephanie and the kids wait comfortably in the RV that is parked on the street when suddenly a loud noise rips through the RV and the vehicle vibrates from the shock. Stephanie looks out the window as a moving truck drives away, leaving our driver’s side mirror in pieces! The police come and we report the incident. We are now left wondering how to drive another 40 miles without a mirror?
So I put on the “MacGyver thinking cap” and improvised – the first row of pictures above is our 4 inch by 6 inch makeup mirror with duct tape. We next drove to Walgreen’s to find a larger mirror – see the second row of pictures. As you can see, the fix was durable enough to last even during Dale’s trip. No doubt we are now “the fairest RV of them all!”
The day has arrived, the RV handoff! After I debriefed Dale and Jenni, I proceeded to the rental car to finish the road trip in Illinois and Wisconsin. When I opened the door to check the kids, a swarm of blood-thirsty mosquitoes assailed our family. Kate and Olivia had at least 20 biting bugs all over their legs and arms and both of them screamed a piercing shriek that deafened my senses. They immediately hopped out of the car and ran to Stephanie who was flailing her hands to put these ravenous rogues to rest. David sat helplessly, buckled in his car seat, immobilized as one particularly oversized mosquito slurped from his skull!
You see, my kids have never experienced mosquitoes. Soon we evacuated the car that was now filled with hundreds of mosquitoes (no exaggeration). I told Stephanie I will drive the car with the windows down to remove these creatures (a trick I learned from my Dad when we left the light on in the car on a humid night near a swampy Wisconsin lake – except we remained in the car –ouch!!)
As I proceeded to drive, Stephanie and the kids tried to run away from their assailants, but the mosquitoes pursued. While I am driving rapidly in circles and Stephanie and the kids are crying, throwing their arms up and down, and running in every direction; people are driving by and staring at them wonderingly…Dale and Jenny call me on my cell phone inquiring if everything is all right- NOTE: they could not see the mosquitoes but they could see all of us acting out of our mind!
Needless to say, we have no handoff pictures, but we lived through our red bumps, and a couple of hours of interrogation by the kids about “Killer Mosquitoes”. The good news…no West Nile virus!
I grew up in Chicago, IL and this was the first time I was back in 7 years. I had my Logos mission, but I also had my pizza mission! There is no better pizza on the planet than Pizzeria Uno, with their incredible deep dish pizza and good ol’ wooden booths carved and etched with sayings from paying customers over the years – it is truly a delight of the senses! Make sure you visit the authentic Chicago location, the others…well, just don’t slice as well!
RV SURVIVAL TIP #3: When it breaks, don’t panic, duct tape! – Before leaving for any RV adventure, check out a book on the various uses of duct tape
RV SURVIVAL TIP #4: When entering the Midwest during the summer…bring a can of insect repellent!