The Adult Bible Study Group at my church is comprised of some interesting characters. Nearly all of us are in the "over 50" category and, thus, have a lot of living under our belts. We get into some interesting conversations. Our group leader, one of our deacons, does his best to keep us in line, but along with learning a bit more about the Gospel reading for the day, we somehow learn more about each other. Not a bad thing, when you come to think about it. We share sometimes very personal information, and just like Las Vegas, what happens in Bible Study stays in Bible Study.
Blue Ridge Mountains - Photo from Wikipedia Commons
When I leave home, I drive east on Interstate 40 all the way through Tennessee, then turn north on I-81 along the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. I dog-leg a bit through some beautiful 'horse country' and on into the suburbs of Washington, D.C. to my sister's home. When I return, I usually just reverse directions and come back on the same highways.
On this particular trip, however, I decided to take a different route for the return journey. The route was through somewhat unfamiliar territory, down through West Virginia and into Kentucky. At the close of the first day, I found a hotel room in Elizabethtown, KY. While studying the map to plan the next day's journey, I decided that there must be an even shorter (and new) way to get home, and called a friend who frequently travels Kentucky, Tennessee and Arkansas to ask him for a recommendation. He told me "take U.S. Highway 412 when you get to Dyersburg, TN. It'll cut off 60 or 70 miles." OK, Gene, Highway 412 it is!
At dawn the next morning, -- I guess it was dawn; it was hard to tell through the heavy fog that had materialized overnight. The clock said it was time to be moving down the road, and it wasn't what you'd actually call "dark" outside, although I did have to use my headlights. So, I loaded up and headed out toward Dyersburg, TN and U.S. Highway 412, just like Gene told me to do.
Needless to say, by the time I back-tracked to where I should have turned (I'm stubborn that way), I drove a long way before I got back home! My desire for a short cut cost me about 4 hours and over 200 extra miles.
I don't think I'm quite ready to have my car and driver's license taken away, but I do more fully understand the stories about people who set out to go to Florida and end up in Canada. I don't intend to ever pull such a stunt again, even in a fog so thick I can't tell east from west! When I traded cars a year or so later, I was most adamant that it have a compass -- and I check it often!