Earlier this summer, my partner and I went on an unexpected journey to Virginia. It was an amazing road trip and taught us a valuable lesson. Do not depend on technology alone to get you anywhere. Especially when you end up off the interstate.
We should have consulted a map. We should have had directions printed out. But we did not. Google maps had never failed us before. Let me tell you something. Google Maps can fail you.
We had just gotten off the Interstate, a little past Friendsville, MD, and had ventured a ways away from Deep Creek. We had circled back around Romney, WV. We made it somewhere in Virginia when it happened. At first, I did not notice it, for we were having a very detailed discussion on cannibalism and Wrong Turn and the directions were pulled up on my phone. I had read the directions. I pressed the home screen and locked my phone.
After a while, we noticed the silence. There was no female voice telling us where to turn.
I can not tell you specifically the number of times I tried to restart my phone. The number of times I used his phone. Nothing. To make matters worse, we were literally in the middle of nowhere. We were on some back country road that extended forever with no signs of welcoming civilization.
Guess what happened next?
The gas light came on. Crap.
At this point, we are speeding down the main road. There has to be a gas station somewhere! Somewhere! There has to be one. We were praying and slightly panicky. Twenty minutes later, we find ourselves near a cluster of houses. We slow down. There was a sketchy, two pump gas station. There are standoffish people outside.
We park. We have the nicest car. I get out of the car. No problem. My partner gets out…. Problem. The people glare but do not say anything. We think nothing of it. We walk into the store. There are individuals inside that stare at us. Suddenly, a man stumbles to the counter and starts a commotion. My partner and I stare in confusion. The more we witness, the more we realize that we need to leave. Yesterday.
The cashier dismisses the unruly individual, threatening to call the law. My partner approaches and pays for a drink and a snack. He’s glared at the whole time. She doesn’t engage much with him. My partner attempts to approach a set of customers to ask for directions. They won’t talk to him. I try and am given completely different treatment. We leave, knowing where to go and knowing we have enough gas to get there.
Ten minutes later, we make it to a safe haven. A place that has gas. And a real bathroom. After attending to business, we are back to the interstate! We make it back to the interstate with no further incident. Once we find the interstate, our cellphones reconnect with service.
I shall not bore you with tales of stupid singing or random conversations. Instead, I shall tell you that the rest of the journey was a success. We reached our destination. We swam and explored. Morale of our story – always know where you are going and always make sure you have gas.