So I said we almost died on Friday.
And part of that was a joke, at least about the hot air balloon. The other stuff could have been fatal.
Still, it was nothing in comparison to how the run turned out this year. Usually the run is fun but tiring. This year… it was a bit more on the scary and terrifying and I’m going to cry scale.
It didn’t start out that way. Granted, I almost forgot my purse in the Acadia, but I sold some books before the starting gun, so it was good and I got my purse just in time. Our trip to Grove City was without incident. We had our coffee and treats and moved on to Litchfield (being about the last car to leave Grove City, actually.)
We made it to Litchfield, took our break, had our cookies, did the annual peek at the GAR museum. Then I got to drive out of Litchfield.
Someone asked me (I don’t think they believed I knew how to drive the Maxwell, but that’s something different) how I drove a car that was older than me. I said, “Very carefully.”
There’s a part of me that wanted to say “the same way I drive any car,” but my car is automatic and not quite older than me (It’s only twenty years old, not a hundred ten.)
I made it out well without grinding any gears (near flawless performance, even got complimented) and drove without trouble into Kingston. Though I normally drive from Kingston into close to Buffalo, Grandpa decided to do that this year.
The route to the high school this time had a roundabout in it. It was fairly close to it and possibly unavoidable, but still… a roundabout. The Maxwell is not the easiest car to stop and restart, and we ended up almost getting hit by a truck that we should have yielded to. Scare number one.
We continue on, eat lunch without incident, and I get to drive again, but of course this time with everyone watching, I can’t find second and grind gears a little. I even had trouble trying to find third and had to start over once we were on the road some.
Despite this, we reached the Hanover stop safely.
Grandpa resumes the driving and we head to Crystal. We have an issue going through the lights on the way there, as Grandpa apparently didn’t want to stop for one of the red lights when the side traffic was clear but there was a jogger and a bicyclist coming and he could have hit them. They were not pleased.
We get closer to Crystal, and here is where we find trouble. A train stops on the tracks, and we were forced to find an alternate route into the stop. We were lead by the tow driver and at one point lost them for a bit which was a little scary. And then we got there and stopped only to find when we left again that the train was still stopped and we couldn’t get past it to get back on the route.
We had to figure out a plan, and it would have been several plans at once except no one knew what to do, but then Mom spoke to the hamm operatior and he led us out and back to the route.
Well, that should have been the end of it, but something went wrong and the car we were following missed the turn. The tow driver came up to help but they ended up leading us way down a path we never go on that was through some creepy places in the city and was really uncomfortable, like people might just come up to the car and reach in, some even came pretty close to it at a stop light.
We continued on, still pretty far from the route, and I knew we were not on it. I was really worried, and we lost a car along the way (I guess they decided to go another way and they did get there faster.) Joe kept checking his GPS and sending Pat updates, and maybe we should have let him lead us with the route he saw, but I think maybe Grandpa liked being behind the tow driver because they did block intersections for us. It still wasn’t great because the car in front of us was too lost without them and slowed down too often and on hills and stuff and almost caused accidents themselves when we couldn’t help getting close to them as they were driving rather erratically because they kept looking for the car behind us or the tow truck. Still, we stuck with the tow truck and eventually made it there, though just about everyone had given up on us and assumed we were out of the run.
Admittedly, so did I at parts because we were so lost and we were not going toward places I recognized and I was sure one of those stop signs or lights would be an accident. I had lots of fun panicking in the back of the Maxwell.
Grandpa made thirty-two out of thirty-two, though.