Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Two Wrongs do NOT make a Right

Two wrongs do Not make a right, but three lefts certainly do...
I am infamous around these parts for my terrible sense of direction. I take my fair share of ribbing for being completely at the mercy of my Garmin whenever I travel more than 15 miles from home. That's ok, because this is one of those rare subjects where I engage in absolutely no denial or self-deception. Yes ladies, I am the reason our fair sex has the reputation it does when it comes to directions- but at least I have no trouble asking for directions (or help), (even from a GPS that will randomly shout "recalculating" or "make a u-turn", regardless of the fact that I have been following it's directions exactly. But yes, I do draw the line at "turning right" when I am in the middle of a bridge.)
Well, this sheep mentality almost got me in trouble last night.
You are all familiar with that little gadget on the right side of my blog that identifies me as a member of "Mutts of Manassas". We are simply a group of local dog owners who try to think up interesting/ scenic walks to do together. It encourages us to do more than the customary, boring , walk around the block- alone with our dogs. And gives both owners and dogs the opportunity to socialize.
We have been doing a "group" walk at James S. Long Park in Haymarket, VA for months now. Our regular route has always been to simply circle the park around all the ball fields, (see all those green rectangles above) about 1 1/2 mile or so I believe. Of course with the start of school, all those fields have been crawling with kids belonging to assorted sports teams (especially at 6:45 PM- our usual walk time).
I am not exactly sure how to make this long story short (and it is a LONG story) -but after passing the first path that leads into the woods, and coming upon the second- we decided to veer off our normal "perimeter" path and walk a bit in the woods away from the crowds. We planned to simply turn left and return via the first path we had passed. (Seemed logical enough). But 45 minutes later, (as it was getting dark), it was rather apparent that those of our group who claimed to have a "good" sense of direction where not helping our situation. Poor Alaina ,who had seen markers for the local cross country team (and HAD suggested we follow them at the time), wanted to retrace our steps to try to find and follow the markers. But luckily right about this time we saw a pond, and then the backs of some houses.
Well my Momma didn't raise no fool-it was seriously getting dark at this point - I was determined to go towards the light (streetlight/ porch lights, that is) and no one was getting me back into those woods. After cutting through the yards of a couple multi-million dollar homes we had found an unfamiliar gravel road, and were still totally lost. Thus, it was time to knock on a random door and ask for directions. We were told we were on Lightner Road, approximately 3 miles from the park (and still going in the opposite direction from that first path we were trying to reach by the way).

This lovely gentleman (upon whose door we knocked) offered to pile all of us (dogs included) into the back of his truck and bring us back to the park. Normally I would be STRONGLY against taking a ride from a stranger, but in this case it was preferable to wandering around in the dark.
From now on I will be sticking to my neighborhood, the park "perimeter", and places where I can use my Garmin.


Angela said...

Yikes...glad everything worked out! Don't worry, I have to go somewhere 10 times before I remember how to get there on my own and (according to Tracy) I'm famous for turning a short story into a long one!

Never Say Never Greyhounds said...

I have no sense of direction either. I am always the last to get technology, but I have finally asked for a GPS for Christmas.


gyeong said...

Glad you guys made it back safely. Hero probably thought he was in a marathon :)

Ann said...

Sounds like something I'd do! I have a love/hate relationship with that stupid GPS...urhg! The roads in this state are so...uhm...curvy???... that I depend on her, tho.

When you take your walks, are your dogs on-leash? I'd love to join you sometime, but my dog's not always the most social gal. Better on-leash, generally. (not to actually walk, she's a horrid puller - but getting-along wise)