In Search of the Lost Car


HEY! It was a long day. So we go to see Cheryl Crow, great concert. We join the rest of the Senior Set to leave before the encore. We were not alone. We had parked in a field down from the venue which seats over 7000, and at least as many on the lawn inside the venue and outside within earshot. So figure 15,000 fans and 7000-8000 cars. We drove up, turned right into General Parking, and guided by the volunteers drove up a grassy ridge and parked on top. We were one car away from the asphalt path. We walked up the path past the restaurants and picnic tent with tables and chairs for folks who brought their own food. We walked to the top where the food vendors, rest rooms, and souvenir shops are scattered about. We took our seats and enjoyed the concert, but now it's time to leave.

Now then, I am in the lead, retracing the same route we took to reach the venue. Coletta wanted to go a different route, but I wanted to stick to reversing our way in, so up steps, turn right, past the restaurants and onto the asphalt walkway. After a few minutes Coletta says, "I think we've gone too far, I don't remember walking past this tent." To be honest I didn't either, but I wasn't really paying attention coming in, I was FOLLOWING THE PATH. Well now, we get to an opening in the fence, and against my better judgment Coletta takes a sharp left turn into a grassy field. We both recognized that it was NOT the one we parked in. Why? Because the cars were parked at a 90 degree angle facing us instead of facing to our left.

Following my instinct I turned to my right and started heading for another field in the distance where the cars are facing us now. That is our field. Coletta is following but insisting we are lost. I tended to agree with her, but kept walking. Remember there are no numbers or cute Disney-like names, just fields and fields of cars. At the end of Field #1 was a split rail fence with three rails, an easy pass through. On the other side a roadway...also easy and a thick hedge. Not so easy. It forced us to walk down the road to where it met the main road and the hedge ended. There's a police officer stationed there trying to keep pedestrians and traffic from intermingling. He insists we cross the main road and take to the sidewalk. We comply. Until we are out of his view, and I leave the sidewalk and cross the main roadway (just a single lane in the park) walking towards Field #2.

Coletta is still insisting we are lost and might have to wait until the parking lot clears out. Wait on 10,000 more people coming down the hill post encore?! I don't think so. I keep walking, increasing my pace to put a little...a little distance between Coletta and me. Plausible deniability you know. I can honestly say I didn't hear her, better than arguing. Remember I try to avoid that most recently. Finding the right turn I made to enter Field #2 I am feeling more confident and the cars in this field are facing the right way!

I quicken my pace looking back to make sure Coletta is on my trail. Up, up, I go following the roadway (asphalt path) that we parked next to and walked along to get to the venue. My Toyota Tacoma was parked only one car from the path so I just followed the hill next to the path until: THERE IT IS! I cried happily turning back to Coletta whose faith in me was restored once again.

From there it was driving out of the D.C. area on 66 West to return to the Mountains of West Virginia where the air is cool and the breezes steady. Got there at 1:30 AM and the cool night air was heaven sent. My shirt and pants still wet from sweating. From the air or the search for the missing car?


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