Harrowing Narrowing Peril

A while back we went to the second of three reunions my husband’s family holds each year.

Before we left, The Mister talked to me about directions and I was all, “Mmmhm, okay,” because I don’t know the ways. I like to stop for drinks at that McDonald’s in Spencer on the way home and I don’t like to take 69 because there is no place to pee. This is the extent of my knowledge on the trip. I have been down there more times than I can count in the last thirty years, but no, I do not know the way. In 1996, I attempted to drive to Granny’s house on my own and got terrible lost.

 
We were clear out in Morgan County when The Mister finally said, “This isn’t the way I wanted to go.”
Y’all remember how we used GPS to get to the lake last year?Β My husband did not learn from my mistake. IF YOU KNOW THE WAY, DO NOT USE THE GPS.
“Is this the way that takes 69?”
“Yeah.”
“Oh.”
“I selected the wrong directions. Pushed the wrong button.”
“I wondered.”
He decided we could get from one route to another.
“See how we get from here to 67.”
“Okay.” iΒ fucking hate navigating. just wanna look at the pretty trees and enjoy the fluffy clouds but oooookay

The GPS said we could drive through Gosport to Paragon Road.
Never, ever, ever do that. Never.

Initially, it was like drivin on any country road ever. The road wound around a series of farmhouses and secluded bungalows for miles and miles.

Then the GPS said we could take three minutes off the trip. The Mister asked me what I thought, and I said, “I literally know nothin bout where we are or where we’re goin so I cannot make an informed decision.”
He said, “Okay, let’s do it.”
Sassy said she felt weird, I said she’s too city. The Mister turned right and my heart jumped into my throat. Sassy and I said in unison, “Uh…”

dramatic-pause

Y’all, our driveway is wider than that road.

It’s important you understand I am not exaggerating. This is not hyperbole. The road was not wide enough for two cars. Like a one-lane bridge, but instead, a road we’d be on for more than seven miles.

To make matters worse, the shoulder had eroded significantly, pavement slipping off into ravines. The road was bumpy, paved and patched so long ago it was gray. When it wasn’t wooded, it was surrounded on both sides by corn taller than my car, so every time we took a corner, it was a leap of faith.

I regret I was not brave enough to take a video of our journey on the road to death, as I spent the better part of seven miles praying and cursing and gripping the Oh Shit Handle with my useless arthritic hand.

On the straight shots, I did contemplate the beauty of the road less taken, and I thought well, at least when some local yokel plows his sturdy truck into us, I will have had lovely scenery on the way to my death, but generally, my brain was paralyzed by fear.

My husband sped on those roads.
Grandpa Jake is inconsistent, he is. Just when you think he’s pokey as fuck, he whirls through parking garages or jets around on tiny country roads.
I knew he was stressed-out and probably some motorpool combat veteran brain took charge. I’m sure he thought the faster we got out, the better, but we were not in a tactical vehicle and I wanted out ALIVE.

shop_van

As all women know, from carrying that burden of always being right, it’s crucial to carefully select the situations in which we tell a man he’s wrong. (Too much is emasculating and too little is madness.) Thusly I said unto The Mister, in my most calm, direct, and logical tone, “You drive slower than this at home and those roads all have two lanes. You don’t know these roads. You can’t see anything. You need to slow down. Drastically.”

Then I added in a snarky way, “And I don’t ever wanna hear another peep about the way I drive at the lake, cause I know those roads like the back of my hand, they got two lanes, and I NEVER drive like this.”
Sassy uttered out, “Thank you.”

The Mister slowed down and we did make it to 67.

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Ever taken a harrowing detour or shortcut?

