Tales from the RV Lifestyle: No Wrong Turns by Donna Fisher-Jackson


This winter of 2019, my husband, Jim and I got back on the road with our Bighorn RV for a trip to Florida.  After full-time RVing for three years, we had taken a break from the road, and built a home on Cape Cod.  We had been away from life on the road for over a year.  I had started to forget about the mysteries of the road, and how time and events can seem almost otherworldly. The second day of this trip was about to remind me of the synchronicities of the RV lifestyle.

After Christmas, we headed out with a host of holiday travelers, driving down the east coast.  We knew we needed to head to the Southern states right away in case some wintry weather showed up.  On our first day, we planned a shorter drive to get back in the saddle again.  But on the second day, we hoped to put some distance between us and the northern states.

That morning of the second day, we woke up to heavy rain that had begun overnight.  It was raining steady, and foggy alongside the highway.  We left Pennsylvania, and planned on making it to Northern Virginia that day.  We had to drive around Baltimore, Maryland and Washington, D.C. – two cities that are never easy to navigate with a 39 foot RV, but especially when it’s rainy and foggy.

Driving my own car, I followed behind the Fifth wheel RV driven by Jim.  With the stormy start, I questioned my decision to bring my car along.  In our three years on the road, we had discovered it was nice to have a car to drive around especially when we spent longer periods of time in different areas.  That way, we didn’t always have to drive the large dually truck, the tow vehicle for the RV.

Now on the second day of driving, I felt tired after the holidays, and a bit intimidated by the long drive down south.  With the rain pounding down, my head started to ache especially behind one eye.  I knew I was in for a long day on the road.  Zeus, my beloved cat, slept in the passenger seat.  At least, he tried to sleep in spite of the constant rain.  Zeus had always been an adaptable cat, but, today, his patience and flexibility were going to be tested.

Zeus on his perch at Holiday Hills

As the hours piled up, I lost Jim on the road at one point when I had to stop for gas.  His truck had a 50 gallon reserve tank so he had enough diesel to go for miles.  We talked on the phone on and off, but I ended up choosing some different routes including an express lane for Cars Only around Washington, D.C.  Saving some time, I ended up only a few miles behind him as we neared our exit for the Prince William (P.W.) Forest Park in Northern Virginia.

After about 7 hours on the road, I was ready to relax at the campground.  The drive had been a lot longer, and more tiring with the inclement weather and the holiday traffic.  As I took the exit, Jim mentioned on the phone seeing a Subway Restaurant on the other side.  Now, it was quite dark, but I also glimpsed the same restaurant on the opposite side of the divided highway.  I decided to do a U turn, and circle around.  I thought there would be an entrance at the front of the plaza, but it turned out it was only on the side.  As I turned into what I thought was the front entrance, I ended up back on the highway once again.

And so the wrong turns began.  I was back on Highway 95 heading south again.  Glancing over at the north side, I could see a line of traffic.  I knew I didn’t want to end up back on that side.  My trusty Google Maps told me I could take the next exit, and there would be another way to get to the campground.  The campground was in the P.W. Forest Park which appeared to be like a state park – the only slice of green on my map in a busy cosmopolitan area.  I took the next exit, and started driving away from the highway.  Quickly, the road grew dark with no homes or businesses.  I noticed one large driveway, and I turned in to check my phone once more.

As I drove up to the entrance, I noticed there was a large, brick church with a massive stained glass window, lit from within.  The church looked so inviting.  I wished I could stop and rest.  By now, I had been traveling for almost 8 hours on the road.  Tired and hungry, I told myself I needed to keep going.  Still on the phone with Jim, I turned back onto the dark road.

Tree-lined driveway

As I drove, the road twisted and turned with woods on both sides.  It seems that I had entered the P.W. Forest Park from the other end, and now had to drive all the way around to get to the campground.  Jim had no idea where I was exactly.  He had made it to the campground, and was setting up the RV.  Luckily, the rain had stopped, but now misty fog drifted across the road.  I thought I was in that musical, Into the Woods except there were no other characters except Zeus and I, and an occasional car that came up behind me.  The other cars navigated the road with more familiarity.  It was probably their version of a short-cut, but for me, it had turned into a long way around.

