We asked our staff and contributors about their own road trip experiences and gathered some of their favorite memories from the road…and maybe a few they’d just as soon forget about. Today’s entry is from our Digital Editor…
Elizabeth Puckett, Digital Editor
I’ve taken quite a few road trips through the years, and unless it was for work, most have been totally unplanned. It usually goes something like this, “Hey, you want to go to Pensacola to visit Grandma and do some fishing? Great, let’s go,” and we hit the road after work. Did I mention I have an extreme fear of flying?
With that being said, most sane people would opt to take a flight from Atlanta to Woodstock, Connecticut, for a graduation, but I thought the 15.5-hour drive would be a breeze.
Leaving after work and loading up the car put the departure at 6 p.m. on a Friday. Bad timing — it took us four hours to get out of Atlanta. We ended up getting turned around somewhere, traveled through New Jersey, passed through NYC, and then into Connecticut around midnight on the second day of traveling.
Maybe it was the lack of sleep or direction, but in the middle of nowhere Connecticut, things got weird. Just after passing an old barn with a huge upside down pentagram, we noticed our severe lack of fuel. By coasting when we could and limping in overdrive, we got to what we thought was our destination.
We pulled into a school, which was next to a graveyard, as I tried to get a hold of our graduating friend. While waiting, we saw lights or reflections or something in the graveyard. We figured it was the eyes of a deer, as it was bobbing up and down and swaying around.
We followed the path to turn around, and as we approached the eyes, we noticed there was no deer at all. The eyes just disappeared in an instant, only to reappear in a flash on the other side of the graveyard! It had to be a ghost, and we jumped on the throttle and flew out of that graveyard with little regard to our low fuel light or anything else around us.
Later that night (morning), we finally found the right school and achieved the goal of seeing my friend graduate… then bee-lined for home. The drive south was just as miserable as coming up with little to no sleep in the cramped interior and firm suspension of the Formula. Adding insult to injury, we were tagged just before the Georgia state line by a South Carolina trooper. Ninety-eight in a 55 zone resulted in a big-dollar ticket, car insurance spikes, and my husband’s temporary loss of his license. But, we can laugh about it now…almost.
Advice: Being spontaneous has its place — a 15-hour one-way road trip in a sports car is not the time.