I got a bit better acquainted with one of the back roads in Lehigh Acres this morning. Not by choice, mind you; no, it was a detour brought about by an accident on State Road 82.
I was driving home from work and had turned on SR 82 and driven a mile or so until I suddenly noticed that the traffic in front of me had slowed from the normal 60 mph to a standstill. Uh-oh. It was a foggy morning, and moments later, the radio helpfully told me that there was an accident on SR 82 with injuries and road blockage. Great. Now they tell me! It would have been nice if they'd mentioned it five minutes earlier and I would have taken an alternate route.
I thought about doing a quick U-turn, and in retrospect, this would have gotten me home much faster. Instead, I inched down the road behind the line of vehicles in front of me, and the sheriff's deputy whose cruiser was blocking off the highway diverted us off onto a narrow side street. Things moved along reasonably well for about a mile, but then we came to a complete stop. I slowly crawled down that road, taking about 15 minutes to go another mile or so. Finally I got to the next major road and turned left. It took another couple of miles to shake the traffic and finally be able to drive at normal speed.
It could have been worse, I guess. I could have been trying to get some place by a specific time. And I was certainly better off than the poor saps who were involved in the accident that caused all the trouble in the first place. Sometimes, it helps to keep things in proper perspective.
(Later, after some reflection) So what did I learn from this little involuntary side trip?
1. It is best to trust your instincts. If your gut feeling is "this would be a good time for a U-turn," your gut feeling is probably right.
2. The shortest path is not necessarily the quickest path.
3. When the traffic guy on the radio says that there's an accident with road blockage on the road ahead of you, he means it. Really. See #1 and #2 above.