1. A roundabout or circuitous way or course, especially one used temporarily when the main route is closed.
2. An indirect or roundabout procedure, path, etc.
We planned our route and mapped it out with no less than three electronic devices; IPad, IPhone, and GPS, and yes, there was a Rand McNally book map too. It was a complex route, as most are when your intention is to eschew the interstates, while staying out of complex urban driving situations better handled by cars or professional large vehicle drivers. Neither of these describe our Minerva or our driving skills. At 11.8 feet tall, 8.5 feet wide and weighing in at over 10,000 lbs. driving spontaneity needs to be kept at a minimum.
We planned Our “approach” to the metropolitan areas of Minneapolis-St.Paul with respect and due diligence. We felt confident that the outer outer interstate ring at 8 am on a Sunday morning would be “quiet.” I recalled a time years ago that I came to that airport, rented a car and drove out of the city and across the state without navigator and without incident. It would be just that easy.
As we flew north on I-35, the rain stopped the sun came put, traffic was light and all was well. Then it began. Every quarter mile the large orange signs shouted “Road Work I35, Route 5 to Route 25.” Oh well, we thought, If you know this area then you could do something slick and efficient, but we don’t so we opted for the potential slow down. The orange barrels began, the lane closures and we felt confident that we were getting off soon anyway. Then the exit was closed! Or was it? A quick skip across the zebra stripes, had they been there, was out of the question in this barge.
Ultimately there were three detours, announced by large orange signs, bearing incomprehensible suggestions of alternate routes. Each road designed to keep traffic out of downtown offered a reprieve to the unthinkable RV driving experience. Each exit offered only another Detour sign.
I watched in horror on my IPAD as the small blue dot creeped still farther north past the airport and into the urban areas. After we had completed a perfect square; north, east, south, west we were released one exit beyond where the hellish experience began. Our ponytailed driver remained calm and collected the entire time. He propelled Minerva across some headwaters of the Mississippi and into Wisconsin without incident, where our white ponytailed driver took over for 25 peaceful bucolic miles amidst the Wisconsin countryside. I even maneuvered though a gas station to reach a kid in a parking lot sitting on a pick up truck bed full of corn.
What about the illusion in the title? If we give up the illusion of control, are there really any detours?