About joey

Neurotic Bitch, Mother, Wife, Writer, Word Whore, Foodie and General Go-To-Girl
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73 Responses to Harrowing Narrowing Peril

  1. eschudel says:

    Yes. The first trip Kevin and I ever took, not long into our now 23-year relationship. Before GPS and cellphones. We followed a map onto a dirt road in Wyoming (trying to get back to Idaho…long story…) that looked like it was part of a nuclear test site. Didn’t know if/when we would ever find a main road again. Pretty much like all of the zombie movies I’ve ever watched, ever! My aunt (whom we were visiting) said that if we survived that trip, we would last a long time. Guess she was right!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. marianallen says:

    OMG, yes, just about every time I use a GPS. Honest to God, I believe they’re programmed by zombies. They’re always taking me to roads like that, or cemeteries, or wastelands, or abandoned properties, or telling me to turn right when “right” is a cliff’s edge. Glad you got home okay!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. orbthefirst says:

    Id get me & my cousin lost all the time when I first moved here. Id call them “adventures.” He was less amused. I guess rolling hills, fields of corn & trees, pretty much all look the same at night. πŸ˜› Super fun when going down a dirt road for a mile or so that ends up being someones driveway.
    East & north are pretty spotty out here for cell service, so gps just dont work. Lol

    Liked by 1 person

    • joey says:

      I get that. I don’t mind an adventure, I do enjoy time off the beaten path, but I was truly in fear for my life! I actually wondered if we were in someone’s driveway now and again, totally. Just glad we got to 67!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. JT Twissel says:

    We ended up on a one lane route through untended hedges in Southern England because of a GPS. My husband couldn’t wait to return the car and we ended up cutting our tour of the south short.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I don’t trust GPSs. When I leave home, I have a FRESH colored laser printout of all the possible maps I could need there and back. I know they mean well…

    Liked by 1 person

    • joey says:

      But how do you read a map WHILE you drive?!?

      Like

      • I really, really hope you pull off to the side of the road.

        I think something in the process helps me engrave the details in temporary memory – long enough to get there, and decide if I need to store in permanent memory. So the printed maps are backup for the memory I formed while creating them – because GPS is not always your friend. I have said it’s crazy, and not followed it, more than once. I have been very patient when other people insist on following directions (unless I really need that gas station…).

        Like

  6. Sounds like the road to our cottage. Bill has become quite skilled in backing up. I have become quite skilled in silently wishing there were turnouts every so often. Sometimes it’s not so silent. πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Many times in the countryside of Greece. We never learn our lesson. 😁

    Liked by 1 person

  8. pluviolover says:

    The many roads less traveled, we have traveled. Been lost more times than I care to admit. Reason fer denial: I am a retired USAF B-52 Master Navigator (I’m temporarily disoriented. Never lost). My mantra was, “You can’t be lost if you don’t care where you are.” It’s way easier up there. Fun time for us now is having three GPSs going and they start to argue with each other. Wife instructs, “Pick one.” Then she says, “Oh, look! We’re goin’ on an adventure.” Then we become a tribe called, “We’re The Fugawee.”

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I’ve never used a GPS. Don’t even own one. I just kind of go on instinct. Even when I’m going a hundred miles into the wilderness, a paper map is my preferred method. Sounds like an adventure. Adventures are fun, in retrospect.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Phil Taylor says:

    LOL! I just had this experience last week when my GPS decided to take me through a one lane dirt road in the middle of nowhere in northern Pennsyltucky!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Not a fan of GPS..I’m a veteran map reader, and I love being the navigator…have done it across the US. The only time I ever got lost, was when on those narrow country roads…taking a shortcut that someone suggested. You were lucky to survive that 7 miles of one lane…yikes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • joey says:

      Yes we were fortunate! It felt surreal!
      We seldom use our atlas, but I can see one benefit to an atlas in these situations: That road would never appear on an atlas! πŸ˜› We weren’t lost, just terrified of being hit head-on!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. ghostmmnc says:

    We’ve never had a GPS thing, and have just used those huge fold out paper maps. You can never get them folded back again. Then, we never go anywhere to be getting lost on a trip. I get lost the most in my own neighborhood, with all the dead ends, or in a parking lot where I can’t find where I parked the truck! πŸ™‚ I hope your reunion was fun, at least!

