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When Right is Wrong and Left Isn’t Much Better

One of the interesting aspects of traveling is the opportunity to bushwhack, or the art of finding one’s way without a bloody clue where you are. Some fine moments of serendipitous discovery have surfaced from these fearless jaunts into parts unknown, no doubt enhanced by the fact I’m a guy who adheres to the Guy’s #1 Rule of the Road:  don’t ask for directions. Thus, I can grasp that pure sense of victory, assuming I eventual find my way somewhere.

Last weekend my trip to Chicago ended with an “adventure” into parts of South Chicago I really shouldn’t have been. My brother and I decided to play golf Sunday morning before his plane, and we literally picked a course out of the yellow pages that was on the way to Midway Airport. As luck would have it, Midway and the course were in the general direction I needed to go, mainly heading south on I90.

After a brisk round of 18 holes, 14 or so on which we actually had the energy to play (the others being completed as a badge of honor, more or less), I dropped him at the airport and proceeded towards I90…or so I thought. I never found the on-ramp as shown on the map, and what signs were there led me in a big circle. 45 minutes later, I decided to bushwhack my way there whatever means I could figure out from within the confines of my car, which at the time consisted of my 10-year-old Rand McNally road atlas.

If you’ve caught my drift so far, then you realize I was cruising the ghettos and near-slums of deep South Chicago, driving along and taking turns as though I knew what I was doing (which I didn’t). I did eventually find a combination of streets to navigate that led me to an on-ramp some five miles away and a mere 90 minutes after dropping Bro off at the airport. I was finally Ohio-bound, another successful bushwhack notch to my credit “without asking for directions.” That would have been unmanly, unheard of, and unnecessary…despite the fact it would have saved me at least an hour’s wandering through parts unknown. Lessons Learned for next time? Nah, once a guy always a guy.

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