road ahead closed

I have a glitch in the matrix story for @sixpenceee!

So a couple of years ago my friend and I were taking a small road trip from Tennessee to Ohio, stopping at a few sights on the way, so by the time this story takes place, we were nearing home but still about 2 hours away, and it was really late at this point, about 2 or 3 in the morning.

So, being that we were only a couple of hours away from home, we mostly knew where we were going by following the freeway signs. We had the GPS going but since it was pretty much a straight shot at this point it hadn’t needed to direct us for a while.

All of a sudden, signs start popping up that the road is closed ahead. Now, construction isn’t uncommon in Ohio, and lane closures are super common, but since this is a pretty major freeway it’s weird that it would be closed entirely. But sure enough as we keep going there’s clear signs of road construction: orange barrels, concrete barriers dividing the lanes, men working under bright lamps, all of it. Nothing seems particularly strange about any of this except that the freeway is definitely closed, and the concrete barriers pretty much force you to take the up coming exit.

So we take the exit, a little confused and annoyed, and off the freeway we have no idea where to go from there. It’s not an area we know the back roads of very well, and this exit leads to a stretch of farm road; dark and empty.

Our game plan was to just turn around, get on the freeway going to opposite direction and backtrack until we could figure out a way around the construction. Except we can’t do that, because there is a semi truck parked on the freeway entrance, facing the wrong way with his load slanting across the entire road. There’s a couple of guys standing around the truck talking, but they don’t really acknowledge us or seem to notice that we’re trying to get by. We eventually have to give up and head down the dark road instead.

The GPS isn’t really helping us now, so we turn it off and I pull up the map on my phone, guiding my friend back to the freeway. We’re both a little weirded out right now, and completely lost out here in the middle of no where. We decide our best bet would be to get back on the freeway heading towards home and ask the construction crew if they know of a detour when we get to them.

It takes about 45 minutes to get back to another entrance to the freeway, but we finally do. We get on the same freeway, going the same direction, and we’ve backtracked a bit. We read all the same signs along the way as we did before…

Except there’s no construction signs. There’s no construction equipment, or workers, not even so much as a cone. It was like all the concrete barriers and machines had been packed up and shipped out in the 45 minutes it took us to get back there.

We have no idea to this day what happened. It’s not possible for us to have gotten on a different road, and he had definitely backtracked and not somehow gone around the construction. When we tell people about it it’s met with a lot of skepticism, and maybe it was just a trick our tired brains pulled on us, but honestly that didn’t make it any less freaky at the time.