A few days ago I was driving around California gold country , northeast of Sacramento , exploring and testing roads new to me . I’m usually pretty good with a map . My car has a GPS device , too , but I haven’t mastered it yet ; and , besides , I don’t trust GPS devices much . I had my CALIFORNIA and MOTHER LODE maps open 0n the seat and ready .
I kept getting lost . In Auburn , for the life of me , I couldn’t stick to the correct highway . That should have been simple but it wasn’t . I headed toward Chico but drove in circles at least three times , ending up again in the old town area , confused .
I remember a story about Daniel Boone , the great Kentucky frontiersman , when he was asked if he’d ever been lost . Never been lost , he would say . I’ve been confused for weeks at a time , but I’ve never been lost .
So , maybe I wasn’t exactly lost . Just confused .
When I was in high school I worked part time for Redman Van and Storage in Santa Monica . Once in awhile I would be sent out in the boss’s car to have an item appraised or to pick one up that had been repaired . The company did a good job moving households of furniture , but very often , one thing in each truckload would get broken in the moving process . Some people would claim that the one broken item was a priceless family heirloom . It needed , then , to be appraised . Or repaired .
In those days , if I had to go anywhere in Santa Monica I was fine , but some of the destinations were over the hill into the San Fernando Valley . That was a whole different animal . That was a horse of a different color . The Valley , to me , was a mystery . Still is , I guess . I got lost / confused every time and I spent much more time finding a place than I should have .
The boss had a new GTO . By the time I got back to the storage yard the entire office crew were outside looking for me . Me , I ‘m sure they didn’t care all that much about , but WHERE’S THE GTO ? Is that stupid kid out joyriding ? Again ? Maybe he’s crashed it , the irresponsible crud .
Now that I’m remembering this and thinking it over , I suppose that my boss was pretty desperate for someone to go out on those fetch missions . But he sent me out again and again , and he wasn’t a stupid man with a short memory . He must have been desperately desperate to send me again , the poor lug .
In the gold country I abandoned one or two of my original road plans and I went with what roads I found . I found that the roads were not well marked . Some , that were marked , were not on my map . I saw a couple of signs for LINCOLN HIGHWAY , but no listing of it by that name on my maps. It bugged me a little because I thought that I should know what the Lincoln Highway is ; but I didn’t .
I managed , somehow , to somewhat accidentally find a way out of the gold country . Thank heaven I wasn’t interested in finding gold . I never would have done it , never would have had a clue where it was , I guess , even if it were right there in front of me .