The decision to make a two-day drive instead of flying to the bayside cottage we rented was an easy one.
For starters, airlines frown on passengers blocking the aisle with a large cooler filled with food they brought along to cook at their destination. What’s more, pilots are terribly unresponsive to passenger requests to periodically set the aircraft down at scenic spots for a photo opportunity.
We don’t mind driving long distances. The truth is, we enjoy driving because it is yet another opportunity to prove modern technology unreliable. We punch in our first day’s destination and our GPS reports that it is a nine-hour drive. We laugh wildly because GPS is oblivious to our ability to take a nine-hour drive and turn it into 12.
Our first stop is for gasoline. GPS thinks it will add on 10 minutes but GPS can’t see the sign pointing to a famous landmark. Naturally, we pay a visit, meander about the grounds, wander through the museum and comment on the trees. The next thing we knew an entire hour has flown by.
On our way again, we recall that Niagara Falls is only a short distance off our route. That short distance set GPS back a good two hours.
GPS offers another projection of a nine-hour drive the next day and we again manage to turn it into 12. We stop to visit the town where a famous painter once worked, take small backroads that weave through vineyards and trail a herd of wild turkeys to get a few good snaps.
When we finally reached our cottage, the nice couple we rented from shows us around and tells us about a grocery only eight minutes away. We are sceptical of their time estimate, and we are correct.
To get to the store, you first must stop at a historic fort built from large blocks of granite long before the days of power tools and hydraulics. You then follow a secondary road for a good view of a magnificent suspension bridge, and after that stop to sample fresh catch from local fishermen. Our hosts are off by a good four hours, which takes neither of us by surprise.
Every day we drive to destinations that our navigation system says are a short drive away, but routinely take entire afternoons. You don’t speed by an old barn where skilled craftsmen make chairs by hand or pass up the opportunity to visit an out-of-the-way school where students learn how to make wooden boats.
GPS is consistently off on time estimates no matter which way we go or how far we go. On our final day of travel, after endless bouts of recalculating, I think I heard that poor thing sigh and softly say, “I quit.”
We continue toward home, driving directly into the setting sun as it paints the sky a beautiful mosaic of neon pink and apricot orange.
Recalculating and enjoying every minute.
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