Uncharted Territory

Monday was a busy day for me and my friend. She had a PT appointment in Waconia, and then we had to drive to Hutchinson to do some shopping.

I grew up in the far southwest corner of the state, and I have to admit I have never been in or even heard of most of the towns I have driven through on this trip. My parents never took trips to the Twin Cities unless it was a dire emergency. They weren’t lake or resort people, unless you count my dad’s fishing trips to Lake of the Woods. Sunday drives with my parents involved looking at the crops in the counties around Luverne. I am not used to driving on curvy roads, in heavy traffic, or around large stands of trees. I have lived in the west of North Dakota so long that I get a little nervous not being able to see 20 miles ahead of me to see where I am going.

My friend decided that we would take a different route to Hutchinson, one that was not the direct route from Waconia, and I tried my best to follow her directions. My friend is absolutely terrible at giving directions. She says in 500 words what could be said in 50. She was equally as frustrated with me for not understanding immediately what she meant. I am happy to say we made it without too much rancor, but I think in the future I shall insist on the voice of reason and calm from Google maps. We may end up in a lake but at least “the voice” speaks concisely.

How are you at giving and taking directions? What did “Sunday” drives entail when you were a child? What is you favorite part of Minnesota to explore?

35 thoughts on “Uncharted Territory”

  1. directions r us
    i drive these days and live with google maps chirping in my ear
    i hate waze maps
    i give great directions but it’s the two miles to the red barn and a left at the wal mart kind of directions favorite part of the state is absolutely up around ely with winona and brainerd lakes close behind
    sunday drives didn’t exist but back in vw bus days every day was sunday drive day
    it was my meditation and with gas at 29.9 it was good therapy for about a dollar

    Liked by 7 people

  2. Itasca State Park is a big part of me. In fact, I have directed my cremated ashes be poured out at the Mississippi headwaters.
    I haven’t given anyone directions in years. The directions given me by the computer lady have never failed. Trust.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Wow, beautiful song! One of the best I’ve heard in a LONGGGGG time. Thanks, Wes.

      My “computer lady” is only right about 90% of the time. Makes it interesting in a big city I’ve never been to. 😉


      Liked by 3 people

  3. I retired to Holland, MI after 36 years in Taiwan. Taiwan is only the size of Lake Michigan, but it is home to over 23 million people, and about 13,000 convenience stores. The worst direction-giving in Taiwan is to have someone say, “turn left at the 7-eleven store”. Now, ensconsed in Holland, MI, the equivalent is “turn left at the church.” There are slightly more than 30,000 residents in this 17 sq mile city, which makes it feel rural compared to Taiwan (where, a city this size would house 750,000), but the number of churches seems roughly equivalent to the number of convenience stores in my former home.

    Liked by 7 people

    1. YIKES! Holland, MI is just slightly larger than Winona, MN, where we moved 6 years ago (after 30 years in Twin Cities). I’ll have to say I can’t imagine 750,00 here, Aboksu! Is there any place rural in Taiwan that feels rural?

      Liked by 3 people

    2. I can’t imagine what it’s like to have moved, after 36 years in a place like Taiwan, to a relatively small town in Michigan. How does that feel? Do you miss the hustle and bustle of Taiwan? I have so many questions I’d love to ask you, Aboksu. As an immigrant who has lived in the US over fifty years, I can’t imagine what it would be like to move back “home.” I’d love to hear more about how you’ve experienced this transition.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. I’m originally from suburban Los Angeles, so living among millions was not too much of a shock when I moved to Taiwan in 1976. The Holland, MI thing is what I married into. Retirement was more of a shock, though. Suddenly having to figure out what a day should contain took a while.
        Prior to retiring, we received Taiwan citizenship (Taiwan is an independent nation, by the way.) So, being from Los Angeles, then from Taiwan, I am not “back home” here. I’m just here. But I like it well enough. Besides, we acquired cats, so we can’t go away.

        Liked by 5 people

        1. The younger brother of a very dear friend of mine lives in Taiwan and has since 1972 (if I remember correctly). He visits here about every five years or so, but has no plans to return permanently to the US. My friend passed away five years ago, so I doubt that I’ll ever see him again.

          Liked by 3 people

  4. I am thankfully pretty good at taking and giving directions – have that “map in my head” thing.

    Our Sunday drives, if any, often took us from Storm Lake, IA (till I was 11) to see my Sioux City grandparents. This was before there was some 4-lane hwy. and we went through Alta, Aurelia, Cherokee… LeMars…(which Jacque talks about), and finally the Morningside suburb of S.C. I remember parts of these little towns we drove through, and would love to drive the route one more time.

