What You Know, or think you do

I realized yesterday that I know many other parts of the country better than I know my way around my own corner of Wisconsin. Startled FaceIt was a startling realization.

We took a drive to Burlington and Racine on Wednesday;  it was a beautiful day and we had been holed up in the coach for a couple days.  I needed another awning pull strap;  who knew that there are about 7 different sizes of Carefree of Colorado awning pull straps?

While we were out we took a drive to Cliffside County Park and past Debbie Wasmer’s old neighborhood, and up to Amelia’s Restaurant for lunch.    Along the way it dawned on me that I really do know other parts of the country better than I know the area I lived for most of my life.  A strange realization.

cliffside_park_campground cliffside_signCliffside is a county park near the Milwaukee County / Racine County line.  It’s about 1/2 a mile off the lake (…oops, almost said ocean.  I’ve been traveling too much!)  There are 92 sites, some reservable, others walkup.  and the campground is reasonably spaced for breathing room and partially shaded throughout.  Considering that it’s been here a long time, its one of those things about my home area that I didn’t know that sort of embarrasses me.  Oh well…

We got our awning-pull ordered at burlington-rv-logoBurlington RV Superstore.  With luck that will arrive sometime next week.  I’m not sure about the ‘super’ part of it’s name (I have had very mixed reviews about it’s service, but then so have almost all the Camping Worlds — so that doesn’t condemn it as a parts / service outlet), but it’s a nice store in which  we have had success finding parts we wanted in the past. The parts department people are very helpful.  Located at Hwy 20 and I-94 it’s convenient for those who are traveling from Milwaukee to Chicago!

What you know and what you don’t

While we were driving around it on Wednesday the truth about ho segmented my knowledge of Wisconsin kind of sunk in like walking into the middle of a quicksand field.   Our friend Debbie W used to live on the South side of Milwaukee County and doggone if we had a hard time finding her old street.  Then there were roads in Racine —  only 18 miles from our old home — that we had never seen before in our lives. Fact is that when we lived here we had certain areas we visited frequently and others that we hardly ever ventured into at all.

I suppose that’s probably true of most people living in a major metropolitan area. You live where you live; you have your groceries, and shopping areas and why would you go wandering all over town to find something you already know where to find?

But while we were out getting lost I realized that there are other parts of the country that I know quite well.  We did a lot of traveling during our careers and there are communities in which I can get around quite nicely (until they too start undergoing major highway reconstruction I suppose).  Or at least there is the perception that I know my way around — but I suppose I have my ‘normal routes’ there too,  and not just in Milwaukee.

RVND7720GPS has a way of making a person feel falsely confident.  I have had times when our Rand McNally has made a funny little noise and said it needed to reboot — except the tiny, tiny reboot HOLE (about the size of a paperclip) is on the rear of the device and impossible for a driver to access while driving, and not all that easy for the co-pilot to access either!  When that happens I suddenly feel a lot less confident about where I am; because it never seems to happen out on the open road.  I have learned to limit the number of icons it’s displaying.  That reduces the frequency of reboots.  And in 3 years of RV’ing with this GPS it has only happened three times.

When we are exploring outside our home area I do use our GPS for many tasks.  For one thing, if I am being told that I should turn on a certain street, and I can rely upon the GPS to tell me where I should turn — then I can afford to give my complete attention to the ROAD instead of trying to read street signs.

Our friend Ralph H who just left the State Fair RV Park yesterday was talking about how GPS makes you lazy. His point was that we may not do as much research as we would have done in the days of paper maps.  You know, I understand how he feels but I’m a firm believer that more information is better than no information.  And the ability to glance at the screen and see a small map does a lot to give me confident about where I am.  I trust maps, even the electronic ones…so far.  🙂

Well, properly armed with the awareness that I may not know as much as I thought, I’m going to go and research our route towards Arizona!  Thanks for stopping by and I’ll talk with you tomorrow.



8 thoughts on “What You Know, or think you do

  1. Your mention of Racine reminds me of the Mel Gibson movie ‘Bird on a Wire’. Mel and Goldie Hawn boarded a ferry in Detroit that said ‘Detroit-Racine Ferry’. That’s a loooong ferry ride! And there were mountains in the background. 🙂


    1. That was such a fun movie! And I guess the Continuity officer screwed up cuz that WOULD be one long ferry ride. But don’t be asking me to bend over the large animal operating table in that movie, not even for a cute vet…. well, MAYBE for Joan Severance…

      There used to be a nice, reasonably priced resto on the Racine water — but we found out this week it’s Kaput!

      They put the Lake Express to bed for the winter. She’s holed up in the Milwaukee River out of the harbor and waiting for spring.



      1. We too have done the Badger but not the Lake Express. We see the LE entering and leaving the harbor so many times and it’s appealing but for the price it doesn’t seem like such a worthwhile adventure. Not even to miss CHICAGO! > >

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I prefer a paper map. We google places on the computer, but you get only a small screen. When I pull back, I lose detail. On the paper map I can go from my house to my destination. I don’t have any fancy gadgets to help me–no cell phone or GPS. I get lost in my town because I spent so many years working in the next county. Over the past 5 years, I’ve forgotten a lot of places in those counties I used to know so well. Senility can be so much fun.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I remember quite well taking different routes to go places when I was younger. I wanted to know all the back roads in case the freeways were jammed. Plus they were more interesting. I had a natural built in compass back then and could find places if I had a vague description, even if I left the piece of paper describing such place at home.

    Nowadays I get lost in familiar territory, thankfully not often. And when I went back to the Bay Area, so much had changed the place was truly unrecognizable in some places right across from where I lived. It felt like I had walked onto some futuristic movie set rather than returning home.

    I love the GPS…it is not perfect but makes travel in unknown places easier…and driving much safer!


    1. Peg and I joke a lot about me never wanting to take the same way back as out.

      I wonder if failing natural compasses are part of life. I’ve noticed the same; that my once never-failing compass, is now quite often broken!

      I notice patterns — everywhere — and I think that has helped me a lot. Peg notices points (in time, in space) and she’s always lost because she has no pattern into which to place a thing, or location. Similarities can also be a pain, because every city has a Washington street. And street corners can be quite similar in different cities. Still… more often than not they serve me well.

      And change in the landscape — natural or engineered can be downright unnerving. I agree. > > >

      Liked by 1 person

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