As Shania would say, “That Don’t Impress me Much.”
"C’mon baby tell-me, you must be jokin’ right?" These were the thoughts in my head as I approached Duluth from Two Harbors yesterday. There was a line up of vehicles waiting to turn off of Highway 61 to be re-routed onto East Superior Street as a bicycling event was ending at Lester Park, also on East Superior Street.
To say it took awhile to get through the traffic would be an understatement. Impatient personality combined with bumper to bumper traffic made worse by the urgent need to relieve oneself did not a happy camper make. I played the game "Would you rather…" with my children to pass time. "Would you rather have me squat in the ditch in view of a few people in passing vehicles or be seen with me in wet pants?" They chose the squatting but amazingly the bladder fairy must have visited and prolonged my agony just long enough to make it to the men’s bathroom at the first gas station available(the women’s was busy).
The city of Duluth’s ability to re-route traffic yesterday did not impress me much. Weekend mid-day traffic headed north and south was being controlled by four way stop signs. Could it get any slower than that? I think not. Vehicles were lined up on the Scenic Highway 61 turning north onto 61 to turn left from the Highway onto E. Superior Street, also backed up on Old Shore Road waiting to cross to E. Superior Street and on Highway 61 itself for miles. The people waiting to head north had it a little easier but road rage was in the air. I could have figured out a number of different alternatives to this traffic situation.
According to folks who came through the area later during the day the traffic going north wasn’t too bad but there was still a line up of folks heading south. This problem could be easily remedied. Maybe the traffic cops were off because it was a Sunday or the temporary stoplights had to be removed for the day whatever the reason I beg for the situation to improve.
I was so unimpressed with the four corners from hell that I chose to take a detor my faithful Voyageur Crew member Kristi told me about. Without paper in the car I wrote the directions on Abby’s leg who later when asked to read them back to me claimed she couldn’t read my writing. She couldn’t see either because we missed every other road name written on her leg. We missed Lissmore Road and ended up taking a gravel road for 8 miles to Knife River Road but it was still much better than dealing with the unknown situation there might have been at 61 and E. Superior Street.
I was much happier going somewhere in my vehicle knowing if push came to shove and the bladder fairy only granted one wish a day, I wouldn’t be walking anywhere in wet pants.