Get Lost!

Sometimes I like to get lost.

Most of the time however, I prefer not.  I don’t particularly enjoy getting lost if I am flying, but even then, if I have enough gas and know I can stay clear of controlled or restricted airspace, it is okay and sometimes fun to get lost.  Most of the time, I refrain from getting lost in the air, limiting my “lost time” to the ground, the ocean, rivers, lakes, and backwoods streams.

I have to admit, there have been times I have landed my airplane and taxied to a stop, jumped out, walked into the FBO and in my best southern voice, twanged, “Hey!  Y’all know where we is at?”  This practical joke is most effective when you are carrying a plotter, your E6-B, and two or more old sectional charts all crumpled up.  A number two pencil with a broken tip completes the picture.

When it is early in the day and we are driving, sometimes we have to make a decision as to which road to take.  When faced with this decision, we often take Robert Frost’s advice in his poem, “The Road Not Taken.”  Frost wrote,

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.

We have found in our own travels that taking the road less traveled does indeed make all the difference in the world.  Sometimes, you actually have to look around and discover those roads which people choose not to travel.  Sometimes the discoveries found on those roads are amazing.

For instance, one day taking the back roads from our home to Ocala, FL, we traveled along a two lane road in the Ocala National Forest.  Up ahead, we saw a couple of cars pulled off to the side of the road.  The occupants were standing next to a fence and on the other side of the fence, stood a buffalo.  He was a full grown official, bona fide buffalo.  Now, you don’t see that every day in Florida.

When it comes to getting lost, we recognize it is becoming more difficult every day to actually get lost.  You must intentionally work hard at getting lost.  Both airplanes and cars now have global positioning satellite (GPS) systems installed; I don’t know a fisherman who would go out on his boat without carrying a handheld GPS to get to his favorite fishing hole.

The precision of today’s GPS systems truly is phenomenal.  Anyone can use a GPS in a variety of activities ranging from flying all the way down to hiking.  The bottom line is this: you can no longer legitimately get lost.

Well, I guess you still can.  But it is okay as long as you don’t get lost while piloting an airliner.  If you do, a great many people will probably find out.  And if you happen to be hauling a barbershop quartet, more than likely the world will find out you got lost while flying your airliner.

It could be ugly after the video hits the Internet.

(Found at

© 2010 J. Clark

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2 Responses to Get Lost!

  1. David Hipschman says:

    Getting lost in order to find new ways of seeing is one of my favorite things. Dorrie and I try to get lost at least once a week on some back road alternative to a path already known. Your blog today brings to mind one of my favorite quotes: “Wherever you go, there you are.” — Buckaroo Banzai

    — Best, David

  2. flyinggma says:

    I love the road less traveled as often as possible.

    My brother-in-law found a new use for his GPS two years ago and hid all the Easter Baskets around town for the nieces and nephews. They had to find the baskets using his GPS and the positions for each that he recorded.

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