Originally posted on According to Holly:
Have you ever been orienteering? You know, tossed in the middle of some unknown wilderness with nothing but a topo map and a compass? I actually have. My husband and I competed in the Ozark’s Greenway Adventure Race a few years back where orienteering was one of the main events. Thankfully, I was teamed up with the hubs and two more skillful men who were able to lead us to all our checkpoints and back to our bikes before dusk. There’s nothing quite like 10+ hours of running, biking, and orienteering thru the mud. It really was quite entertaining and certainly tested myself physically and mentally.
That, however, was a race. Today, I’ve been plopped down in the middle of a modern wilderness. Though I don’t run the risk of dehydration or having to urinate in the woods, the threat of me getting lost here is certainly a possibility and has happened a few times already. I typically have a keen sense of direction (my husband would argue this point) and can feel which way is north. Maine has truly put my navigational skills to the test and so far, they stink! But I must attest, I’m not the only one who has been a bit baffled by the layout of this area, my husband has commented on it several times and even led himself astray coming home from last week’s ballgame.
We noticed immediately the nonsensical roads, as each seems to merge and bend in no particular rhyme or reason. And forget the grid pattern in which they run parallel and perpendicular to each other, I don’t think Maine has ever heard of it. We have asked several people where the design for the roads system came from and so far, we’ve gotten the same response. When the northeast was founded, it was traveled by horse and buggy. People began to develop areas and build houses between the dirt paths for easy access to travel. By the time formal roads were built, homes and businesses stood where logical intersections should meet. Unable to change the patterns, they paved the paths and people just figured it out.