Honest, I am a huge fan of smooth roads in fine condition. Of bridges that won't collapse beneath me. Of keeping berms from eroding nearly to the center line. I'm fine with all that.
But I still hate road construction blocks.
I wish I had some way of getting home other than parking three miles out and hacking through the woods while the work crews are making the roads driveable. Some day, I hope.
This is why I propose that all people affected by road construction projects get issued flying cars like George Jetson's. It sure beats guessing where side roads might take you.
It's been a particularly tough repair season. I live off a country bylane in the epicenter of construction projects.
First, the road going east to the main highway was shut down.
Then the road to the west to go into town was barricaded.
I tried driving north. Another detour sent me skittering down a dirt road. Turns out it was more like a rutted path that another crew once started but forgot. They probably tried to return but couldn't get past other roadblocks. So they gave up and never finished it.
I turned around on what looked like a field a quarter mile in and drove through my own dust to go in completely the opposite direction of where I was supposed to have been 15 minutes earlier.
The roads to the south of our house have offered some minor resistance. It's the only way I don't need to go.
A couple days ago, a crew set up a road sign 20 feet from my driveway.
For the last month, I've had to sneak up on my house in the country through winding, unlit back roads. They're the kind of roads where thick canopies of unchecked trees block out all sunlight. Twisty roads that offer barely enough room for a compact car and bicycle to squeeze by each other. Gravelly roads with 3-foot ditches on either side that I swear I can hear making hungry, lip-smacking sounds as I creep by.
I called work the other day to say I'd be late. I got lost on my way to the office to which I've driven nearly every day for the last 14 years.
Some nights, I just give up trying to find my way back home and curl up on somebody's porch at 2 a.m.
Meanwhile, the real roads to my house look smooth, clean and wonderful. They should. Nobody can drive on them to mess them up.
I'm hoping Moller International hurries up production of its "Jetsons-like M200G Volantor, a small airborne, two passenger, saucer-shaped vehicle that is designed to take off and land vertically."
The company announced two years ago that it was working on the car, which would fly 10 feet off the ground - avoiding regulation by the FAA - at speeds up to 50 mph for 45 to 90 minutes at a time.
Bruce Calkins, general manager of Moller, told ABC News, "This is a way to solve traffic backups."
Exactly. The eight rotary engines could zip me over the barricades - or at least until flaggers are equipped with 10-foot poles to swat us down like flies and figure out ways to set up floating barricades.
Until then, if you see a gray Chevy Malibu in your driveway and some guy sleeping on your front porch at 3 a.m., kindly toss me a pillow until sunrise. I won't stay long. I'm just trying to figure out how to get home.
---- Send Cole directions at firstname.lastname@example.org