Early this morning I headed out for the Book Fair at the Sarasota Farmer's Market. I realized I might be a few minutes late, but should be on time to help with the tables.
Close to Sarasota I saw a sign saying, "Only one lane ahead."
On a three lane road that is a cause for concern, but at 6:45 in the morning I wasn't too worried about it. Then, traffic stopped. The straight ahead lane that should be open was blocked by police cars. I followed traffic and stopped when the police man directing traffic held his hand up.
While I waited another officer walked out in the lane in front of my car. He was carrying some signs to help direct traffic. They looked heavy. He was still right in front of my car when the police man directing traffic decided it was my turn to go.
It was still dark, and I'm assuming police A didn't see police B, because he was getting quite aggravated over me not moving. I had no intention of hitting police B, so I rolled along with his walking pace hoping he'd move out of my lane over to the side. Police A's gestures looked more and more aggravated and I was relieved when I made it out of the crossroad.
I followed the detour, got back to US41, and thought I made it out of the adventure with just a few minutes' delay.
New police control waved me to the right, but I needed to go straight ahead.
"Sorry ma'am, you can't go that way."
Thus, I found myself on the road leading to the islands. Not good.
Another cop stood directing traffic down on this road, and I pulled up to him and rolled my window down.
I said, "Excuse me..."
He said, "You can't stop traffic, ma'am."
There was no other car as far as the eye could see. He realized that too and the stern face softened. "What do you need?"
"I'm feeling a bit lost. I'm trying to go to the Farmer's market."
"Well, you're going in the wrong direction. The Farmer's market is over on Main Street."
"I know that, but your colleagues have shut off the road and directed me over here."
"Oh." He remained quiet for a few seconds. "Well, you've gotta move on. You're stopping traffic."
I wasn't getting anywhere with him. I couldn't find a place to turn around, so I drove all the way over the long bridge to the island, turned around, and drove back towards the city.
The complications weren't over with that, but that was the end of the amusing complications. I arrived at the book fair an hour late, and people told me the road was shut off because of a marathon. I guessed bike race, but it might have been a marathon.
US41 carries so much traffic in a day it has even made it into a Stephen King book. If the marathon is that big a deal, wouldn't it be wise to find a way to redirect traffic so people have at least a chance to get where they're going?
I finally made it to the Farmer's Market. It was a tad too cold for my taste, but interesting to see so many people out and about.
High points of the day: chatting with Maya Sullivan from Sarasota Suds - I will tell you all about their products next week - and meeting Elinor Rogosin again. There were many other excellent writers, like Susan Klaus and Brenda Spalding, and I made some new friends!