As a public service, i offer you the following thought experiment. Pretend you are standing before a blackboard, the top of which represents the direction “north.” Here’s a piece of chalk: Draw the top half of a circle, starting in the west and going up and over to the east. (Draw it nice and big, so the whole class can see it.) Now erase the last 20% of it that you drew. Good. You have drawn an almost perfect representation of New York’s Rt. 28, from its westerm terminus near Utica all the way to Warrensburg in the east. It passes through some of the state’s most beautiful territory — the Adirondacks.
Now, let’s say you are traveling from Newburgh, 150 miles south of Warrensburg, to Potsdam — to get the stuff out of your son’s dorm room at SUNY Potsdam, let’s say. And let’s say further that, not long after you’ve finished that job and gotten all the crap loaded into the car (except the kid, let’s say, because he wants to stay up there with his girlfriend for another week — or as he cleverly puts it, he wants to “study for his finals”), there arises an almost tornado-level electrical storm that turns the sky green-black. There are pine trees and large, male deer blowing across the twisting mountain roads that you’re fighting to keep your car on, and you’ve gotta get all the way to Warrensburg, which is where you can jump onto the much-more-civilized Rt. 87 for the last, two-and-a-half hour leg of your trip.
So here’s what happens: You make it through the twin metropoli of Colton and South Colton; by a miracle, you have swung past Tupper Lake without driving into it; you have passed Long Lake, and have arrived at Blue Mountain Lake. And after three hours of back-breaking, chin-on-the-steering-wheel, white-knuckle driving, you notice from a sign that you’re not on plain old Rt. 30 South anymore; the road is now known as Rt. 28/30. You allow yourself a moment’s hope, because you know you’re at the very top of that map you’ve drawn on the board, and that all you have to do is turn left (east) somewhere around here onto Rt. 28 and you’ll be arcing southeasterly for 45 miles, all the way back down to Warrensburg. Suddenly you see a sign with arrows. One arrow points straight ahead but says, “Rt. 28 South” and the other points to the left but says, “Rt. 28 North.” If there’s only one thing you know in the world, it’s that you do NOT want to start heading north, back up to Potsdam. Here’s the question: WHICH WAY DO YOU GO?
And here’s the answer: YOU GO STRAIGHT. Why? I’ll tell you why: Because you’re an idiot, that’s why! An idiot who should not be driving under any circumstances, much less these. Yes, you go straight, but then within 50 feet, after God has stopped laughing, He sends you another sign, saying, “Utica, 86 miles.” And you realize that even though you’re on Rt. 28 SOUTH, you are also headed the wrong way on the arc. So you turn around and go back, and get on Rt. 28 NORTH, and then there’s a pole another 50 feet later bearing TWO signs: the one on top says, “Rt. 30 South” and the one right underneath it says, “Rt. 28 North.”
Only in the Adirondacks could you be headed southeast on Rt. 28 North, but that’s OK because there’s yet another sign just a few feet beyond those two, and it’s really the most beautiful sign you’ve ever seen: It’s glistening and clear in your headlights through the rain, and it says, “Warrensburg, 45 miles.”
To review: In New York State, do not ever, ever think that, just because you’re on Rt. 28 South, headed west, that you can’t be headed north. Or that you can’t be on both Rt. 30 South and Rt. 28 North at the same time. Or vice-versa.
And i hope you’ve taken notes, because this will be on the final.