Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The GPS Adventure from Hell

First thing's first. If you have a GPS Adventure from Hell story, I really want to hear it because I had never and I mean never heard of such a thing before I lived it.

So where were we? Oh yes. Happily on Fish Street after a day of good times and great food. Can you believe that I didn't take one picture of food? Truly rotten of me, too, because the food was not only delicious, it was beautiful and beautifully served and the mere memory of it was sustaining during our long ordeal.

Ahh, yes, we said our goodbyes and Mother asked the best way out of Fish Street and received the knowledgeable answer from Uncle Bee and Mother programmed the GPS and off we went with that smooth talker, the one with a slightly British accent and a slightly superior tone, directing us.

Turn Left, says she.

Fine. Just as we thought.

Turn Right on Liberty Road, says she.

Right? Turn right? I thought we were staying on this road until the main highway. Mother dutifully turned right and for a while it seemed that we were on a quiet residential street until the road turned to dirt. We didn't think that much about it and especially nothing of it when it came back out on tar again, but then...

Hmmm, this looks a bit ominous. Now may be a good time to explain our roles. Mother was driving; John was the advisor and guide; and I was the backseat driver and the reminder of all the yummy food we'd eaten that day. (I even had raspberry squares to munch if things got too tense. They did. I had to share them with my fellow travelers as things were much too tense for them, too.) Once again the road has turned to dirt, but that is not all that unusual in this corner. It looked like a pretty decent dirt road as dirt roads go.

One point seven miles, says she of British accent and slightly superior tone.

We considered our options and forged ahead. No place to turn around anyway.

Mud puddle ahead...

Just follow me...

Satellite Connection has been lost.

Come ahead just a little...

The sun was brutal... John! I can hardly see you!


The bugs, mosquitoes, mud, and glare!

Mother, you've got to slow down!  We'll have to turn back to fetch John at this speed!

And so it went. One point seven miles down the road and twenty point seven miles back.  About midpoint in this hour adventure we put in an urgent call to Fish Street. "Ever heard of Liberty Road?" Mother asks.

"Oh gak! You'll never be able to get through to the main highway. That road stops."

"Really?" says mother all coolness and calm. "Well, we're going to continue because there's no room to turn around. The tree branches are scraping the car all the way."

"I'm just telling you that there's no way through."

And this is when I begin thinking about metaphors and praying. We did ultimately find a field out there in all that great forest with just enough room to turn around and we headed back into the glare of that setting sun and thanked God it was still setting and that it hadn't sunk below the mountains yet.

So our long adventure was over after nearly an hour in the woods. Unbelievable. You'll be happy to know that our new plan is never to continue on a dirt road no matter what the GPS says.


Right. Thanks.


  1. Vee! The lengths you will go to for an amazing blog post!! lol

    Oh my goodness! That must have had your heart racing. Mine was, just looking at the pictures. It is a good thing that it wasn't the middle of winter. We have all heard those stories on the news. Now you know how those things happen.

    Becky K.

  2. We have a similar story, outside of Lancaster Pa, only we ended up in a new industrial area with roads still being constructed, and they would just......suddenly.....end.
    Added at least an hour on to our trip home!

  3. Last summer my husband took a trip with an old Army buddy who idolizes his GPS.

    Hubby said he KNEW there were better ways to get them to North Carolina and that they got lost more than once but his friend still used that GPS instead of the map.

    It was so frustrating, they were hardly speaking to each other when his friend brought him home.

    So, you can imagine how hubby felt when he gave his friend directions to get to the Interstate from our place, starting with... turn RIGHT onto the county road.

    He saw his friend stop at the end of the travel lane, look at his GPS, and proceed to turn LEFT which takes you through corn fields and completely away from the Interstate (at least the easiest way to it).

  4. What a cute story! You have surely made a memory....LOL, sometimes you just have to make the lady recalculate!

  5. -chuckle- Makes one feel glad they do not have new-fangled stuff like GPS. -giggggles-

  6. I'm sure I would have had been very tense about the whole thing. We don't have a GPS but I have heard of other people ending up stranded because of their GPS.


