Nearly a year in and still getting lost

Published 9:00 pm Thursday, January 11, 2018

am usually pretty good at directions.

When I was in Europe I became pretty adept at navigating through the foreign towns I found myself in once I got acquainted with them.

Fresh off the bus or plane there would be the occasional mishap like when I took multiple wrong turns and got all turned around in Brussels (it paid off later as I found some cool museums I didn’t know about and later visited).

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Wednesday, my ability to navigate completely abandoned me though. As part of the Leadership Vicksburg program we were supposed to go from Ameristar Casino, where we had our morning session, to Anderson Tully for a tour.

I had the address, put it in my phone and as people who live here likely know it is literally a straight shot down Washington Street.

I offered to lead a classmate who didn’t know the location and off we went.

For the majority of the trip it was easy (see the literal straight shot mentioned earlier) and then we missed the little turn into the entrance right before Hanning Road.

My phone told me to turn on Cairo Road, the entrance, but I never saw that it existed and suddenly we were lost. My phone routed us down Hanning Road and took us to a back gate that was padlocked. At that point I decided I knew better than Google (Spoiler: there are few times you know better than our overlords Google and this was not one of them) and I would figure it out on my own.

A left on Washington, a couple more turns and now suddenly with two people following and getting more and more lost I about gave up.

Then I decided to give Google one more chance. Jump on Washington Street and it tells me to turn on Cairo Road again and success this time I found it. As we arrived, the majority of the class was sitting there waiting for us having known where they were going (in my defense they’ve lived here a lot longer), but others did get lost as well.

The debacle of arriving behind us, we donned hard hats, bright vests, earplugs and safety goggles and set out on a tour. The tour proved to be a great experience and introduced me to a cool industry in Vicksburg that I had heard of, but knew little about.

Having lived in Vicksburg for nearly a year now, the day showed me how little I know about the town still (I got lost on a route that included two turns). On our way to the next stop I also learned that Sherman Avenue apparently connects Washington Street and Highway 61 North and proved to be a great short cut.

This was news to me, but what moving quite a bit has shown me is that finding those back roads is important and also hard to do without a guide.

Brandon O’Connor is a staff writer for The Vicksburg Post. You may reach him at