The Fellowship Of The Blog – Episode Seven

Day 4/Part 1 – I Shoulda Stood In Bed

Cordelia’s Mom was a joy to visit.  We would do it again in a heartbeat; in fact we may do so, next year, on a weekend, so that we could also meet Cordelia, her Dad, and her sister.  Buffalo is only a two-hour drive, as opposed to four, for Detroit.  But the primary goal of this trip was always to meet John Erickson, especially after his recent, uncharacteristic, internet silence.

Online maps said that it was an hour and a half, from our motel to John’s place.  Add slowdown because of road construction, and the possibility (Certainty!) of getting lost, and it might take three hours.  Allow time for meet and greet, and another four-hour drive to Detroit – it was going to be a lonnng day, so we were up and ready to leave early.

I lamented to the checkout clerk that there was no way to get around the potential traffic jam.  “Oh sure there is.  Just go to the edge of town and turn north on Ohio 23.  It’ll take you right to Newcomerstown.”  Sure enough, the flat print map showed a gently curving line, sweeping at a tangent, right to where we wanted to go.

The Map is not the Territory.  I’d have done better, both on the car, and on the wife, to have chanced the backup on the Interstate.  Any resemblance between Ohio 23, and an actual highway, was purely coincidental.  The optimistic hour and a half stretched to well over two hours.  Not once in that time did I drive the car faster than 40 MPH.

The Golden Dragon roller-coaster at Six Flags might have had more twists, and stomach-turning, heart-stopping plunges.  The only thing that narrow little road didn’t have, was a loop-the-loop, and I’m not entirely certain of that.  The poor wife was shaken and rattled in every arthritic joint.  She ached!

Miss GPS was having another snit because I insisted on taking the back road.  She wouldn’t even RECALCULATE, and kept insisting that I return to the Interstate, so we turned her off.  As we slid under I-77, and neared John’s house, I turned her back on again.

“Turn right on Highway 21, and immediately left on County road 49.”  Well, that might take us in the back way, but I know that John lives just off Highway 93, so I proceeded further west.  Sure enough, in 3 more kilometers, she said, “Turn right on 93, and proceed 7.2 km.”  There, she ordered me to, “Turn left on Highway 2.”  It was a gravel road, barely wide enough for an Amish wagon, so I proceeded further north – till the paved highway ran out, and I turned onto the far end of “Highway 2.”

Lost and Confused Signpost




If I thought I was lost yesterday, the Hell was just beginning.  Already off ‘the paved road’, we soon left gravel again for a dirt road, and finally, in the middle of a ten or twelve mile loop, drove across an acre of grass field, with two ruts in it.  If the Amish drive their buggies this way, they have to use mares or geldings, because a stallion would high-center.  All I could hear was my new $400 muffler going clang, clang, clang.

We finally reached paved road again, the correct paved road, as it happens.  I turned north, and soon reached a church and a cheese factory which I knew were north of John.  Turn around and head south again, soon we finally reached John’s little cluster of houses.

After three hours without a rest stop, both of us had to go – badly.  There’s no There, there.  I pulled in, and asked the lady who runs the two-pump gas station/convenience store/bait, tackle, and hunting shop, about a public washroom.  She just looked at me strangely, until the bearded stunt co-ordinator for Duck Dynasty explained to her that, “Some peoples is got they privies inside t’ buildin’s.”






With the possible exception of BrainRants, I swear never to turn off the paved road again.  These folks are so off the beaten track, that Friday the thirteenth doesn’t occur until Sunday.  A lot of them are happy when they reach 21 – because not just everyone’s IQ goes that high out there.  When John and his wife moved in, the average rose considerably, but the same could be said about a load of pumpkins.

After the pit stop, we met John and his wife at their impressive country mansion, and were warmly welcomed, but that, again, is a story for another day.  We left John’s place and turned south on 93.  It did not, at all, resemble the road we’d driven north on.  It did resemble the Highway 93 I’d used Google Street-View to research.

When we popped back out onto the east/west feeder highway, I turned back east and, only a couple of miles up the road, I found County Road 93.  This was the one that Evil Ethel Snitfit had led me astray on.  Way to go, Ohio, put two roads, both numbered 93, right beside each other.  No wonder Rants badmouths Nohio.  😦


19 thoughts on “The Fellowship Of The Blog – Episode Seven

  1. BrainRants says:

    GPS systems sometimes are wrong, I’ve found the hard way.


