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Hart Beat

Getting lost is an art form

I'm a big fan of the television show "Lost." I plan my Wednesday evening to leave open the 8 o'clock hour so I can settle in to find out what misadventures await the 40 plane crash survivors each week.

I think watching stories about this deserted island are among my favorite adventure tales. I have read and re-read "Robinson Crusoe" many times as a child. It was one of my favorite stories.

I often imagine what I'd take with me if I were left in such a predicament. But then, who among us has not dreamed of being lost on a deserted island, with nothing but a fat book and our imaginations as survival tools?

I'm such a fan of "Lost" that if I miss an episode, I ask my daughter if I can borrow her tape of the show so I can keep up on the adventures of the stranded plane wreck survivors. I like the fictional account of "Lost" a lot better than all of those popular "Survival" reality shows, even though I know that fact is stranger than fiction.

Even so, I find I'm learning things from the castaways' stories and not a minute too soon, as it turns out. I need all the help and advice I can get because lately I've been getting lost a lot. I think I'm in training for my own deserted island adventure.

Never a person given to following directions of any kind very well, I'm particularly inept at following travel directions. I manage to get lost looking for my keys, and I always think I know where I left them. This past week has been an excellent example of my unusual skills at finding the scenic route to even the most mundane of destinations.

Monday I was trying to find the Terrace Heights office of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation on Marsh Road. Turns out if I'd stayed on the road I was on I still would have gotten lost because the sign to the federal building only measures like a 3"x5" card when you're cruising down the road.

I found the right road but not for about 20 minutes so it's a good thing I left Sunnyside a bit early so I could be on time for the press conference. But getting lost in a strange town is not an unexpected event. I've gotten lost in my hometown of Centerville and it's smaller than Bickleton. I've gotten lost driving from my front door to the top of Harrison Hill. Heck, I've even gotten lost driving around the block a time or two.

I blame it on my French-Canadian ancestors on my Mother's side of the family, who used to roam around the country looking for new fur trapping sites. Being lost was no big deal to them. They figured they'd eventually run into something interesting. So do I, but usually at inconvenient times.

I now know my way completely around the beautiful Keith and Keith Cemetery in Terrace Heights. I now have a new found knowledge of the older homes in the East Yakima community and a lot of short cuts to Gold's Gym, not that I'll ever use that tidbit of information

And more importantly I know how to get to the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation office despite these officials apparent attempts to keep it a secret location at the Terrace Heights foothills. You'd think they could put up a tad bigger sign. But maybe with all the Yakima Valley worries about lack of irrigation water storage and the pending drought forecast, they'd just as soon not have people not know where their offices are.

Maybe I ought to tell them to put out a smaller sign, after all, if I, the constantly lost traveler, can find them, anyone with a real sense of direction will have no problem at all.

Sorry, guys. It really was an accident I stumbled on the right road. But, occasionally I still manage to find my way, just not as often as I once did.

I expect that one of these days I'll be discovered wandering in a circle looking for the door out of my house. I just hope I remember to take along a fat book.

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