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Getting lost

The caller who cannot remember directions he gets when lost remind me of some stories.

I was driving in Virginia once and I was looking for the turn to Rt 3. When I figured I had missed it, I stopped at a convenience store to ask for directions. The woman behind the counter must have thought I was joking so she gave me directions.

After six miles and four turns, I got on Rt 3 and a minute later drove through the intersection I had gone through earlier, just a half block from the convenience store, but from another direction.

Apparently, someone stole the sign showing the right turn I should have taken at that intersection.

I was once in NYC looking for Radio City Music Hall. My friend and I knew we were in the right vicinity, but had walked blocks and blocks and blocks not quite finding it. As we were rounding one corner we saw an NYPD officer - walked over and asked where it was. He looked at us like we were idiots, then just averted his eyes directly over our shoulders. There was RCMH and its big blazing sign a half a block behind us.

Been lost in Newark NJ, Roxbury MASS, and a few other nice neighborhoods.

But the day I spent with a friend trying to find Boston Children’s Hospital was the worst. You simply cannot get there from anywhere. Boston gets my vote for the most screwed up road system with the worst signage.

In Albuquerque NM if you miss your turn, or if you know it’s over ‘that way’, all you have to do is go to the next major avenue and head that way…you’ll find it sure enough just by gridding down and over.

In Portland Oregon, however, you can NOT ‘‘get there from here’’ ! Even if you can see it from here, you go down one block and turn in that direction, before you know it you’ve turned several different corners and you’re now headed west instead of north and this street doesn’t got that way any more !
Geez, I’ve never been so frustrated driving anywhere more than Portland Or.

Many, many years ago, when I was working a summer job as a gas jockey at a Citgo station on the NJ Turnpike, a car drove in bearing a very frustrated-looking couple. In addition to needing gas, they asked me for directions to Exit 9 of the Turnpike. Since our station was located very close to Exit 16, since we were on the southbound side of the turnpike, and since the exit numbers are (duh!) sequential, I simply told them to stay on the turnpike for approximately 25 miles and they would come to Exit 9.

The man replied that they had just driven north on the turnpike all the way from Delaware (Interchange #1), and had not seen Exit 9 anywhere as they headed north. Apparently, when they got to the area of Exit 16, they left the turnpike, turned around, and re-entered the pike in a southbound direction. I simply suggested that they take careful note of the exit numbers as they retraced their steps in a southbound direction, and that they would pass exits 15, 14, 13, 12, 11, and 10, and that a few miles after exit 10, they would find exit 9. With a questioning expression on his face, the man drove off.

Well, about an hour later, I saw a car heading into the station via the special “crossover” that only the state troopers and state maintenance vehicles could use to access our southbound station from the northbound lanes of the turnpike. And–you guessed it–this was the same car with the same two confused people.

The man told me that they had driven south as far as exit 7, turned around, drove back north, and still could not find exit 9 on either the southbound leg of their drive, or again when they headed back north. He virtually pleaded with me to tell him how to find exit 9. The first thing that I did was to look carefully to see if there might be a hidden camera, since this was beginning to seem like a Candid Camera “set-up”. However, there was no evidence of anything unusual in the car, other than these two strangely disoriented people.

I once again assured him that exit 9 existed, that the numbers were sequential, and I suggested that, for some strange reason, he and wifey must have become distracted each and every time that they had been in the vicinity of exit 9. While it was very unlikely that they could have been distracted at just the wrong point every time that they passed exit 9 (and, by my count, this made 3 attempts on their part), I had nothing else to offer.

I also cautioned him against using the “Official Vehicles Only” access roads of the NJ Turnpike, as stiff fines were imposed for this infraction. Looking ever more doubtful, they left once again in their quest for the elusive exit 9.

Well, you guessed it. About an hour later, they drove into the station once again, looking lost. I took one look, shouted to another station attendant that I was taking my afternoon coffee break, and left the other personnel to deal with this terminally confused couple.

And, lest you think that this couple was suffering from age-related dementia, they appeared to be in their early 30s, did not smell of alcohol, and did not appear to be under the influence of any substances–at least to my naive 20 year-old mind.

This couple had to be the weirdest people whom I encountered while working on the NJ Turnpike.

It’s very easy to get lost on the interstate if the lane you’re in becomes the exit ramp with no real warning. I’m sure Joseph Meehan can attest to this, but I-270 in Columbus, Ohio has got to be one confusing freeway to travel to those not familiar with it. I met up with a friend in the southwest part of Columbus and was making my way to Easton(north east side). We drove separately and I didn’t take one of his friends with me to help guide me around. Big mistake as I pretty much lost site of the guy as soon as we turned onto 270.
I got into the right most lane since I figured I’d eventually pass the exit ramp and I didn’t want to slow traffic down too much trying to look for it. Well, I didn’t know the lanes became exit lanes, so I wound up in Pickerington asking for directions

Reason # 48 for having a good GPS.

As a freelance writer, I always have a pad of paper and a pen or pencil on me. Whenever I get directions, I always write them down. The caller who owns Van Gogh, however, sounds like a visual learner. He should keep a pad of paper and a pen or pencil in his glovebox, and when he’s getting directions, he should ask the person to draw a map.

I didn’t even have a ell phone at the time. Still don’t have a GPS, but I do have a cell phone now. :stuck_out_tongue:

I moved to Cincinnati Ohio and lived in Northside. Every day for at least two weeks I’d miss the exit to get home, which was the last one before crossing the bridge and entering Kentucky. Every single day I’d end up crossing the river and into Kentucky I’d go. The first day I managed to stay in Ohio, I was so excited I called my Mom.

Everytime we get in the car to go somewhere we haven’t been the kids doubt we will ever get there. And with good reason, I regularly get lost in what is said to be the easiest city to navigate, Chicago. Since its streets are on a grid, you’d think I’d have no trouble esp. since I have been driving here for over a decade.

Once when I tried to go the pediatricians for an emergency visit a three mile drive took over an hour and a half. The doctor’s office wondered where we were, my husband feared we’d been in a wreck. To my credit it was one of those funky streets that end and then start someplace else for no rhyme or reason.

Then there was the time we couldn’t find Chinatown, so we went home and took the L!

I believe my town is known for it’s one way streets. Not easy to get around when you need to be 30 feet from the intersection, but you can’t go left because it’s a one way street.

I’m a member of the group that has been led astray by my GPS. I won’t reveal the brand but will say it was a mapping GPS and I think I’ve had it for 7 or 8 years. Once it really sent me for a loop of new recovery in Kankakee, Illinois. Then there was the magnificent turn around(ssss) on the way returning to home during about an 8 hour road trip that extended to 9.5 or 10 because of the diversions. Really good wrong turn on the many high speed ribbons in the chicago land area.

I sure miss those big folding maps they used to give away at all the gas stations.

Have a Great Day,