Saturday, September 18, 2010

Have I mentioned how much I hate Millwoods?

Millwoods is a town (small city?) south east of Edmonton. It's so close that the roads and everything just run together and you can't tell that you've left Edmonton and gone into Millwoods unless you know the area.

...or happen to notice how ass backwards the road system has become.

Back in 1993, when I moved to Edmonton, I considered a rental in Millwoods. I learned the hard way back then about their road system - never did find that place - and decided that I didn't want to live anywhere that was so confusing to get around.

At the core of it, Millwoods is based around two main ring roads; one around the city center, and one around the outskirts. What this means is that you'll be following a road going south, and with no warning or street change, you'll suddenly be going west. If you keep going again, you'll end up going north.

On top of that, there are lots of streets that wave back and forth in s curve after s curve. For somebody like me with zero sense of direction, it can get confusing fast.

All that's to say that I got lost today.  I started in Millwoods, and ended up near Fort Saskatewan (north east of the Edmonton).

I was visiting my sister and her boys north of Edmonton today and made a stop on the way out of town.  I was trying to get to a new-ish road that joins the highway, but was turned around so many times in Millwoods that I didn't realize I was going east instead of west (I was meaning to go south).  Before I knew it, I was on an overpass that went over a brand new freeway that wasn't there when I lived in Edmonton.  I mistook it for the main highway.  

Thinking I was going west, I turned north instead of south to go back, turned myself around a few times trying to find the "highway" and ended up on another highway entirely.  I kept driving, hoping to find a landmark or sign that would tell me where I was, had a few moments of panic and took a few more turns that I shouldn't have.  Before I knew it, I was good and lost.

I started at A, was aiming for a target south east of that, but ended up near B

Seriously, seriously lost.   Being on a rural highway, I couldn't even safely pull onto the shoulder to get my bearings... not that that would help because I don't have a map in my car.

 Luckily, I came across a liquor store that was set up in the middle of a field (which I was so relieved to find, I didn't even question WHY there was a liquor store in a field, miles away from civilization...)  I went in to ask for help,  gave serious thought to kick-starting my career as a drunk, and got directions back to the right highway.  (And I'm not ashamed to say that I whipped out my best Ontario accent and told the guy "I"m not from around here." so that I looked less like an idiot.)

Needless to say, the next time I'm Edmonton, I'm going to grit my teeth and take the same, busy roads that I'm used to, straight through the middle of the city.  They may have traffic up the ying yang and construction out the wazoo; but at least I know where they are and what direction they go.

I need a GPS.

And I will never again - as long as I live - take a shortcut through Millwoods.

1 comment:

  1. A GPS might be a good investment for safety sake.