Last summer, a guest called me in tears. She was frantic, her cell phone was cutting in an out, while she was talking to me the call was dropped again. She had been on the road for over 1o hours to come to one of our cabins and now this, she was lost in the mountains! Her GPS did not show that she was even on any road at all. She informed me that Cujo had come out to attack her when she went down a wrong mountain road. What was supposed to be an escape from the city and a relaxing stay in a mountain cabin was starting out horribly wrong. To top it all off, it was pitch black outside!
Coming from the city, where there is a street light in front of every other house and abient light creating a glow in the night sky, she did not handle the darkness very well. Who knows what is around the corner: bears, attack dogs, a cliff, or other danger!
When she called, she was less than a 1/2 mile away from her destination, but it may have been a 1000 miles as far as she was concerned! So how can you prepare yourself for your arrival to the cabin you have rented if you are coming into town late at night?
- We will make arrangements for you if you are arriving late to pick up your guest package and driving directions to your cabin, call us and let us know if you will be getting into town late. Read through your driving directions while you are still in the parking lot. If they do not make sense to you, call us while you are still in the parking lot. The directions are straightforward, and don’t have localisms in the directions (turn right at Mrs. Smith’s mailbox, she died 10 years ago, but you know where she used to live; real directions someone gave me!).
- Your driving directions are accurate to 1/10th of a mile, so use your trip meter to follow the driving directions, resetting it at every turn. If the directions said 3/10ths of a mile and you have already gone 1 mile, you may have missed your turn.
- Your cell phone may not work in all areas, so do not depend on it as a lifeline. The mountains block signals from cell phone towers, the rural locations of mountain cabins may both work to prevent you from getting a signal to make a call. Some cell phones do not work at all up here, such as Nextel, they have no presence at all in the area.
- Your GPS may not be of much use in finding certain roads in the mountains. The GPS mapping software does a good job with most of the main roads in the area, and smaller artery roads, but they have not bothered to map out many of the mountain roads in this rural area. The road we live on does not exist on Google Maps or Mapquest, which can be good for preventing uninvited guests, but also makes it hard for other people to find our cabin.
- I used to joke that in North Carolina, they took down the guardrails at night to keep people from Florida off of the road. Well, here in Georgia, I think they never put the guardrails back up! It still freaks me a little when I am driving on backroads at night and I see car lights 200′ above me coming towards me at a 90 degree angle. There is no such thing as a straight road in the mountains, they go up, down, left and right almost all at the same time. On some roads, your compass will at one time point to all points on the compass. Slow down, be prepared and expect the unexpected, especially when driving at night.
- Bring a flashlight, or two.
Now that I have scared you off from coming to the mountains, let me say this: You will see more stars at night than you probably ever seen, except in very remote areas of the country and world. Blue Ridge is 100 miles from Atlanta, so the light pollution from Atlanta is not even on the horizon. On a crisp night after a front has passed through, you can see the Milky Way stretched across the sky, not just a few bright stars, but millions of stars!
Spend a while out on the porch stargazing, or sitting around a fire, and then go back inside to the comfort and light in your cabin. As for the other creatures of the night, don’t let your imagination run away from you, many people, including us, don’t bother to lock their homes at night up here.
BTW: Stephen King lives in Maine, not Georgia. If you are heading to Maine, there might be reason for concern
Visit us at Sundance Cabin Rentals. We won’t leave you alone in the dark.