It’s really difficult to get lost these days. Not that I want to get lost but I also wouldn’t mind exploring unexplored territory, or at least having to rely on something other than technology to figure out where I am. I thought about this looking at Atlas Obscura’s map of “The Loneliest Road In Every State In America”. I have questions about that map, mainly since it just looked for the roads with the lowest average traffic. What about roads with the fewest houses, or the smallest number of places you can stop? I’ve never actually seen a filling station with a sign that said something like, “Last chance for gas next 100 miles”, but then I’ve never been to Death Valley, which seems to be where you find those.
At least I did have a small adventure the other night when I went out for a to-go order. We’re well into the time of year now when the sun sets early and the darkness that settles in seems so much deeper. I went out to pick up a to-go order from a Thai restaurant that’s in a small shopping center on a major road but, thanks to some weird urban planning, there aren’t any major intersections near it. To get there I have to wind through neighborhoods, something I didn’t really think about until I’d been on the road for about fifteen minutes and realized the way I was going wasn’t wrong but it was still taking me farther out of the way than I needed to go. It was a route I was taking out of habit, really.
Then, on the way back, with a couple of orders of curry and pad Thai as my copilot, I decided to take a different route, a way I’d never gone before, but, since it was roughly the right direction I thought I’d try it.
And I ended up disappearing down a series of cul-de-sacs and winding roads, through old neighborhoods of dimly lit houses set well back from the road. But almost every house had Halloween decorations in their yard. I may not have known where I was but I knew I was among my kind of people.