Unexpected adventures were lurking which included Delaware Bridges, DEDOT Workers, and a Detour.
While we were walking, playing, and sitting on the beach that afternoon, our dinner of homemade soup had been simmering in the crockpot all day.
When we arrived home from the beach, the smell of vegetable beef soup was inviting and enticing. To complete our dinner meal for that night, we needed a few groceries. I was thinking about a hearty loaf of bread and sliced apples to round out our meal.
So, Gary and I decided to make a quick trip to the grocery store.
Our quick trip to the grocery store took longer than we expected.
Not only did we pick-up a few items for dinner, but we also found many staple items on sale. (I suppose the stores were gearing up for Thanksgiving cooking and Christmas baking.)
Since our quick trip took longer than we had anticipated, I decided to give Belle and Buddy a quick call. Buddy answered the phone. I told him that we had finally finished shopping and we were headed home promptly. I also told Buddy that we should be home in less than ten minutes.
Our unexpected adventure begins here,
because the ten minute drive home lasted over an hour.
Before Buddy said good-bye, he reminded me that the campground host informed us earlier in the day that the bridge will be closing at 7 p.m. that night. Buddy remarked that he just wanted to remind us since it was already a quarter till seven.
I had completely forgot about the bridge closing.
However, my Knight had not. Gary remembered that the campground host had commented that we would be able to travel south of the bridge after its closing. So, Gary purposely chose a different grocery store than where we had shopped a few days before. This way we would be on the correct side of the bridge when it closed and we would be able to return to the campground.
Now, the sequence of events that follow is quite confusing. I will do my best to explain our unexpected adventure.
- First, the campground host did not have a second job as a DEDOT worker.
We shouldn’t have listened to her.
- Secondly, the hour of seven is approaching fast.
- Thirdly, since it is not seven, the DEDOT workers allow us to zoom past them as we approach the bridge.
On the bridge before seven p.m. we drive to our exit. With on-going construction on the bridge, our exit is even confusing.
- Since we have been in town a few days, Gary has grown accustomed to driving over the bridge, making the required U-turn, and then exiting the interstate to reach the campground.
- Still moments before the seven o’clock hour, Gary drove us over the bridge, made the U-turn, and headed to our exit.
- However, when we arrive at the exit, the exit has been closed.
With no other option (besides backing up on the interstate to the last exit where we could park the dually and walk to the campground with our sacks and bags of groceries), Gary thinking we have enough time drives back onto the bridge.
Before seven p.m., the DEDOT workers start closing the bridge.
Since the workers did not close the bridge from one end to the other but closed both ends simultaneously, we were trapped on the bridge at the time of its closing.
By this time, I jumped to worst case scenario.
In jumping to worst case scenario, I can think through the situation and prepare for the worst. In doing so, I am generally prepared for whatever arises. And I am often pleasantly surprised by the outcome since worst case scenario rarely occurs.
Worst Case Scenario – Gary and I have to spend the night in the truck trapped on the bridge. And Belle and Buddy have to spend their first (and hopefully only) night in the RV alone.
As we travel on this long bridge, we finally see another DEDOT worker, who was quite surprised to see us. No one was supposed to be traveling on the bridge at the time of its closing. But here we were.
Unfortunately, the DEDOT worker was not sympathetic to our predicament. He did not care that we could see our campground right over there. We just couldn’t get there. However, the DEDOT worker did inform us that a detour route had been set up. And he wasn’t bothered by the 45 minutes that it would take for us to travel that detour.
With information we didn’t like to hear and a plan we weren’t looking forward to, Gary and I decided that it was time to call home and inform Belle and Buddy of our predicament.
This time Belle answered the phone. Despite the uneasiness I felt inside, I calmly explained the situation to Belle. After hearing about the situation, Belle only had one question for me –
“If that plan doesn’t work, what is worst case scenario?”
I couldn’t believe her question. “Whose child is this? Worst case scenario!” I calmly explained best and worse case scenario to her. (I chose to keep worst case scenario to myself. There was no need to alarm Belle about the possibility of her and Buddy staying home alone in the RV that night.)
Best Case Scenario – You and Buddy have dinner without us. The soup is the crockpot is done. Just be careful and don’t burn yourself. You can have crackers, since the hearty loaf of bread is with us. You can check the cupboard for a canned fruit. To pass the time, you and Buddy can watch a movie. (I wondered and hoped but did not say to Belle “surely we can get home before they have time to watch an entire movie”.).
And Worse Case Scenario – Dad and I will travel the detour route and be home as soon as we are able.
After the phone call with Belle, I helped Gary look for the detour signs in the dark.
The detour signs were small in size, rectangle in shape, and orange in color. Despite the bright color or orange, the signs were difficult to spot in the dark. I have never searched so hard for detour signs in my life. I certainly didn’t want to miss one.
As we noticed the distance between detour signs increasing, we wondered if we had missed a sign. Not knowing where we were in Delaware, I began searching the dually for the atlas.
Since today was not supposed to be a travel day, the atlas was not with us. We did have Garmin Girl with us, but she just kept telling us to turn around and cross the bridge. “Wish we could, GG. But that’s not option!” Garmin Girl was of no assistance to us during this unexpected detour.
Besides having no map and no help from GG, we were also running low on fuel. The fuel tank gauge read less than a quarter tank.
Not knowing how much longer this detour might take us, finding fuel was our next objective. If you have never had a vehicle with a diesel engine, you might be surprised to learn that not every gas station sells diesel. As we approached the next small town, Gary pulls into the only gas station in town.
Fortunately, the station sold diesel and we were able to fill-up the dually. For this fill-up, we didn’t look in town for a better price. In fact, Gary and I didn’t even discuss the price of diesel this time. To get us back to our children, it didn’t matter what the price on the pump read.
While paying for the fuel, Gary confirmed the detour route with the attendant. Thankfully, we had not missed a sign.
Back on the road, we continued to follow the small orange signs which were spaced too far apart for our liking.
Most of the time we road in silence.
Gary eventually spoke and lightened the mood. He said that he had decided what the word detour stands for. The de stands for Delaware. And the tour stand for tour. Thus detour stands for our unexpected tour of Delaware. A tour which we had not planned, anticipated, or enjoyed.
We had been counting the miles that we had traveled. However, as the surroundings became more familiar, we stopped counting. At last check we had traveled only thirty-seven miles. Those thirty-seven miles seemed like an eternity as we traveled . . .
Thankfully, worst case scenario did not happen. Our unexpected adventure finally ended with our family of four safe and sound in our home on wheels.
When we arrived home, I noticed that someone (Buddy) had turned the porch light on for us and someone (Belle) had kept dinner warm for us.
Best case scenario had prevailed. We had made it home safely. We even made it home before the movie was over.
As Gary and I climbed into bed that evening, we wondered how many more unexpected adventures awaited us on our grand road trip adventure across the U.S.A. Robin
Words to Ponder Today
Every moment and every event
of every man’s life on earth
plants something in his soul.