A Great Way To Spend An Early Fall Afternoon

Hoosier Perspectives

So what if the truth was I was lost?

Published on: October 4, 2010

There are much worse things to do on a sunny, crisp early fall afternoon than drive through rural Indiana. That's especially true if you're getting paid for it. And it's even truer if saying you're enjoying the drive is better than admitting the truth- you're lost! What's worse yet, you've got a perfectly good GPS unit sitting at home. But you were too macho to bring it.

I figured I'd been doing this going on 30 years - finding farms in the country. How could I get lost in Delaware County? All I needed was some directions. I got those. Then I headed out. What I forgot was how screwy some of Indiana's highways are marked, and that some are marked for more than one exit. I wound up panicking, thinking I'd gone too far north, when I really hadn't gone far enough.

That prompted the first phone call to where I was headed. Trying to listen to a cell phone and drive caused me to have to call the second time. Frustration and determination to find it without calling a third time is all that saved me from using the cell phone yet again.

What did we do before cell phones? Well, Carl Eiche, retired senior editor of Indiana Prairie Farmer carried maps, a novel concept. But he did tell me once that he and the person he was supposed to interview crossed wires, and ended up at different meeting places, neither thinking the other was showing up. He missed the interview. A cell phone might have helped, Carl. Too bad they weren't invented yet!

Nevertheless, I tried to look on the bright side of my wondering through the country. I took in the scenery, and went on some roads I never knew existed. I discovered several things, including that the Delaware and Randolph County lines dance with each other, with several roads not going straight through, and with at least one road marked with one number for one side and another number for the other- I wonder what GPS would do with that?

I also learned that the highway department in Delaware County must be strapped for funds. Sorry guys, but some of the side roads on your side of the county line divide look and feel more like a patchwork quilt than a blacktop road. How many times can you patch a road before giving up and starting over? My intent isn't to tick anyone off- it's simply to report what I saw on this leisurely, meandering drive through east-central Indiana, lost all the way!

I found a neat pond at a tee-road, with some kind of animal in the pasture- goats I think- I was too far away. I must have taken my glasses off to read the cell phone numbers. I was stopped there- it was one of the times I had to call to see where in the world I was.

I also happened upon a beautiful, obviously restored round barn on the Delaware side of the county line, in the northeast part of the county, just above County Road 500 North. If I wasn't lost and already short on time, it would have been neat to stop and see if I anyone cared if I explored it.

I also found a cool-looking farmstead that also is home to a landscaping business- Countryside Landscaping. Man, some people keep their places neat! Congratulations!

Hey, I even finally got to where I was going, only to learn the way I came was actually shorter than the route they had told me to take, minus my turn-arounds because I got lost. They hadn't sent me that way because…you guessed it, they were afraid I would get lost. I obliged.

You know what, next time I'll take GPS and punch in the address. Indiana countryside is gorgeous in the fall, but I hate being lost.