    Liked by 2 people

    • joey says:

      The reunion was short and sweet πŸ™‚
      That’s a shame you get lost in your own neighborhood. I live on a dead-end street, so I see a lot of people come down, turn around, and head back out!
      If we’d used a paper map, this road wouldn’t even have appeared!
      Adventure is wonderful, afraid of every turn is NOT.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Benson says:

    I have never used GPS. I have a tough enough time with Google maps. My most harrowing drive involved an old VW, a winding goat path of a road in Mexico and a drunken woman. She was navigator.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Dan Antion says:

    I hope you are laughing about this by now, because I was laughing with you, the whole way.

    I have taken many shortcuts, GPS induced and those that I spied on a map or heard of from a friend of a friend. My wife balances the “I told you so” and “you’re wrong” pretty well. I still have my man-card, but we never complained too much about getting lost. God’s way of showing you new things, and all that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • joey says:

      God showed me some incredible dappled sunlight filtering through the trees that day, and it was by the grace of God we lived to laugh about it now, Dan. πŸ™‚
      I would NOT take a detour told to me by a friend. I think that’s a man-card item, right there!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Yeah–GPS is great when it works…not so great when it doesn’t. Once, when we were in the the Cotswolds, we got so lost that we ended up on a dirt road full of ruts–so bad we couldn’t open the doors very well. And, there were foxes and other critters running around. I was freaking out! I thought we were spending the night in the car. Luckily, Scott kept going–very slowly until we hit a hard surface road. After that little experience, I said GPS is fine….but NO gravel or dirt roads again! πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Jewels says:

    I’m glad you didn’t die! I just finished ordering paper maps for my little trip to watch the eclipse because I read somewhere that there may be issues with cell service and GPS stuff on account of the mass hordes of people that will be around the totality areas and the towers getting overloaded or some other sorcery, and I didn’t want to get lost in parts unknown. I will not be taking any roads that are not on the map…

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Matt Roberts says:

    I thrive on those harrowing death drives. If I’m going to die, that’s how I wanna go out. “He died doing what he loved. 60 on a one lane dirt road through God’s Country.”

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Erika says:

    Too bad you don’t have a dash cam.

    My husband is like that. He’ll go 67 on curvy roads that are marked 45 and should be 35. And then goes 43 in a 55. Drives me nuts, makes me anxious and bitchy.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Ally Bean says:

    Shortcuts I’m not good with, but when it comes to detours I’m a pro. In fact, in some ways, my whole life is a detour…

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Joanne Sisco says:

    I was with you the entire way on this journey! It’s happened more times than I care to remember on roads that looked more like a suggestion of a road rather than the real thing.
    Funny, I have the same reaction as The Mister’s. I want to speed up too. Yeah, the logic escapes me, but what can I say.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. larva225 says:

    My husband is an awful driver, and that’s on typical roads. I would not ride with him where you were. I just wouldn’t. To hell with that reunion.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. JoAnna says:

    I know what you mean about having to carefully select the situations in which we tell a man he’s wrong. If they only knew how often we hold back. You did good with your calm, rational tone. And you didn’t die.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Somehow I always get stuck as the navigator. Not the best job for the passenger who is anxiety-prone and prefers to read a book that look at all the ways we might die while traveling on the highway. On our trip to the beach this summer, the boys came in a separate vehicle and were following us. So then I had to navigate (the GPS did not go the way the hubby wanted, so he made last minute changes), make sure my son was still behind us, and stress about both vehicles being in some crazy traffic on the Interstate!! Glad you all made it safely through the narrow roads! I hate those type of roads.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. I am directionally impaired and go everywhere with the GPS. The best thing is the icon that says ‘go home’ because I know it will get me back. πŸ™‚ But, she’s taken us places we didn’t want to go before so then I get my phone out and she tells me how to go which means two female voices are fighting over which way we go. But, we haven’t been down a “I’m going to die road” in a long time. Glad you made it. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  25. I have visited a few patients that live right out in the sticks, and have been terrified along the skinny country lanes covered in slippery leaves as I have wound round and around to reach the top of a hill!
    I am glad that you survived your trip!! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  26. reocochran says:

    In Kentucky, yes!
    In West Virginia, yes!
    Only time I wasn’t nervous about a short cut was up in New England. There were no cliffs or eroding road when my Dad chose a good shortcut. Joey, you know when and how to say the things which work with your Mister. Thank goodness!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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