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What I like about Salida is that you have to truly work at getting lost.  (This does not, of course, mean that I haven't managed to do exactly that... several times... after living here a month.)  Like most Western towns, Salida took time to get its *&@# together and plan out a street grid.  There's a reason why the older sections of DC and Boston are exercises in Purgatory burning; it's not the rush hour... it's not the people...it's the fact that streets change names mid-block and try to carry you off to Caracas if you're not armed and escorted.

My planet of origin, Cincinnati, managed this well enough, despite its relatively advanced age of over two centuries.  Then again, it was largely settled by Germans, and that's what we do for fun-- plan crap and order everybody around in the business of which streets are one-way and which are hopeless conduits into Columbus.  This only applies to the core of downtown, however; once you start getting into the originally settled areas and the village spinoffs, you'd best either have a GPS or a lifetime familiarity with trapping wild game for food.

The one comfort to the perpetually lost is the river; you cross it, you see the THANK YOU FOR VISITING OHIO!  PLEASE DON'T HOLD CLEVELAND AGAINST US AND COME AGAIN SOON sign and this leads to the realization, if indeed your object was within the state of Ohio, you pretty much aren't doing too well.

This was how I survived when I lived in Cocoa Beach and Cape Canaveral, very much pre-GPS.  It was largely impossible to lose one's way in Cocoa Beach; if you took a wrong turn, your car would arrive at the edge of the Atlantic Ocean.  If you took another wrong turn... well, hey, there's the big huge enormously causeway-spanned Banana River! As long as you didn't carefully continue to steer directly into the tide, you wouldn't remain directionally flummoxed for long.

Salida is like this.  It's bordered on one side by the Arkansas River, which has some of the wildest Class V rapids in the West.  On the other?  Big freakin' mountain. One way or another, you are going to find the dentist's office.

I worry about my pending relocation to Mobile, and its fairly large but singular water hazard.  If I'm heading North, well... eventually I'll hit the Ohio River, at which point it might occur to me to consult Mapquest.

lovin' me some big freakin' mountain at:  mbe@drinktothelasses.com

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Reader Comments (2)

Darlin', you won't find it hard to navigate Mobile. If you go too far east, you hit the Bay. If you go too far south, you hit the Gulf. To the north is a big freakin' swamp, and to the west is Mississippi... I won't say anything else. :)

May 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJoshThePilot

[...] GPS Saturday, May 22nd, 2010 | Blonde Champagne | morningworksmedia Mary Beth on getting lost.  A lot. Share and [...]

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