It’s sort of a joke that one of the minor advantages of being male is that the Great Outdoors presents few obstacles when one needs to micturate. To urinate. To pee. Whatever. It’s also an old joke that, whenever one Assumes The Position, one can count on someone coming along and seeing you, thereby causing some amount of embarrassment (the actual amount depends on circumstances).
That’s the preamble.
On a recent sunny Saturday, Ms Rose and I were buying perennials just south of Harrowsmith. (In case you care, we picked up things like a heuchera named after a sociopathic rodent, a hosta named after a violent atmospheric disturbance and a dianthus named after a hylocereus.) When we were finished with the plants and the young ladies in khakis, the plan called for us to head over to Westport for an art show. (Actually, there turned out to be two. And an obsessive canine. But that’s not part of the story.)
(http://www.rideauvalleyartfestival.com/ — that link is now broken. The event may now be dead; as of this writing, I haven’t found out.)
One route for this trip is obvious if not optimal — north on 38 to the Westport road, then east. Simple. (If you want to follow this at home…)
Since we didn’t care too much about the details we decided to cast our fate into the hands of Emily. Emily is a GPS. I’m not completely sure, but Emily may hate me.
Emily did not suggest the above-mentioned route. As implied, that was fine. We didn’t really care. Emily suggested a back road. That’s fine. We like back roads; back roads often offer short cuts. And even if they don’t, they often show you neat stuff — an old stone bridge, perhaps. Or maybe a druidic monument. Stuff. But then she directed us onto a gravel road.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing — just last week she directed us onto a gravel road when we were driving from the beach to the pub; the road took us past a gorgeous country church just before sunset. (Not quite ‘one moment of perfect beauty’, but still nice). Gravel roads can be cool. This one started out quite nice as such things go — perhaps a little narrow but well-maintained and as groomed as a zen garden. (Well, not really, but still nice.)
It got narrower. It got rougher. The gravel got bigger, until it really wasn’t gravel any more. Ruts appeared. They got bigger. The surface got quite loose. Hills got steeper and required gunning it on the downslope in order to make it up the next upslope.
Essentially, it was a goat track. Fun, but extremely hard on the tummy of Ms. Rose. (Aside: later on I went to Google maps to try and figure out how much distance it saved. Google maps won’t let you select it as a possible route, at least not if you tell it you’re in a car. (Walking or cycling is ok — it saves about three and a half kilometers.)
Anyway, while we were climbing a hill on the goat track, we rounded a bend and there was a family and a four-wheeler, clearly out for a nice ride on a sunny day. Dad. Daughter. Son. The son had Assumed The Position.
He looked embarrassed.