Lost near Alabama

I've always loved wandering around old cemeteries. Headstones can tell so much history and being a history buff – I love reading the stones and wondering what life was like for those that came before me.

Yesterday I decided to head up to the north end of the county, find some geocaches and explore a couple of old cemeteries I've never been to.

I was going alone and even though I'm directionally challenged I was confident I could find my way. After all, I had a handheld GPS, my car GPS, the compass built into my truck, and a smart phone – how lost could I get?

Everybody done laughing now?

So anyway, I was doing fine as I drove north out of Crestview and things were still looking good as I turned off Hwy 85 and went after the first cache on my list.

I had written meticulous directions to each place I wanted to go so I followed my directions and drove straight to the second cache on the list.

I parked and followed my GPS into the woods, feeling extremely proud of myself.

Had I not been so busy patting myself on the back I might have seen the GIANT spider and web that I was about to walk into.

I face planted the spider web and just as I was about to start the Spider Dance I looked up and about an inch from my nose was the spider who owned the web. The really, really big spider.

I heard a scream and I'm pretty sure it came from the spider - but - it could have been me.

As I was dancing around trying to get the web off of me I noticed that there were webs and spiders everywhere.

I also spotted the cache so after I recovered I went under and around the webs between me and the cache, signed the log and then made it back to my truck without running into any more webs.

The next cache was in one of the cemeteries I wanted to walk through and my directions took me straight to the cemetery.

Where I saw this.

Hmm. I wonder what criteria you have to meet to be “approved” to be buried there. Sounds like a Home Owners Association for a cemetery.

I've seen signs like this one in other cemeteries but they just want you to ask for permission – not approval.

I wandered the cemetery and found this headstone.

I love it!

After looking through the cemetery and finding the cache it was time to head off to stop number four.
I was feeling confident and pleased with myself and then … it all went sideways.

I couldn't find any of the roads on the directions I'd written and according to my GPS the next place I wanted to go was 14 miles away.

In the other direction.

So I turned around and then turned again and then again. All turns brought me back to the same intersection.

Which in a way is good because I found the camper of my dreams sitting on the side of the road.

My hand held GPS seemed a little freaked out and only knew I needed to go 14 miles the in the other direction so I turned on my driving GPS hoping to find at least one of the roads on my list of directions.

The first thing she asked me was what city I was in. Which is a stupid question to ask a lost person.

I had no idea so I started typing names of cities I knew had to be somewhere around me. No matter what I entered she was convinced I was in Indiana.


My onboard GPS is lost, my hand held GPS is drunk and there is no You Are Here mark on my actual road map.

I just bought a smart phone so I decided to ask Siri.

Her answer to “Where Am I?”

“In a land far, far away”

I told her to shut up and she responded by telling me to be nice.

I tossed the phone into the back seat.

Nothing to do now but drive so I decided that of all my choices the drunk GPS telling me to go 14 miles to the northwest sounded the best.

The drunk passed out about here

At least it was a pretty road so I just kept driving. The compass in my truck said I was heading NW so I was still going in the right direction.

The drunk GPS woke up a little later and beeped, telling me the next cemetery/geocache was .57 of a mile away.

No way did I drive 14 miles but I figured that maybe she'd sobered up and I could get back on track.

But then I passed this.

The cemetery isn't in Alabama, the cache isn't in Alabama, but I am.

Or I was for the amount of time it took me to take the picture and then turn around.

I drove south for a little while and then turned west where I passed a Mormon Temple.

Ok, a Mormon Temple in the middle of nowhere, somewhere just south of the Alabama line has got to be easy to find on Google – which should then give me an idea of where I am.

I pulled over and discovered that I had no cell service.

Seriously Verizon? A paved road, power poles and a Temple but no cell service. I'm not impressed.

I drove on and came to an intersection of Kennedy Bridge Rd. I don't know exactly where I am but I do know that I'm in Okaloosa County and I'm not that far from Tower Camp.

I pulled over at the bridge to get my feet wet for a few minutes but the bugs were so thick I decided not to stay long.

It was after 5 and I'd long since given up on my mission so I aimed South and started driving.

The nice thing about living where I do is that if I head South I'll end up at the Gulf and from there I can always find my way home.

I got home about 8 and of course about the time I pulled into my driveway, I had cell service, Siri told me what street I was on and my GPS was wide awake and completely sober.

It's a good thing I enjoy driving around aimlessly or days like yesterday wouldn't have been any fun at all.