As I drove around one woodsy corner after another, I felt lost and afraid.  I felt like not continuing.  Like stopping and calling for help.  Jim tried to reassure me to keep going that I would make it eventually.  As I approached the initial road where I had first taken the wrong turn, I saw the sign for the correct road, but again, I took a wrong turn, and ended up on a Dead End road.  I went by one house at the beginning of the road behind a fence with a long driveway, and another home off the cul-de-sac where I turned around.

Frustrated and tired, I told Jim how I had turned one road too early.  As I headed back to the correct turn, I slowed down to check my phone once more.  The next second, I looked up to see a streak of white followed by a loud crash.  I looked over on the other side of the road to see a white car in the woods, abruptly stopped by a tree.

I yelled to Jim on the phone, “On, my God!  A car just went off the road.  I have to call 911!”  I hung up, and made the call.  As the operator coached me, I went over to check on the person who had now crawled up the hill, and was leaning over by the side of the road.  I still didn’t know exactly where I was so I walked up to the corner, and checked the street sign.  Amazingly, the house set back from the road had a stone pillar with the street number and name.  I told the 911 operator, and she asked more questions about the person who turned out to be Jacqueline, a young black woman.

As I did my best to reassure Jacqueline that help was on the way, the operator did her best to guide me.  In a few minutes, a fire truck showed up, and then an ambulance.  By now, Jacqueline had sat down on the stretcher, complaining of her head aching, and a pain in her leg.  She was still in shock, and functioning, but fading rapidly.  The fireman in charge told me that she was lucky I had been there. On a dark Dead End road, she may have collapsed and no one would have found her until daylight.  With no police on hand, I didn’t need to answer any more questions.

Shaking and on the verge of tears, I slipped into my car and sat for a moment.  I called Jim, and told him what had happened, and finally headed to my final destination for the night.  This time, it was only a short drive around the corner.  Since it was the quiet season for the P.W. Forest Park, there were no guards at the gate at this hour.  I just drove in, and found the campsite.

As the reality of what had happened sunk in, I felt like all the delays and wrong turns had literally led me to that moment in time.  Driving through the dark woods, I had finally seen the light.  I was exactly where I needed to be to help that young woman.  I started to see even more clearly how guided we always are if we can have faith, and surrender to the moment.  We always have self-will and can choose in each and every moment, but there are some moments where it’s clear what you need to do.  At least, that’s how it was for me.  I knew I had been divinely guided there to help this woman, and that’s what I needed to do.  In the future, I hope that I can have that kind of clarity again.  I did learn what being in the present moment felt like.  It was being here right Now.

By Donna Fisher-Jackson, M.A. © 2019

Please feel free to copy this news article, and to share it with others for Free. I just ask that you keep my name at the bottom of the article, and include this line of text: Donna Fisher-Jackson, M.A., CHT is a Certified Hypnotherapist, Western Astrologer and Author who counsels clients through her business of Iris Holistic Counseling Services at www.DonnaFisherJackson.com.  Her latest book is about the RV life called, Living the RV Lifestyle:  Practical Advice and Personal Tales from Life on the Road.  She is also the author of the self-help book, The Healing Path of the Romantic: Type Four of the Enneagram Personality Type System and a novel, Clara & Irving: A Love Story of Past Lives, based on the true story of a Romantic. All of her books are available in a print and Kindle edition on Amazon.com.


About Donna Fisher-Jackson

After traveling for three years around the country in her Bighorn RV, Donna Fisher-Jackson, MA, CHT now makes her home on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. She is still a part-time RVer, and her latest book, "Living the RV Lifestyle: Practical Advice and Personal Tales from Life on the Road" is available on Amazon. For seventeen years, she lived in Northern California where she pursued studies in Western Astrology, Holistic Counseling, Hypnotherapy and Past-Life Regression. Donna completed certification in Astrological Counseling with the Astrology Institute West in the San Francisco Bay area. During her time in the Bay area, she also graduated with an M.A. in Counseling Psychology specializing in Holistic Studies from John F. Kennedy University in Northern California. Her counseling business, Iris Holistic Counseling Services, began in 1999. In her counseling work, she shares the insights of Hypnotherapy, the Enneagram, Dreamwork, Western Astrology and the Mythic Tarot. She specializes in life transitions, relationship issues, mid-life, career/vocation and life purpose.
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