Wishing for a vacation from a vacation?

Share your vacation horror story with us

Share your vacation horror story with us

September 17, 2008|By JULIE E. GREENE

Chuck Mease's fishing trip went wrong. So, so wrong. But it makes a good story.

The rugged terrain on the way to a Canadian fishing spot ripped off the exhaust shields and twisted the running board brackets on his brother's van. And it got worse.

But once he reached his destination in rural Quebec, Canada, the Mercersburg, Pa., resident did catch a lot of fish. Still, Mease's adventure was such a misadventure, it got the Lifestyle staff talking about our own vacation woes and wanting to hear about yours.

Do you have a vacation horror story to share? We want to hear it.

Send us your vacation horror story - keep it short, about 250 words; no novellas - along with your name, what town or county you live in, and your daytime phone number.


The deadline to submit your entry is 2 p.m. Monday, Sept. 29.

We'll publish our favorites Friday, Oct. 3, and draw two entries to win $50 gas cards. If you have any photos from your vacation horror story, let us know. We might use them.

To be eligible, you must live in Washington or Frederick counties in Maryland, Berkeley, Jefferson or Morgan counties in West Virginia, or Franklin or Fulton counties in Pennsylvania.

Herald-Mail employees and their relatives are not eligible to win the gas cards.

Mease, 45, has a good bad-vacation story to tell, so we'll throw his name in the hat when we draw winners. Here's his tale:

He left Aug. 2 for a seven-day trip with six other guys, including his 83-year-old father-in-law. The group was to drive to Gilbert Lake in Quebec to meet a seaplane, which they would take to a more remote spot.

After driving off-road for 200 kilometers to the lake, the plane was a no-show.

They decided to continue on, and the sand and gravel road they traveled turned in to dirt and rocks more suitable for a 4-wheeler than a van. Their route was marked by spray-painted plywood signs.

When they had to cross a makeshift bridge made of partly rotted logs, everyone but the driver got out.

Almost four hours after leaving Gilbert Lake they made it to a wooden shack with a metal roof near an old fuel truck, where a motorcyclist was filling up his tank. They found a boat belonging to the lodge, and Mease and his son, Chas, 20, took the boat 2 miles down the lake to the lodge.

Then they made a return trip to get the rest of their party and luggage.

From the lodge, they were to take seaplanes to their final destination, a primitive cabin on a lake. Only one seaplane showed up, so half the group had to wait 90 minutes for their ride.

The fishing part went smoothly, but the planes were six hours late to pick them up for the return trip, Mease said.

All in all, they ended up adding six to seven hours to their drive time on the way north, shared a cabin with three squirrels, and had a van to repair upon their return.

So what's your story?

Be sure to include your name, address and daytime phone number with your submission. Only one entry per person.

Submit your entry by:

o Dropping it off at The Herald-Mail office, 100 Summit Ave., Hagerstown, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Write on it "Attention: Lifestyle."

o Mail it in care of Vacation Horrors/Lifestyle to The Herald-Mail Co., P.O. Box 439, Hagerstown, MD 21741.

o E-mail it to and write "Vacation Horrors" in the subject line.

o Fax it to 301-714-0245, attention: Vacation Horrors.

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