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Road trips: It’s not always the journey

By Staff | May 28, 2014

With summer coming up and talks of festivals, vacations and the like in the air, it’s time to touch on a subject near and dear to everyone’s hearts – namely, how we’re getting there. Since gas is still cheaper than airfare (barely) that means only one thing: ROAD TRIP!

I wish this phrase actually created as much excitement as the exclamation point suggests. See, I have a problem with road trips. It’s not going places – I like going places. It’s not driving – my driving is fine. Really. The worst thing I’ve done is dent my front fender on my parents’ car. And I like my car – it’s a Prius and a great little vehicle. No problems there.

The problem is I can get lost in a paper sack. It wouldn’t be a road trip with me if I didn’t get lost at least once.

And, yes, I have a GPS. I get lost anyway. That’s how bad it is.

I’ve been lost in Pittsburgh, where the traffic doesn’t go below 80 and every road is under construction. I’ve been lost in Chicago, the City of Left Turn Lanes, where 35 in town is a suggestion and not a well-heeded one. I’ve been lost in Detroit, where in order to make a left turn, you have to make four rights. I’ve been lost in Charleston, West Virginia and Ventura, California; in Iron Mountain, Michigan and Jamestown, New York. Don’t even get me started on Columbus, Ohio. I can’t seem to get through that city without making a wrong turn somewhere and I always miss my exit. Always.

It’s not like it’s just big cities I’m getting lost in either. Iron Mountain has only about 7,600 people in it. I even got lost in Ada, Ohio once, while I was going to college there. Ada has a population of about 5,800. You can walk the length of town in 15 minutes. And I never did find Greene Street.

They say, “It’s not the destination, it’s the journey.” I find this rather cliche and inadequate. The destination is often the point and spending an extra four hours in the car trying to get there is upsetting. Moreover, I think we should find whomever ‘they’ are and do something about ‘them’.

I suspect they work for Google Maps. We should start there.