Sometimes getting lost on purpose is some of the most fun you can have.
Armed with only a worn, torn road map (Sprint doesn’t service the area we were in well, so no Google maps for us) and my incredible sense of direction – that’s not sarcasm, I always know what direction I’m facing, it’s a convenience that Jacob finds creepy – Jacob and I made our way to his family reunion.
We ran into some road construction and followed the detour like good little Minnesotan travelers, that is, until we realized the detour was taking us over 60 miles out of our way. Then we decided to take our own route.
We had the map – the map that is about 10 years old, and my trusty navigator-fiance led us off the scheduled detour and onto our own detour.
Jacob was narrating directions from the map as we took in the sights of roads we had never driven before. I had a rough idea of where we were in reference to where we were supposed to be — and that was WAY way out of our way — but we were enjoying the rolling hills and deep green colors of the trees and varied lolling fields of crops, mostly corn or soy beans, with the occasional bright yellow heads of sunflowers starting to peek up through rows of tall green stems.
Jacob told me our next turn was to be a right onto highway 4 and as soon as I spotted the sign, I slowed and took the turn. After about five miles Jacob said, “I think we are on county 4, not highway 4.” Sure enough, in my over-eager state to get to our destination, I had made the turn on the wrong road. We briefly discussed if we should turn around or just find yet another route.
Since the road we were on wasn’t even on the map, we just started driving on any east-bound road we could find — all of which were gravel — until it came to an end, then went north until we found another road that went east, thinking that EVENTUALLY we would have to hit highway 4 and know just where we were again.
We never did find highway 4, but after a long series of gravel east-then-north-then-east-bound roads we came to a paved road that appeared to lead around a lake. The navigator told me to take a right – it was a pure guess – but a correct one!
Finally! The “Kuperus Family Reunion” signs that Jacob says his grandmother has been putting up for over 20 years, if not longer popped up on the edge of the road next to a sign pointing to a campground on Lake Koronis.
We were late arriving by about two hours after all our detouring, but as soon as we realized and accepted that we would be late, the ride was relaxing and enjoyable. The scenery was beautiful. We passed many old farmsteads that we fantasized about living in one day — when we grow up.
To quote a Deena Carter song, “The shortest distance between two points is a straight line…” but in my experiences, the most fun is the longer and uncharted of the routes, especially with your best friend by your side.