Randy is the name we gave to the GPS device that we have in Phaeth. She tells us where to go. I didn't think I needed to be told (you girls are now commenting, "Typical male.") how to get from New Bern to Lake Wylie since we have lived in both places and made the trip many times. Joanie thought Randy might know a better way. So I programmed Randy and we sat back to see how she would take us. It was a good route for the most part and for us probably a fortuitous one.
New Bern is in the middle of the eastern coastal plain on the North American continent and to get from New Bern to Lake Wylie you must traverse the rest of the coastal plain, the sand hills and into the piedmont. The route Randy had selected for us was west on US-70 to I-40 to US-1 to NC-24 then on to Charlotte. We had wide multi lane and divided highway until NC-24. It was rolling, winding two lane country road with blind curves and hills and with several one stop light towns in North Carolina counties we had never visited before.
It was on an open country stretch of two lane road that a large semi, going too fast, blew by us from the on-coming lane. We felt the wind blast and immediately heard a ringing sound. I said, "What's that?" and looked at the rear camera monitor to see if Hope was OK which she was not. A clevis pin on one of the arms had sheared off and fell out leaving that tow arm dragging on the pavement making the ringing noise. The safety cables did their job and the other arm held but Hope was moving about in an undisciplined manner behind us. That was a scary moment!
[Tow devices for vehicles being towed with all four wheels on the ground are designed and engineered to allow the towed vehicle to pitch and yaw but remain a constant distance behind the towing vehicle.]
The road was pretty much level, in a sort of short valley between two hills, farm fields on either side of us but also ditches. Our guardian angel saw to it that there was no traffic from either direction as we slowed carefully but Hope rolling freely now, caught up with us once and her front bumper hit the hitch end of the tow bar and did some cosmetic damage. I pulled off the to right shoulder as much I as dared and at least would not be blocking the whole road. Phaeth suffered no ill effects.
We did not want to try to analyze the damage on the open road nor try to attempt a repair so we disconnected Hope and Joanie said she would drive her the rest of the way - still two hours. Remember Joanie is suffering from shingles.
My navigator was now no longer next to me and Randy was on Joanie's side of the dash. I had to rely on where Randy was telling me to go without being able to look at the map screen and in a small town I took a wrong turn. I had learned my lesson on making "U" turns last year and was able to get our little caravan back on the right road. Joanie, I sure missed you!
Joanie brought Hope along in good order and we made it to Lake Wylie Mobile Home Community and RV Park with only a slight delay but thoroughly exhausted.
So the next couple of days we will rest around going to our post box over in Charlotte, grocery shopping, ordering repair parts for the tow bar, doing laundry, going to the bank...