Take the Road Less Traveled

snowy road

Tonight I avoided the worst of Atlanta's Snowmageddon (or whatever the kids are calling the snowpocalypse these days) by taking the road less traveled.

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
— Robert Frost

My method of deciding which road to take was less romantic than Mr. Frost's. Using the Waze app for iPhone, I changed the navigation settings to avoid major roads, which I suspected would be the most clogged and dangerous. Then I let Waze guide me through an unfamiliar route home. Waze altered my suggested route several times to accommodate changes in traffic flow, and I encountered almost no traffic until I was nearly home. The trip took me over an hour instead of the usual 25 minutes, but it was safe and free of blockage.

What would traffic have looked like if everyone in Atlanta had used Waze to get home? What would it have looked like if we had autonomous cars? I suspect it would have looked a lot better.

Like most people, I sometimes complain about imperfect technology, but today I was in position that clearly demonstrated its benefits. Without Waze, I probably would have been stuck on a highway for hours. Because of Waze, I am cozying up to my cat on my couch.  Today, choosing the road less traveled meant trusting a relatively new technology to guide me home. And that has made all the difference.

photo credit: Alison Christine via photopin cc