A problem with rural life

Directions.

I live in the middle of nowhere. There is a town to the east of us and a tiny town south west of us in a 20 mile radius. If you double and add some to that radius you get a larger town north of us and a small city south of us. There is one main road connecting all 4 places and we live about 12 miles from that. Everything else is winding country roads. We don’t exist on Google or Mapquest. Our address comes up about a mile & half from where we actually live and on a different dirt road in another county. Directions from that spot to the main road include this bit “turn left onto unnamed dirt road 0.7 miles” which is totally bogus. The road has a name and if you drive about 50 yards further there is a perfectly good paved road that parallels ‘unnamed dirt road’.

The kennel we are putting the dog in while on vacation has a similar problem. (Athena does not stay on her lead run, she gets out of every collar & harness ever made & then disappears for a few hours & turns up again around 4pm. We don’t want to stress out the house sitter with worrying about the dog getting loose & whether she will ever come back. The cats just hang out in the yard). They say on their website basically – “Google us for directions? Good luck with that.” and then spell out different ways you can get to them from the various towns in the area. (including helpful bits like ‘if the bridge is flooded out, go back to this road…) What we can’t figure out is if there is a more direct way or which of the two nearest places should be our starting point. We have to pick up the directions midway in whichever we choose but I wish I could figure out the mileage so I knew which was shorter. The road we’d meet up with from the south town does seem like it goes on forever but I think that is because it’s just the one road, then just one turn there at the end (well, not the end but the road the kennel is on, 3.2 miles later). If we met up with the road in the east town directions there are 3 other roads we’d have to turn on before that last one, which keeps things from seeming to take so long.

I’ve been moving routes around on google maps, getting from the general area of my house to the turn for the road to the kennel, which are at least locations google can find, but it can’t seem to make up it’s mind how I should get there and knowing it will not make the 50 yard change to a paved road I distrust everything it says. It says it’s only 15 miles away but should take anywhere from 43 to 47 minutes to get there. Which leads me to suspect there are dirt roads involved

Tomorrow I have to sort out how to get to Florida. Do I go to I95 and straight down to Jacksonville or do I drive through Virginia, meander into North Carolina, then using various interstates, finally meeting up with I95 near the Georgia border? Do I cut across Florida at Jacksonville and pick up I75 somewhere north of Tampa? Continue down 95 to I4 and take it across to I75?  Or do I head south from Orlando to Immokalee and then from there over to Naples? Could I just avoid Tampa and Orlando somehow? The trip, on paper could take 17 to 19.5 hours depending on changes. I just find endless I95 boring, though really ‘get on I95 in Washington DC, drive 850 miles to I4, make a left’ makes it hard to get lost. And we regularly get lost driving through the small towns on the US & state routes in Virginia and Florida. Last year we drove a half hour in the wrong direction around Immokalee after turning around because we though we had originally been headed the wrong way, though it turned out we weren’t. Interstate travel keeps that from happening.

But it’s so dull.

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