Adventures are more fun when shared with a friend, right? This year I thought I might miss the Arkansas Writers’ Conference entirely, but almost last-minute decided I could go on Saturday to the last day of the event.
I volunteered to drive to the North Little Rock campus of Pulaski Tech College, and duly printed off the directions. I left my house before 7:00 a.m. to pick up Kayla, my young-enough-to-be-my-granddaughter friend from the White County Creative Writers’ group.
I know where she lives. I’ve been there before. It’s on a corner. But as I cruised around the Kamack addition, I couldn’t seem to find either of the streets I needed to locate her corner.
Have I ever mentioned here that I am directionally challenged? I have lived in Beebe 15 years but am still able to lose my way going from point A to point B.
Of course I finally found her house, however, this beginning was a foreshadow of how the day was going to go.
We actually made it to the conference on time with no problems, after we figured out that exit 152B is off I-40 rather than Highway 67/167.
The morning sessions were wonderful, full of good speakers and learning. Kayla was able to pitch her book to a publisher. Since neither of us had registered early enough to be in the lunch count, we dashed out to find something to eat.
We stopped at the first food place we saw which, when we stepped inside, looked like Botulism City. Silently agreeing/ hoping that the hot grease would kill most germs, we ordered take out and rushed back to have lunch on Pulaski Tech’s patio. The Lord’s hand was on us and neither of us got sick.
After a stimulating afternoon, we started the trek home. The idea was to read the directions that had brought us there and ‘flip flop’. But when I arrived at the place where I had exited I-40 East I saw no directions on how to get onto I-40 West. Nor did I see any instructions on the other side of the underpass.
So I continued straight ahead. This was after all a busy thoroughfare. Surely it would lead me to more familiar territory. In time, I came to HWY 107.
“I’ve heard of HWY 107,” I said. “It should intersect with a street I know.”
I turned onto that highway, using the western sun to choose my direction, the North Star being unavailable.
After we had gone a few miles, Kayla reached in her purse and said, “I’ll just get my phone and turn on the GPS.”
“YOU HAVE A GPS?” I inquired.
She queried 67/167 and we immediately heard the voice saying to turn right the next chance we got. I saw the Sherwood city limit sign and breathed a sigh of relief. Oh good, we’re still in Arkansas.
Of course we found 67/167 just south of Jacksonville and in due time made it home. An adventurous day well spent.
My friend Kayla is Kayla Shown-Dean, free lance writer and author of Muted. Check out her website and blog here.