Happy Monday, friends. I had every intention of popping in for another blog post last week, but ended up starting my vacation a day earlier than expected. As a result, I rushed home from work, scarfed dinner down, walked Sheba and packed, and within an hour was on the road to Georgia for a little mountain getaway with my family!
We rented a beautiful cabin in the city of Ellijay, tucked away in the North Georgia mountains. Ironically, we stayed in this city 15+ years ago, but it’s changed quite a bit since then! It was great to get back and unplug and recharge for a few days.
You’re probably wondering why the title of this post is “stranded” since I had a fantastic few days with my family, hanging out, reading (finally got to dive into the new Paula Hawkins book!), and playing ping pong! The “stranded” part kicked in before the fun began.
To put things into perspective, the nearest store/civilization (besides other houses in the mountains) was 15 minutes away, and “town” being 25-30 minutes away. And as you can imagine, being in the mountains after a few minutes of driving uphill, the rare “no service” words flashed up where I would normally see AT&T. Fortunately, Google Maps held strong (for the most part), even in an offline mode.
Since the rest of my family was a ways out still (we planned to meet at the cabin since I was driving from FL and they were driving back from NJ), I went ahead to check in and get settled in. The only problem was our cabin had a gate and that gate was controlled by a smart lock, which needed to be unlocked via an app. I initially thought what a great idea (makes the process easier for the hosts), only being in such a remote area, I was unable to log in with my app credentials since I had no cellular service.
So, I backed up down the steep driveway and navigated down some winding roads (without my beloved Google Maps) until I was able to find service to try to call the cabin owner (voicemail, ugh) and my parents to see if they could access the app and tell me the code. It was pretty stressful since I only had one tiny bar of service, which barely allowed me to make a phone call, and I hadn’t stopped for a bathroom break in 4+ hours and really needed to (sorry for the TMI)!
But while I was sitting at a stop sign at the end of one of the roads trying to figure out what to do, I glanced up in my rear view mirror (to make sure I wasn’t blocking any cars coming through) and see two grown men just a few feet away fighting in the middle of the street! As in their cars were pulled over and punches were being thrown and eventually them making their way to the ground, tackling each other. WHAT?! It was the most insane thing and needless to say, I booked it outta there because that was not something I wanted to be a part of!
Fortunately, a few minutes later, I received a call back from the cabin owner with a manual code to type in and was able to get into the cabin! And yes, that did involve me driving past the fighting duo again. But don’t worry, by that time they seemed to be friends again and were just hanging at one of the cars chatting. I am super curious what the fight was about though! And I SO wish I thought to record what was going on!
Relying on Technology
To be honest, the whole ordeal was a HUGE wake-up call as to how much we rely on technology these days (e.g. directions, locks). I feel SO old reminiscing on this, but the last time my family stayed in the mountains, smartphones and Wi-Fi weren’t a thing. We had to rely on paper maps and directions written down to get from Point A to B. *Insert grandma emoji*
While it certainly freaked me out (mostly because the incredibly steep gravel hill I had to drive up was pretty terrifying and I kept thinking “oh god, my car isn’t going to make it up this hill,” which led to flashes of “oh no, I’m going to get stranded in the woods with no phone service” aaaaaand cue the real-life horror movie), it was also kind of refreshing to live in the old school way and just figure it out sans technology.
But as you saw from the beginning of this post, this story has a happy ending. I was able to get a manual code for the gate and got in with no problems. The trip was great, but I can’t believe I’m already home and back to reality. The moral of the story though? Maybe don’t drive into the mountains by yourself and cut back on the amount of horror films you watch (especially prior to venturing into a remote area). Ha!