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Friday, November 11, 2011

Today's Laugh Out Loud Story

I had just three assignments to finish up for this week. They were spread out pretty far, and two were in areas where I don't know the roads yet.

I needed to get to 142nd Ave. Now that may sound like a really fancy street name, but in Oceana county all the N-S roads are avenues, from 0 at Lake Michigan (no ocean) to 204th on the east edge. So 142nd was marked on the map as a dirt road, not a very good dirt road, and it doesn't connect through to M-20, the road I was taking from west to east. So I turned south on 154th and then west again on Garfield, which was paved. Then I jogged south on 144th, which was dirt, but the map indicated that if I turned west in a mile on Arthur there was a bridge over the White River.

So far so good. I may have mentioned somewhere in the past that there are so many rivers here that they are usually the real issue in getting "from here to there." Many, many roads do not have bridges. Might I mention that many maps that show bridges on certain road are lying? However, the bridge on Arthur is real.

Then I jogged south on 144th. I needed to just go one mile to Cleveland and take a west over to 142nd and I'd be home free. Well, 144th did not look too promising, except that the map promised that it went through. It was posted as seasonal. At this time of year, that might not mean much. It certainly means it's not plowed in the winter, but otherwise it might be anything from a decent, but narrow, dirt road, to a deeply rutted horror that even I am not willing to drive.

To be honest, 144th was not great. Remember, we've just had three days of rain, and two of those days were solid, pouring rain. Puddles like these are not good. They could be 6 inches deep, or two feet. But I made it through the first set by hugging the edge. I could see that others have been driving the road, so... it was only a mile, right?

large mud puddle

After about half a mile... more of the unknown puddles.

large mud puddle

Only the last one of that set was really deeper than I felt good about driving through. But now, I was through it, right? And I only have to go one little mile all together.

Then the road narrowed even more. There were no more dirt tracks. (Yes that's a road, not a trail.) There were no more little turnouts where one could get out of the way if another car was coming. I'd now driven a little more than a mile, and things were not looking so promising.

narrow road

At 1.3 miles, the road ended in a little turnaround at a deep, narrow gully containing Bear Creek. No bridge, no turn onto Cleveland. Guess what was there...

Another 1998, green Subaru Forester! You just can't beat a Forester! We are irrepressible! I shook my head. And I laughed! I laughed out loud for perhaps five minutes. (But what are the chances I'd find a twin on a road like this? And where did they put the kayaks that were on that fancy rack? Is there a trail over to the White River?)

two Subaru Foresters

I parked, got out to look at Bear Creek (a lovely place to visit some other time, I think), and then drove back through all the puddles again, and went several extra miles west so that I could come in to 142nd Ave from the other direction.

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Loretta said...

After this you can get a job redoing all the "local" maps! Glad you made it back through all the puddles. Love the photo of the twins.

rainfield61 said...

You should have enjoyed your jobs so much.

That's a great job for you.

Ann said...

I think this would make a good commercial for Subaru :) Those roads don't look like much fun to travel on, at least not in a car. Looks more like 4 wheelin country

Secondary Roads said...

That was quite an adventure, Shark. I'm guessing that you did manage to reach your intended destination. I've seen roads like that in Kalkaska County.

Dennis the Vizsla said...

That's what we used to call a "seasonal limited-use highway" back in New York!

betchai said...

that was such a drive, one mile can be very long with those kind of puddles, at least, not meandering through cliffs. what a coincidence to find your twin car :)

Sharkbytes said...

Loretta- I send a lot of corrections to Google!

rainfield- it really is.

Chuck- o yes, I just had to go a long way around

Dennis- yup... Michigan just labels them "seasonal" with a disclaimer about snow plowing.

betchai- yes, cliffs would have ended the drive immediately!

Lin said...

I like Ann's comment--that would have made a GREAT commercial for that car! :)

What are the odds?? I would have laughed too.

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