I had an odd experience. I went to Oregon. I thought, innocent me, that I was going to the Pacific Northwest. I thought, ignorant me, that I would be visiting rugged terrain, raging rivers, the ghosts of beneficent cowboys, fresh air, independent spirits, and vigor. Westward Ho the Wagons.
Was I ever wrong.
Know what I found in Bend, Oregon? Are your ready for this?
Traffic circles. That’s right. Traffic circles.
Lest you suspect confusion on my part, I am not talking about clover leafs. Clover leafs are familiar to all experienced travelers, and even make a graceful kind of sense as they swoon over rapidly moving cars. Nor am I talking about jug handles. Even they, after we grasp the concept of turning right to go left, have a cockamamie kind of logic. Particularly since road signs alert us well in advance, “All turns from the right.” In fact, after our initial baptism of perplexing traffic patterns, exiting from a cloverleaf or a jug handle is no harder than flicking on a turn signals and aiming at a ramp.
Not so with … even thinking about it gives me a headache. Traffic circles.