Editor’s note: Remember how I went on a road trip in early April? That’s ok; I almost forgot too. Not only have I not posted everything about it yet, but I haven’t even written it all yet. Like, where did Day 3 go? If you select the “North Carolina” category you’ll notice it jumps from Day 2 to Day 4. I’ll either find the draft or write it soon (from my notes) or ignore it, but in the meantime here’s day 4:

Last night I stayed at a total dump outside Durham (Super 8, can you hear me?!) I told my friend, JM about it and she said she’d stayed in both good Super8s and bad Super8s. I was like “…and why didn’t you tell me this before I checked into the Motel Hell?!” People, you must share these gems with the clueless! 

It was one of those places I should’ve just walked away from. It wasn’t unsafe (though it could’ve easily gone either way), but it was just kind of scungy compared to my experience with the motel in Mount Airy (Home of Andy Griffith and a re-created Mayberry!), and the Comfort/Quality/Day’s/Come On Inn from the night before last.  But I was so tired I (told myself I) didn’t care. When will I learn to listen to that little voice?! (probably when it quits giving me incorrect directions)

Every motel I’ve checked into this trip offers “breakfast” now, and all claim WiFi (although one place wanted to charge for it). It’s so veddy European, but without unknown cuts of cold meat. Not unexpectedly the coffee at The Motel Hell8cious was so bad I couldn’t drink it, and I couldn’t boil water for my French press because I forgot something to boil water in, and I keep forgetting to buy something. But by golly I remembered the French press and the coffee.

Then my “shower” didn’t work—water came into the tub (and stayed there, I might add) but the shower part didn’t work. I require 2 things in the morning, coffee and a shower. No problem—I rinsed my hair in the tub, told myself I’d stop somewhere for coffee, washed the necessary parts and left quickly. I found a cup of coffee and things started to look up.   Then I missed the first of several exits I would miss today.

Today’s theme was “Getting Lost.” I’ve really been okay with getting lost on this trip, because the only thing I haven’t had maps for were the towns I wanted to visit anyway (so I didn’t care if I was lost ’cause I was exploring). I might’ve built up false confidence yesterday because (for a change) I wasn’t my typical directionally-challenged self.  

Since my “town exploration strategy” has been to head downtown and work my way out, and I don’t have specific destinations within the towns anyway, what better way to see them than by wandering aimlessly? It’s mostly worked so far.

But then I realized I’d left my cell phone & charger in the Motel Hell8cious and had to backtrack, having had precious little coffee and being currently lost.

But wait! There was the friendly neighborhood Chapel Hill Police Station (I thought I was in Carrboro, but nevertheless…). I stopped in to the Police Station, asked if they could call (or let me call) the Motel Hell8cious to make sure my phone was there, and was told “No, we’re not supposed to make long distance calls.” I SWEAR this is true. 

I said, “So you’re telling me that I’m at Police Station, and you can’t help me?!” “We’re not supposed to make long distance calls” ?!?!? HOW asinine a reason is that? Do you mean to tell me they never have to call the next town over? What if they do? Do they only have local emergencies? Couldn’t someone volunteer to bring out their cell phone (which inCLUDES long distance)?! I just couldn’t believe it.
I told them what they had before them was a lost tourist who hadn’t had enough coffee, had lost her cell phone, and was about to cry.  Again, I SWEAR this is true: They went off to a little conference and came back with the decision that they COULD make the call after all. I offered a dollar for the call but was declined.
They called, my phone had been turned in by the staff (!) and I managed to get back to the motel (thanks to the directions of the HELPFUL Chapel Hill police department), got my phone, gave the cleaning person a thank you gift ($) and was off again, in the right direction to Durham (north) since I had mistakenly gone south (Chapel Hill). 
Then I drove the *&&^%$$ 15 miles and arrrived in the correct location, Durham.