So if you are a happy explorer and have ventured into the hills and valleys of cottage country, then you better be prepared. Forget GPS and cellphones – despite all the open skies there is often satellite interference and stretches of miles where you are in the dead zone (cue creepy music) – no cell phone signals.
Driving through acres of forests, even on a secondary highway, that on any given day really doesn’t see too much traffic means you better be more ready than the Boy Scouts. No distinguishing landmarks, unless you think you can figure out one spruce from another, and houses that look abandoned, complete with rusted out old pick-up trucks sitting in the tall grass, until, you catch a glimpse of someone peering suspiciously at you, as you slowly drive by, are what you will see.
A pre-trip vehicle inspection is necessary, because gas stations and mechanics are few, and if you are unlucky and need roadside assistance, you may wait for hours before seeing a soul. Ensure your brakes are in fine working order, because if you suddenly round a corner, you’re more than likely going to meet a group of fellow travelers; it’s just that they are going in a different direction and will not be too helpful to you in your state of “lost in the back woods without a clue.”
Normally, these happy wanders aren’t too inclined to help – and if they are weary and spooked, you may just find yourself needing an insurance adjuster, after towing that is, to cap off your day. Gentle enough, these folk, but they aren’t the brightest of bulbs and are rather indecisive about their routes. You may have plans and places to be, but they really don’t care.
However, if you do manage to avoid this type of meeting, and continue along your way, be ready for the additional cost of new suspension and shocks, for it is certain that you will definitely leave asphalt for gravel – which in most cases, is a road that is minimally maintained, washes out into ruts worse than your Great Grandmother’s washboard, and there will inevitably be pot holes galore, forcing your driving skills to take on a new dimension – slalom on the slopes and straightaways.
My advice: generally country folk are hospitable enough – and if you manage to find an open corner store, chances are you will get the proper directions, including multiple variations with short-cuts and points of interest to consider. However, it has usually been my experience as witness, that by this point, you city folk are desperate and display sheer shock etched in pale faces, from your joy-ride thus far. Better to turn back and head home – if you can find your way, because for as much as we welcome the tourists, most are happy to see the tail lights of your vehicles, as you drive away.
WP Daily Prompt: Circuitous Paths: A stranger knocks on your door, asking for directions from your home to the closest gas station (or café, or library. Your pick!). Instead of the fastest and shortest route, give him/her the one involving the most fun detours.
Note: No stranger ever knocks on my door – no need for a doorbell when the girls are enough to cause anyone to stop dead in their tracks, even before leaving the road – which is private – as are most up here in cottage country. So strangers and knockers beware!