The story begins with Troutbirder hearing reports of flooding on the Mississippi River. How bad was the flooding he wondered. So, I headed north to check out my favorite fishing landing on a widening of the Mississippi river called Lake Pepin. The small town adjacent is known as Lake City.
The route from my hometown of Spring Valley headed straight north 60 some miles through Rochester Minnesota and on to Lake City. The highway was State highway 63, however, 63 changed its name in Rochester to Broadway so I kept on Broadway still heading north for about 10 miles when state 63 reappeared again in the middle of a roundabout. This was and is a fairly rare device in rural southeastern Minnesota. Thus, I was back on 63 and arrived in Lake City to check out the floodwaters. They were quite high flooding streets in town and putting my often used boat landing under about 10 feet of water..
Turning around again intended to stop and spend the rest of afternoon bringing a Lily and myself to visit Mrs. T and all of Lily’s new friends in MEMORY Care. It didn’t work I got lost……… Using the roundabout. I had forgotten that highway 63 had disappeared and reappeared and I followed the road on which it had reappeared from. Big mistake.
I drove some miles before it dawned on me that I had never been on this road before. Well, I thought I knew I would have to go south and then perhaps a little east to catch highway 52 coming south to Rochester from the Twin Cities. Bad idea I don’t have a iPhone I don’t have a compass and the compass navigator on the dashboard wasn’t working. So now it’s raining cloudy and there are no signs telling me which way is Rochester nor any names of other towns I was familiar with. They just tell me the names of county roads I’ve never heard of so I wandered and wandered and wandered I couldn’t even jump out of the car and determine north by seeing which side of some big oak trees grew Moss or look in the sky to see which direction the sun was moving and so on and so on. There were lots of darkened farms, no traffic. I was in the hill and valley country of Olmsted County. I could have been lost in the wilderness which I’ve been in many times in northern Canada and the boundary waters wilderness of northern Minnesota. After miles of driving I came to a new elementary school called Pine Island. I knew that town was near the four-lane highway 52 heading south to Rochester so I kept going and came to a dead end and had to turn around. That was followed by two small towns with names I’ve never heard of and no businesses or anything open where I could inquire for directions. Finally, many miles later I came to a building which I had seen about an hour before. Mmmm. I’m going in circles in an agricultural area with hills and valleys and there are no signs of anything that could give me a clue except county road numbers going in four different directions.
Then a miracle that is a business with lights on and it was open. Arriving at the site, I pulled over and went into the Douglas bar and Grill. There were four guys, a bartender and three customers sitting at the bar and drinking beer. I tried to sidle over to the bartender quietly, but of course everybody was watching this stranger as I came in and wondering who he was. Not one to beat around the bush, I spoke loud enough for everyone to hear and told the bartender I had gotten lost someplace back up the road in one of those newfangled roundabouts. The bartender informed me well you're not the first and in any case, figures all roads lead to Douglas and this particular bar. Showing some sympathy one of the barstool guys offered to point me in the right direction wherever I wanted to go. At that point grateful for the help but feeling a bit humiliated by my predicament I denied that I was really lost and never had been ever. Then then I quoted the great frontier explorer Daniel Boone. Back in the day Boone was asked by a New York City reporter if he had ever been lost. "Never," Boone replied," but I’ve been confused many times. On that note we all had a laugh and that I had been seriously confused. Upon which I was offered a free beer and directions to Rochester straight ahead for 2 miles Rochester. And a quarter of a mile further I was in Cottagewood to visit my bride only three hours late and one beer ahead. The end.
P.S. I forgot to mention one small detail, the directional display on dashboard indication conked out at the beginning...:(