After it was all over, Sara said "Don't make me look like an idiot." So, I'll start with the disclaimers. There was construction. There were two highways together, then going their separate ways. It wasn't clear what was an exit and what was a fork. And it was REALLY hard to read any road signs while tailgating a semi. It could have happened to anyone.... at least the first part.
I was riding shotgun and didn't think I had any navigational responsibilities. Sara and I were on track for a quick pitstop in 10 miles and until then I was operating under the assumption that Roberta later put well "I'm still trying to figure out how one can make a wrong turn on I 80. There are no turns!" But then I heard what no one likes to hear from the cockpit... "Oh Shit!" We were now on state highway 31416. Never fear, I said– Google maps showed me that this would be a LITTLE pita, but nothing major. No U-turn was possible, but less than 5 miles down this road, then a 90-degree turn onto another road that would take us back to the interstate. We were just missing the hypotenuse, no big deal. "Don't worry" I reassured her "Just 4.7 miles then turn right onto highway 27183." Sara said, "Got it!"
We needed a new pit stop, though. Sara and I are both willing to brave the swaying back end of the RV to grab a quick pee. Sara told me "Oh wow, I just had the thought that I could pop in the back, it's not worth stopping... but then I realized that won't work because I'm driving!" Maybe that should have convinced me that it was past time for my shift at the wheel. Instead, I suggested we might be able to stop on the side of one of these secondary roads. She asked me to investigate that option so I shifted my attention back to my phone. I looked up from my research (pee-search?) to see the 4.7 mile exit zooming by as we missed it. I pointed at it, kind of sputtering "but... but..." We'd now missed the cosine and were off on a tangent. Not only that, we were in Colorado! Bonus state!!
Now we were looking at a series of tertiary roads and about 25 minutes to get back to the Interstate. It was pretty rural and we were going pretty fast. I had no idea what the speed limit was so I suggested we drop down a bit, and we went into a series of "My Cousin Vinny" riffs. I wasn't going to mess around with directions any more, though... I started giving updates every quarter mile and then pointed off into the distance when I saw our next turn "See that intersection up there? That's where we're going to turn." Then as we got closer, I pointed to it again. The drive was pretty interesting though– odd road markers, mysterious structures with some rural purpose we couldn't decipher... I THOUGHT Sara was slowing down, but it was just to check out a cool water tower, so 20 feet away from the turn I had to yell "THIS ONE!!" And we successfully made the turn to head into downtown Ovid and heard only a few dishes slamming around in the cabinets.
Now to be fair, it WAS super interesting and half the problem was that Sara was laughing so hard at things that she was having a hard time paying attention. We slowed to 20mph as we wended our way through Ovid.
Sara still needed to pee and I think it was a combination of crossing her legs while driving and pointing delightedly at the fun shop signs that made her weave erratically down Main Street. I said, "Pull over already, you're going to get us arrested for drunk driving" and my movie references started shifting (quite unfairly to Ovid) towards "Deliverance." Sara agreed this was the right thing to do and pulled up to a curb, taking out about 25% of a local tree! "Oh shit, I forgot how big we are!"
While she relieved herself of guilt and bladder pressure, I scanned the streets of Ovid frantically waiting for the law to come (and to be 100% clear, we deserved it at this point... we'd kicked up dust, clobbered one of the towns 4 trees and laughed at their prime retail establishment). Anticipating another run-in with police, I took note of the fact that I had a sensible-looking mask to hand, but failed to notice what T-shirt I'd put on
But Ovid was wonderfully devoid of people. Probably they were hiding from the dangerous lunatics who had invaded their fair enclave. We finally got back to Nebraska, then back to the Interstate.
Next stop... Wyoming!