Monday, November 16, 2009

A problem with rural life

Directions.

I live in the middle of nowhere. There is a town to the east of us and a tiny town south west of us in a 20 mile radius. If you double and add some to that radius you get a larger town north of us and a small city south of us. There is one main road connecting all 4 places and we live about 12 miles from that. Everything else is winding country roads. We don’t exist on Google or Mapquest. Our address comes up about a mile & half from where we actually live and on a different dirt road in another county. Directions from that spot to the main road include this bit “turn left onto unnamed dirt road 0.7 miles” which is totally bogus. The road has a name and if you drive about 50 yards further there is a perfectly good paved road that parallels ‘unnamed dirt road’.

The kennel we are putting the dog in while on vacation has a similar problem. (Athena does not stay on her lead run, she gets out of every collar & harness ever made & then disappears for a few hours & turns up again around 4pm. We don’t want to stress out the house sitter with worrying about the dog getting loose & whether she will ever come back. The cats just hang out in the yard). They say on their website basically - “Google us for directions? Good luck with that.” and then spell out different ways you can get to them from the various towns in the area. (including helpful bits like ‘if the bridge is flooded out, go back to this road…) What we can’t figure out is if there is a more direct way or which of the two nearest places should be our starting point. We have to pick up the directions midway in whichever we choose but I wish I could figure out the mileage so I knew which was shorter. The road we’d meet up with from the south town does seem like it goes on forever but I think that is because it’s just the one road, then just one turn there at the end (well, not the end but the road the kennel is on, 3.2 miles later). If we met up with the road in the east town directions there are 3 other roads we’d have to turn on before that last one, which keeps things from seeming to take so long.

I’ve been moving routes around on google maps, getting from the general area of my house to the turn for the road to the kennel, which are at least locations google can find, but it can’t seem to make up it’s mind how I should get there and knowing it will not make the 50 yard change to a paved road I distrust everything it says. It says it’s only 15 miles away but should take anywhere from 43 to 47 minutes to get there. Which leads me to suspect there are dirt roads involved

Tomorrow I have to sort out how to get to Florida. Do I go to I95 and straight down to Jacksonville or do I drive through Virginia, meander into North Carolina, then using various interstates, finally meeting up with I95 near the Georgia border? Do I cut across Florida at Jacksonville and pick up I75 somewhere north of Tampa? Continue down 95 to I4 and take it across to I75?  Or do I head south from Orlando to Immokalee and then from there over to Naples? Could I just avoid Tampa and Orlando somehow? The trip, on paper could take 17 to 19.5 hours depending on changes. I just find endless I95 boring, though really ‘get on I95 in Washington DC, drive 850 miles to I4, make a left’ makes it hard to get lost. And we regularly get lost driving through the small towns on the US & state routes in Virginia and Florida. Last year we drove a half hour in the wrong direction around Immokalee after turning around because we though we had originally been headed the wrong way, though it turned out we weren’t. Interstate travel keeps that from happening.

But it’s so dull.

11 comments:

SciFi Dad said...

I'd pick the shortest route from a time standpoint. Interstate travel is about the destination; the journey all looks the same.

Creative Junkie said...

It's a tradition in our family that it's NOT a vacation until we've taken a wrong turn. Or ten. Makes the trip more interesting.

You could be like my husband and choose the longest, curviest, windiest, most scenic route and then shout VISTA VIEW to the girls who are dead asleep in the back seat.

Too Many Hats said...

I'd leave it all to my hubby. I know, how sexist of me, but I would.

Lee the Hot Flash Queen said...

I live by my GPS when I go long distance tripping, but if you have kids in the car...shortest route possible.

Maria Ontiveros said...

Funny post. We're also off the google grid, but we only have two choices for directions - take Hwy 1 North or Hwy 1 South.
Rinda

Meghann said...

Wow you do live out in the sticks! I vote going through VA, NC and so on....

Cindy said...

I vote for short. I have two boys, 3 and 7, and the longer they are in the car, the harder it is on everyone, no matter the scenery. If you plan to stop and build in time to play, that's another matter. The winding routes are fine then and everyone is better able to appreciate them if they aren't dying to get out of their seats.

Beyone that, have you tried a really fabulous mix tape/CD/playlist? It can make an enormous difference. When I am on my own I listen to audio books (free from my library) on long drives, though that's not so easy with kids.

Then there's the DVD option, helpful for passengers, though not so much for the driver. Good luck!

Carrie/scrapchick said...

Good luck! lol Safe travels!

The Mom (aka Amy) said...

Love you blog. I have an award for you over on my blog.

http://theconfessionsofastay-at-home-mom.blogspot.com/2009/11/my-cup-runneth-over.html

Six Feet Under Blog said...

I'm the worse when it comes to directions.

The Mom (aka Amy) said...

Love you blog. I have an award for you over on my blog.

http://theconfessionsofastay-at-home-mom.blogspot.com/2009/11/my-cup-runneth-over.html