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Where’s North?

Which way?

I believe that women are successfully capable of giving directions to other women that are unintelligible to men. Also, men navigate in a way women do not understand.

The Kansas Woman and I have different ways of navigating. She depends upon way-points: bridges, houses, barns or approximate time between one spot and another.

I navigate by what looks right. Odd numbered highways run north/south. Even numbered roads run east/west. It works. Usually.

In the South there is no point in giving directions according to cardinal directions. People do not know where north is.

Needing directions last week, I was told, “We are at the end of Main Street.” He said and I asked, “which end?”

“Which end?” “Yep. It runs east and west.” “We're near the Chinese restaurant.” “That's east.” Then, was the office on the north or south side of Main Street? It would have been easier if he had said that they were on the east end of Main Street on the south side.

People in the South largely do not know about cardinal directions and which direction is north.

Pilots, who navigate airplanes relative to north, can't tell you which direction their house faces.

Georgia Highway 166 has a couple of names but the oldest is Five Notch Trail. The name comes from the trail markings of Native Americans, and this particular trail led from Sand Town, following the Chattahoochee River to Whitesburg, then known as “Acorn Town.”

This was a second home to Chief William McIntosh, who owned a plantation there and was killed by members of the Creek Nation for signing “The Treaty of Indian Springs” without ratification by the Creek Nation.

Trails often followed creeks and rivers because crossings, or “fords,” were so few and there were no bridges across the major rivers.

In the mountains trails led from one place to another in the easiest way to get there.

West of the Mississippi there is a more reasonable system. Everything runs “square with the world.” Roads run north/south, east/west and they are a mile apart.

A square mile is 640 acres, and that is the way things are making following directions so simple a man can do it.

To find someone's house, you might go four miles west and three miles north. You drive west passing three roads and turn right on the fourth. You follow that road past three roads and you're there.

If you are looking for your Sunday jeans, you could be told to look in the south closet of the west room. It works.

Many southerners own a compass and I wonder why.

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