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How to handle getting lost on a trip - a journey into the twilight zone!

Updated on July 21, 2011

Familiar surroundings

I am a NYC girl through and through. In NYC if you get lost information is at arms reach anywhere you go. You have the subway system which you can ask directions at the toll booth or ask anyone who is standing right next to you and it is readily given. That is why I can go anywhere in the city and never feel completely lost even if I find myself in a place Ive never been to. However this is not so in other places. I recently took a 3 hour trip driving no less to Vermont. Vermont is a beautiful place filled with wondrous scenic routes and incredible State Parks along the way. I was excited to get to know Vermont and took my camera along with me to catch the breath taking scenery! I was not disappointed when it came to that aspect. My trip there went well...I got to my destination with the help of my GPS unit and for the most part had a nice day. On my way home though and one wrong turn everything changed on a dime!

What the #$%^@ happened?

My way back home was chaotic, I was tired and all I could do was think about getting home and hopping into a nice cool shower and enjoying a bowl of my favorite ice cream in front of my TV. I decided to get a burger and got off at the nearest exit to do so, BIG MISTAKE! Vermont isn't like NYC (you can giggle now) there isn't much pedestrian action and Gas stations are miles away from each other so are eating establishments as I was about to find out. In between there is nothing but road and forest, mountains and hills or so it seemed to me. I ended up in a quaint little college town that looked like a scene from something out of a Steven King Novel, little antique shops all over and Victorian houses lined up with perfectly trimmed lawns! I thought Id stop at a McD's for a burger just to regenerate and go on from there...simple huh?...NOT! I drove into a gas station where I filled up my tank and asked for the nearest McDonald's. I was told it was about a mile and a half away just down the road. "oh that's not that bad" I thought and got in my car and followed the road, the guy at the gas station didn't tell me I would come to a fork in the road and had to make a decision on which way to go. Unfortunately I took the wrong way and ended up climbing hill upon hill and getting no where fast. The butterflies in my stomach grew larger and larger as the streets became more rural. Instead of shops and houses I was seeing more and more trees and evergreens, a squirrel or two and no signs whatsoever! My GPS kept YELLING at me "Calculating Ride" which didnt help at all. I found myself yelling back at the female voice eminating from that God forsaken little black box on my windshield to "Shut the hell up"! kingdom for a sign!

After turning when I could God knows how many times and if you asked me where and how I couldn't tell you for a million bucks but I finally found a sign leading me back to the highway. To my dismay I ended up right where I had started from more than 30 minutes before! It was like a scene from the twilight zone! It felt like I was doomed to repeat my route over and over again, for a second dementia set in and I thought to myself "am I stuck in a time warp?!" "Will I ever see my wiener dog again?" The butterflies in my stomach were now the size of prehistoric flying creatures and I felt I was going to toss my cookies at any moment. By now I was not only tired but Hot, Sticky and hungry. My finances were getting low and so was my Gas it wasn't a pretty site! Fortunately for me there were signs now and I followed them religiously I vowed to listen to my GPS no matter what she instructed me to do...this was my second mistake! It had been a while since I updated my GPS so the information I was getting was not up to date, for the most part though she was working well...until that point. I don't know if she was getting heat stroke or was just as tired as I was but she started going crazy and wasn't ding dongging when I needed to turn as she would usually once again I made a wrong turn! This time I was riding up long and narrow dirt roads with an ocassional log cabin here and there. I continue to go up the hilly roads thinking that I would get to some kind of an intersection, I was wrong! the roads became even narrower and sandy and rocky and dense with forest. Pulling a trailer no less was I so I decided to stop and try to turn my vehicle around which is another Hub for another time. It seems I had stumbled upon a camp site on some mountain and I was headed for the tippy top. Turning around was a nightmare but I guess my spirit guides were with me and after 20 heart wrenching minutes I succeeded.

I finally got home tired, wired , hot ans sticky, dehydrated and hungry and literally kissed my wall when I came into my house! It may sound strange that it felt like I was on another planet trying to find my way back to civilization but it happened and it was frightening. For this girl staying close to home will be all the adventure I need!

Be prepared!

In planning this trip I was excited, I thought I had everything I needed and gas stations and other facilities would be close at hand. I ASSUMED things I shouldn't have and went with it. For those of you who plan to drive yourself on long uncharted trips I would suggest to research and plan ahead. Have a cooler with ice and beverages, don't ever forget your cell phone and carry a first aid kit in your car just in case. Always go with enough cash to get you through an emergency, some places especially in rural areas do not accept plastic believe it or not! have a friend tag along if possible...two heads are better than one especially if you happen to lose your head on the way! Never ever pick up hitch hikers and carry some munchies along too like potato chips or fruit or whatever. It makes a difference believe me. Getting lost is no adventure if your not prepared, its scary on so many levels and in times like that you have to keep a level head! As for me I'll just keep on saying "There's no place like home" over and over again like Dorothy did until that adventure bug bites me again!


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    • spirit929 profile image

      spirit929 6 years ago from Upstate NY somewhere over the rainbow

      Hi Stephanie,

      yes got home safe but a nervous wreck after that trip! Happy you enjoyed reading about it. Until my next adventure...stay well and visit often!

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image

      Stephanie Henkel 6 years ago from USA

      Very funny! I can relate to trying to turn around on a narrow dirt road while pulling a trailer. We once made a wrong turn with our RV pulling a jeep and ended up on a dirt road that ended in a farmyard. It wasn't fun! Thanks for a fun read. Your tips for being prepared are great advice - glad you got home safely!