  2. 1jaded1 says:

    Egad, good thing you made it and didn’t hear dueling banjos at your rest stop. Driving through Nohio isn’t fun at all. Looking forward to the next installment.


    • Archon's Den says:

      Five whole strings on a banjo?? I don’t think any of this lot could handle that. They’d need to keep at least one finger free for exploratory nasal surgery. A ukulele, maybe.

      Driving anywhere, when you’re lost, isn’t much fun. The views were pastoral and quite pretty, but we had other, far more important, things to do. One, next installment, coming up. 😆


  3. This story reminds me of the time my husband and I took a wrong turn on the way to Malone, NY. The 4-lane became a 2-lane, which became a 1-lane and finally just two tire tracks like you describe. It was the dead of winter and the middle of a snowstorm. As we rounded a curve, there were two huge bucks standing right in the middle of the tire tracks, and a hand-printed sign on a tree saying privet proptry keep out. How my husband managed to do a 3-point turn without landing in the ditch or hitting the deer is something I’ll never understand, but he did and we eventually did get back to civilization without being shot in the process. But it was a very unnerving experience.


    • Archon's Den says:

      I don’t take pleasure in the travails of others but, it’s nice to know this shit happens to people, not named ME.

      Like my comment above, the views sound impressive – Two bucks, Wow! But you also had other things to do. Now I gotta go look up where Malone, NY is. 😕


      • Along the northern border somewhere. All I remember is that our own car died on the way, and we had to rent a car in Syracuse. I do remember that when we FINALLY crested the hill going into Malone, it looked just like a Christmas card village.

        Wasted trip, anyway, my husband did not get the job he was interviewing for, after all of that.


      • Archon's Den says:

        Yes, any farther north and you’d have been Canadians. 😯

        I used my map research to see where I went wrong, coming off the Peace Bridge. ‘David St.’ consists of the paved parking/driving area just beyond the customs booths. It doesn’t become a ‘street’ till you find the exit hole in the fence, way over in the left corner, instead of the obviously visible one directly ahead, which goes in the wrong direction. Now that I think that I’m smarter than Ethel GPS, I won’t make that mistake again. 😕


  4. […] his most recent post, Archon indicates there may be plans afoot for another meet-and-greet next year.  Trust me, I will […]


  5. aFrankAngle says:

    Having been there and being familiar with that side of my state, your journey of twist and turns took me back in time.

    Meanwhile, the summer I had a GPS incident that took us over the hill and then some. When leaving, I knew all we had to do was turn left, and the road would end at the highway we wanted (10 km or so). But, the GPS had another idea … turn right … and the strange journey was underway.


    • Archon's Den says:

      Did you ever find your way back? Oh wait – of course you did. 😀

      I see you wrote in kilometers for my benefit. Learning to speak Canajun, eh?? 😕


      • aFrankAngle says:

        The distance was an easy estimate. … Meanwhile, I wasn’t happy with Larry (my wife’s name for the Aussie voice male) … well, actually Lawrence. … but once committed in a strange land, gotta stay with him.


  6. garden2day says:

    Sounds like you were taking a risk with the natives (lol). I’m waiting for the day when someone comes out with their gun pointed at me..I hope I never see it but I wouldn’t be too shocked. Glad you made it–no thanks to Ethel. 🙂


  7. benzeknees says:

    Our GPS sometimes drives me nuts too! We are starting to getting used to driving in Edmonton & in some cases we can actually find our way without GPS help. But because we are not taking the route the GPS wants us to take (but our preferred route), it keeps telling us to make a u-turn for kilometers.


    • Archon's Den says:

      We fare much better when I have a clear previous mental picture of where we are, and where we’re going. That having two adjacent roads, both numbered ’93’, kinda threw me. 😯
      I recently asked a map program how to get to where the grandson started working, so that I could pick him up. It took me down Highways 401, and 24. Since I’ll be doing it at 2 AM, there’s no traffic, so I ‘clicked and dragged’ to show the route through town. It allowed me to get there (by map), but then just ran the projected route back out to the highways, and in the back way. 🙄


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