How to get utterly lost in Leeds County

August 7, 2016


“It’s not adventure until something goes wrong.”  Yvon Chouinard

I couldn’t believe it.  Today I got lost on a paved road.

Tom and Kate Stutzman offered to drive us to Hotel Kenney for Sunday lunch, so Bet and I cheerfully loaded into their shiny Hylander named “Pearl.”  Tom showed us the many features of the SUV and even pulled from his wallet the slip from Canadian Customs which forbade allowing a Canadian to drive it — on penalty of confiscation of the vehicle.

Had I been driving, this adventure would not have occurred, because I wouldn’t have missed the turn to Elgin.  But I wasn’t, and the road surface was new and black, and I don’t remember the road sign.  To be kind to myself, perhaps it wasn’t there.  Harder to believe was my failure to notice the two bridges and the hydro lines, but I guess I was distracted by something.

In any case, it seemed to be taking a long time to come out to the road that joins up with the Davis Lock Road, so I asked Bet to check the map on her phone.

No service.

To be fair, the nav system on the Hylander didn’t offer much help, save to assure us that we were, in fact, on a road.

Everyone in the car seemed quite prepared to heap the blame on me for this cosmic trick which had transported us into some alternate dimension of winding asphalt road lined by trim lawns and neat houses.

“Where are we?”

We stopped to ask a group of three examining a jet ski on a trailer in a driveway.  The smiling woman who responded to my plea found our plight the inspiration for no end of comic riffs, the gist of which indicated that we were exactly in the middle of nowhere.  Every place we knew was precisely twenty-five miles away, down that road we were on, or back the other way.

“Where do you buy your groceries?”

“Seeley’s Bay, or Kingston.”

About there I tuned out.  We left our joking hostess.  Tom drove down the road a bit and made a left onto another road.  A series of rather nice houses floated by as we meandered around corners, passing a bit of water, first to the right, and later to the left.  Then came a large campground on an unnamed lake.  Somewhat later we came to the bridge across the Rideau Canal.  Tom traded a couple of American cigarettes to the bridge master for a map.  Hwy. 15 and Elgin lay ahead.

When I checked Google Earth I realized that the turn I had missed lies 800 yards from the entrance to Hotel Kenney.  The lesson from this?  Don’t miss that turn or you’ll end up in Battersea.




One Response to “How to get utterly lost in Leeds County”

  1. Tom Says:

    Our faces still hurt from laughter about the tour of SE rural Ontario. “Laughter, is the best medicine”.

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