The trip had nothing to do with landing on another planet, though it felt that way

According to the map, it looked like a good road. I had just taken a lovely, very smooth one a few miles to the east, so I expected to enjoy more of the same. But when the pavement abruptly ended, I kept going. After fifteen or twenty miles of encountering no house or other vehicle, I finally came out on the state highway – one of three paved roads running east-west across the county. I did have to back up at one point and try the one intersecting logging road I encountered. Good thing my little Sonic has a compass on the dashboard array. It’s easy to get disoriented in hilly wilds.

Welcome to Washington County, Maine.

The drive had me remembering forays into the logging back country of the Pacific Northwest or even a “shortcut” in the ’50s along Devil’s Ridge in southern Indiana that was pure hillbilly, uh, perfection. I think that route’s long since been covered in asphalt. What a shame – it was timeless.

Long ago, I learned you can’t always trust maps, no matter how much you need them. A tourist site like a commercial cavern might be indicated on the wrong side of the road, or there might be a circle for a village that today is no more than a trio of houses.

Still, they’re pretty essential. As I said, there was one intersection on this trek where my car’s compass had me confounded. Checking the map, I realized I should have turned left and headed south, so I turned about and course-corrected. Good thing, too. According to the map, I would have spent the rest of the day heading into the sunset on a rocky dirt lane.

If I keep this up, I really will need to get a battered pickup or four-wheel-drive SUV.

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