The long and winding road.

To get to my parents’ house from my house, we usually take a side road that intersects with a four-lane highway that takes us to Liberty, which is the next town over from where my parents live. Simple enough, a 25-30 minute trip. Lately, though, some signs have appeared on the highway at our intersection, announcing plans to close said intersection. We assume they are closing all the intersections on that road in order to raise the speed limit to 65. It seems like a fair guess. However, it means that, sometime in the unspecified future, we’re going to have to come up with a different way to visit my parents. Being proactive people, we decided to go ahead and see if we could figure out what that route was going to be. I studied a map, came up with a plan, and, on Friday evening, Mike and I set out.

Despite the fact that some of the road names on our map seemed slightly different than the ones on the road signs, we were doing well until we hit Old Liberty Road. It was a wind-y road, with lots of curves. We thought, “This wouldn’t be the best road in the dark, or in the winter, but it seems to be okay, if we go slow.” And then. Then. Then we hit the one-lane bridge.

This is the year 2006, y’all. Did you know there were still one-lane bridges? On paved roads? Because I did not. I thought one-lane bridges were slowly going the way of the buffalo. And yet, there it was. It was a very small bridge, over a small creek, so it wasn’t as if navigating it was a problem, or that I was concerned about the safety or of being able to see approaching vehicles. It was paved, it had guard rails, it seemed very safe, and the speed limit on the curvy road wasn’t all that high anyway, so I am sure it was all fine. It just seemed . . . odd.

“No problem,” I said. “I think that I can find a way to get us around that next time. We’ll just come in on this road a little later. See, we can come in on this road here and avoid the one-lane bridge.”

And then we hit one-lane bridge number two. Two! Two one-lane bridges on one road!

This time I was not quite so optimistic. “I’m not sure what we can do here. I might be able to bring us in on this other road and drop us on Old Liberty Road just up there. That would mean we’d avoid all the wind-y stuff, too.”

And then we hit one-lane bridge number three.

By this point, I did not know what to think. How could there possibly, POSSIBLY be three one-lane bridge roads one one road? How could that be? This road is on the map, and it runs from Asheboro to Liberty, and it should be . . . a real road. Not a pretend road where they’re like, “Hey, we were just kidding about that road thing. Be careful on this bridge!”

Needless to say, we’re going to need a new plan. (We took the old way home.)

Today I was telling my mom about the whole “closing our intersection” situation, and that we were trying to come up with a new path, and as soon as I mentioned the words, “Old Liberty Road,” she said, “Don’t take that! It’s awful!” No kidding.

When I was in high school, there was some kind of big project in which a lot of the dirt roads in my county (maybe in the whole state, I’m not sure) were paved. I would gladly trade a few of those roads for just three real, two-lane bridges on Old Liberty Road.

(The really funny part is that, even with the curves and low speed limit and crazy bridges, it took the same amount of time as our regular route. Doesn’t that seem wrong?)

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