    My favorite part of MN has been right here in Southeast, but now that that’s so available, I’d love to explore some places I’ve never spent time in – Pipestone, Cloquet, Ely, the “big empty”…

    Liked by 4 people

  5. I’ve been told that I give perfect directions. I just give the facts and always give the name of the road, if I know it. I rarely use gps or google maps unless I’m looking for a specific address in an unfamiliar town. I love Minnesota and Wisconsin and I love exploring, so it’s very hard for me to get lost in all of central through eastern Minnesota and much of Wisconsin. I’m also getting familiar with northeastern Iowa and northwestern Illinois. I don’t like freeways at all. I feel trapped and frightened in high-speed, congested areas. So, I choose the blue highways. I’ve learned how to get to my aunt’s home in Rockford Illinois without taking a four-lane highway. Galena Illinois is lovely, by the way!

    We enjoyed going for drives when I was young. Dad poured himself a cocktail, Mom frowned about it but didn’t dare say anything, and we three kids fought for the window seat in the back seat. We often went down to our woods in southwestern Steele County where we could get out and explore our woods. Once we drove out to the Badlands, and once we drove to Yellowstone. We sometimes went up to Lake Winnibigosh where my great uncle and aunt had a cabin and went fishing. Other times we drove to Gull Lake near Brainerd where my grandparents had a year-round “cabin.” I always loved those trips. I think that’s where I got my love for exploring.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Like tim, Sunday drives weren’t a thing in my family when I was a kid. We didn’t have a car. (Dad bought his first car, a used VW bug, when I was twenty and no longer lived at home.) For us, Sunday excursions were bicycle rides to the beach, or a nearby woods for a picnic, or perhaps to the countryside in to forage for wild mushrooms – weather permitting, of course. More likely a Sunday pastime was a long hike just for the sake of getting some fresh air. I thought these walks with my parents, especially during my teens, incredibly boring.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Kelly and I often take Sunday drives around the farm with the gator. Just checking on crops or field conditions or whatever.
    As a kid, I remember lying in the back window while Mom and Dad drove around. (Heck, I can’t believe I was small enough to lie in the back window! Safety be damned!)
    I have pretty good driving recall; at least to the general area, I may need google maps to find the specific house. Don’t like Apple maps for whatever reason; it’s just what we get used too I think. But I need the visual; I want to see the map first. Kelly navigates and does real good. But when she’s following Google, I don’t know why Google thinks I need to turn here, when I know the road goes straight through and that drives me nuts and then I don’t believe Kelly and that drives her nuts and we all get mad. It’s not good. I’ve learned to keep my mouth shut and do what she says. But I don’t need to like it I guess.

    I do enjoy taking random drives or roads. Dad always said “You can’t get lost; eventually you’ll run into I35 or I90 or the Mississippi.” So that’s how I drive. Kelly grew up taking trips with her Aunt and Uncle and they had the Trip Tix things from AAA. You take this road to here, turn here, take this road. So those two methods don’t mix.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. I made it to Fargo. Most of I 94 is closed to the west.

    I realize that my friend’s issue with giving directions is part of what I have come to see as a problem in verbal expression. She uses her hands as a a way of communicating what she is trying to say. It is difficult to drive, watch the road, and watch her hand gestures at the same time. The next time I am with her I am going to challenge her to have a conversation with me while she sits on her hands.

    Liked by 5 people

  9. HELP! Somehow I fell off the mailing list after April 7. I can still get to the site by clicking on archives but may not be getting all the blogs as there are missing days. Can I get back on the mailing list for Trail Baboons?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I didn’t know there was a mailing list if you go to safari or google chrome or whatever you use and punch in Trail baboon it will pop up and you can punch in and see what the topic of the day is and respond with a post if you’d like

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I feel as I get more directionally-challenged with age. I never remember getting lost and/or turned around as a kid driving around suburban St. Louis. But these days it seems as if I manage to lose my way quite easily. Maybe I’ll try Waze because google maps often gets me in trouble – it shows my turn off aways and then suddenly I should have turned already. I’m actually pretty sure this is google’s fault because they screen changes perspective as you get closer. But it doesn’t alter the fact that I’m not good at directions.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. My family didn’t have a tradition of Sunday drives. I try not to use more gas than I have to, but sometimes if I’m in the car with a good story on an audiobook, it’s tempting to just go wandering.

    I don’t use GPS much – entering the address seems like it’s more trouble than it’s worth. I look up the map before I leave. Like Ben, I want to have the visual.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. i need the visual gps not the verbal
      the verbal is not a throw away because my mind wanders and i sometimes hear it tell me to turn 5 times before i drive by … then it registers as i’m driving past the turning point


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