Monday, March 30, 2015

Technically Lost

34 minutes. That's what the GPS app on my phone said the trip down to the nature park would take. We'd been there before, but not for years because of the annoying policy about dogs on the boardwalk trail, which is definitely the best walk in the park. Even so, the warmish weather and sunshine called for an outing, and this place seemed like a good choice.

As we headed south into outer suburbs we don't often frequent, I checked my memory against the step-by-step directions my phone was spewing. Sure, traffic patterns change-- roads are widened, lots are developed, but midway there I wondered at what possible evolution might be guiding our route. On we drove, though, and when at last we turned into a subdivision of squat red brick ranch houses that seemed untouched since 1968, I knew that we were either going the best way ever, or we were completely off track.

Three blocks and a left turn later, the GPS told us we had arrived. Sure, there was grassy field and some woods beyond, but we were on a dead-end street in a sketchy neighborhood. I pulled over, and phone in hand sought to make sense of our location, but time and again, the map app insisted that we had arrived.

Finally I gave the screen a vicious pinch and scanned the network of roads around us. The names were unfamiliar, but there was something about the dog leg that one of them took on the far side of the shaded green area that represented our desired destination that jogged some distant memory, and with that I snapped off the phone and headed out, my own navigator once more.

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