I remember a few sections back east, probably TN, where it seemed like we were going two miles south then two miles north just to get to a mile of east/west dirt road. It seemed really WTF dumb at the time.
There was a similar section I think south of Bartlesville OK.
One would almost certainly not miss anything by planning a more direct route thru such sections.
In general I found that after about a day or two in any one area I was getting tired and wanted a change of scenery. Thus if someone were on a time budget, one could choose to slab a few hundred miles to get to the next area.