posted on May 09, 2012 23:14
Captive Free West Lakes has had the opportunity to go to some pretty awesome places including Chicago, Milwaukee, the Twin Cities, St. Louis, the Wisconsin Dells, and a ton of really small towns with extra huge hearts! One of our more recent bookings landed us in Campbell Hill, IL, a town with a population of 350 people. We were coming here from Flanagan, IL (the place where I got pulled over by the police while walking and got called old…see my other blog) and we started off on a highway. The GPS then took us onto another “highway” that was a good bit narrower and had no lines. It looked pretty sketchy, but apparently it was a legitimate Illinois highway! While in the van, Dana, who was navigating, and me were joking about how we were going to end up on a gravel highway next or something crazy silly like that. Lo and behold- about 10 more miles down the road we came to a “Road Closed in 4 miles” sign. Dana then had to press the detour button on the GPS which had us turn off onto a gravel “road” (it had an official green road sign and everything) named Jackrabbit road. We didn’t realize until we were actually on the road that it was in the blast zone of the mine right next to the road, which made it ten times sketchier and more ironic. Then Dana and I were joking about how it couldn’t get much worse than having to drive to a booking on gravel and dirt roads! With about a mile left on Jackrabbit road, the road changed from gravel to a grassy field with two ruts of dirt for the tires on incoming vehicles. There was a gravel cross road right where Jackrabbit road crossed over from gravel to grass and dirt, so by the request of the Vehicle Safety Manager on our team (Russ), we took the other road. What surprised us, however, was that where Jackrabbit road crossed over from gravel to dirt, there was another road sign that still made it clear that it was, indeed, a road!!! On the cross road as we were passing a house a small puppy ran toward our huge van and trailer, barking and not backing down. I didn’t want to run the tiny thing over so I stopped the van while its owner made her way to the dog to get him out of the way. So now we can add an embarrassing face off with a small puppy vs. our huge 15 passenger van with a trailer where the puppy won to our list of road trip issues just on our way to the small town of Campbell Hill, IL! Ahead we saw two children playing with a ball outside. At this point everyone was awake and rather amused at our situation. Laura Joy joked that with our luck, their ball would run into the road and we’d have to dodge children at play. Guess what happened???!!! Their ball bounced into the road and we had to stop once again so that the children could return to a safe playing location. Once we finally got back on paved roads, they were so tiny that our van and trailer took up 1.5 lanes. We got a little worried when a bus came the other way as well as a tractor dragging along oversized farming equipment and a truck-but everything went ok. We just pulled over hoping that the van and trailer would not get stuck in the ditch in the side of the road and let all of these things pass. (We didn’t get stuck ) Way too many miles of road, a horse and buggy, and the GPS telling us to turn right onto non-existent roads later we safely got to the church…with 5 minutes to spare!!! I’m pretty sure the only obstacles I didn’t encounter were deer and snow, which oddly enough were pretty much the only obstacles they trained us to handle at training. I guess this proves that west lakes 1) has a really good vehicle safety manager who can make great last minute decisions 2) our deductive reasoning (applying common sense to driving) skills are good, 3) Mark is really good at allotting the perfect amount of drive time to our schedule, and 4) God has a sense of humor!
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