I like to pride myself in being pretty directionally savy. Back home I can tell you pretty much where any road is until you get into subdivisoions. I will admit however I was a little worried about finding my way around in South Dakota. Afterall, most of their roadways are streets or avenues and they mostly are numbers and not actual names like O’Neal, Pepper etc. On the first day I was here I figured out a very helpful fact.
Avenues run North to South and Streets run East to West.
This doesn’t help me remember what road is which but I at least know what direction I am heading.
Another thing that helps is that most of the counties are on the grid system. Basically every mile there is a road. Not necessarily a travelable road, but a road.
Limestone County, AL (top) vs. Day County, SD (bottom)
My Tom-Tom which my brothers gave to me for a high school graduation gift, has been very helpful for the most part. No matter where you are the address numbers are not always right, but it usually gets you within close proximity of your destination.
Tuesday I was sent to Mitchell, South Dakota for a siminar. I left about 5:30am I made it without any issues and even had time to visit the Corn Palace.
When I left Mitchell I was to go to Conde, SD to pick up some leftoever seed from a grower. When I left the farm with their seed I typed in my Tom-Tom my home adderss. It said it was 80 miles! Let me assure you it was not 80 miles. How did I know this? These hills. Yep, those with the windmills.
I see these hills every Sunday and Wednesday on my way to church. I knew that I was just on the other side from the main highway I needed to take me home and it would be quicker to go over them vs. around them. Seems logical right?
I told Tom-Tom I wanted the shortest, not quickest way and off I went. I am always leary of Tom-Tom when he tells me this:
However, in South Dakota practically every road is dirt! So if you hit avoid unpaved roads you will never get to wherever it is you are trying to go.
So here I go along the dirt roads trying to figure out how to get over the big hills to the otherside to take a “short cut”. I go down one road Tom-Tom told me to go down and I basically ended up in someone’s backyard. It might have been a road at one point, but not anymore. So I quickly turned around and left. This happened several more times. It would tell me to turn and I find this:
Or this… (which you can tell was a road, but now has a fence in front of it)
I finally got over the hills and all I could find was signs I take very seriously out here.
Long story shorts, many roads, many backups, turnarounds later. I had to give up and go back the way Tom-Tom suggested in the beginning. I could see where I needed to go, there was just no way for me to get there unless it inovlved me plowing through a farmers field, mud hole, or pasture. I saw some beautiful scenery and animals along the way, but it got later and later and I was ready to be home.
Tuesday was Mr. Glenn’s (I live with him and his wife) 80th birthday and I was planning to make him a peach cobbler. I finally found my way home and had time to make the cobbler. Moral of the story, just do what the Tom-Tom says the first time unless you want to take the scenic route.