  7. Wow..thank goodness it was still light out! Glad you can laugh about it now..you are laughing right?? Well, we sorta are..sorry..but it IS funny...sad..but funny!

  8. There are signs on our interstate that flash and say "GPS unreliable" whenever there is a detour.

    I heard a story about a year or so ago, when a young couple with a baby followed there GPS onto summer only camp road and got stuck in snow for 2 or 3 days!

    Glad you made it home safely.

  9. Oh my Vee! Sounds like you went on an adventure. Glad you made it out O.K. and before dark!

  10. This my husband must read! Ha - we have had similar stories but could never top this one! Oh my! Your writing of it...well, it takes us along with you in the backseat! Excellent! Love it, love it! Sorry you had to experience that for our reading enjoyment! Love ya!

  11. Great post Vee....and what an adventure!!!

  12. ha ha! i have had too many of those
    recalculating moments in LA traffic.

    but i never got a hilarious story out of
    it. thanks!

    glad you're home, safe and sound.

  13. I had Onstar's GPS send us the wrong way on a recent trip, but I had printed out the Google instructions beforehand and since the highway signs matched up with Google, I ignored Onstar. Of course the GPS wasn't happy and told us for well over 100 miles that we had veered off of the planned course. As it happened, while taking a leisurely drive through Omaha, we made a turn that took us directly to the spot that Onstar had wanted us to reach and the GPS quit yelling at us.

    Now that I've read your GPS horror story, I wonder which cornfield in Nebraska Onstar was trying to make us drive through.

  14. Hi Vee, Yep that is one funny story and I do have one too. My daughter and I and the kiddos were going to Canandaigua NY and the GPS took us on every counrty road it could find giving us directions like, turn left, then turn right, and then a little later, turn right, then turn left! We swear we went in circles and saw every Amish and Mennonite farm in 3 counties!

    But we laughed our way through it and we finally got to our destination. Since then I've found a better route.....LOL....what's up with these things.

  15. Oh my goodness.... what an adventure.. We set our GPS one time that took us through a not so friendly neck of the woods...where you dare not unlock or get out of your car...a very seedy area...I was scared to death....of course after we found our way out of that bad neighborhood we laughed about it, but it was not funny at the time..Another time while on vacation we set the GPS that led us to a bridge that was closed down for construction, we had to back track 2 hours...
    Your photo's were great!!!!
    Have a sweet day, big hugs-Elizabeth

  16. BWAAHHAA! Glad you lived to tell the tale.

    Oh yeah, we have those adventures a lot around here, but ours usually involve our GPS telling us to turn right...RIGHT INTO THE WATER! Seems friendly GPS systems do not know that you cannot cross a body of water without a ferry around here :-)

  17. I think that is so funny! One time we tried to find a McDonalds, I forget what state we were in, and it had us going up over a mountain on a dirt road. We decided not to go with her directions though and as there are so many McDonalds around we just found one on our own.

  18. We had one last week in Pittsburgh, that basically resulted in Mister arguing with the GPS the whole way because he knows his way around Pittsburgh. (so why use the GPS? I know.) Anyway, he sometimes yells when driving which always startles and upsets me since he is such a gentle man, so I was stressing, he was arguing with the GPS, and the GPS just kept saying..."Recalculating route."

  19. Had similar experiences but have to admit I turned around quickly! Most fun with a GPS was setting the language to Finnish when my dad was in the car and pretending it was speaking in English. Took him a minute to catch onto my joke-he was raised in Finland and spoke fluent Finnish (but not often). For a minute he thought his brain was playing tricks but no, it was ME!

  20. Vee. Am I allowed to laugh, I thought adventures like this only happened to us. I am glad that through it all that everyone was safe and sound. loved all of the pictures of John directing the driver. priceless!

    I also enjoyed your previous post, enjoyed the mosaics. I am so glad that everything turned out well, and that you all had fun.THanks for sharing.
    You have such a way with words, I felt as though I was there with you.

  21. Oh my, that sounds like a wild ride. Glad it all worked out in the end.
    I am well acquainted with that British accent. I recall one time when we were in Tennessee trying to find a restaurant and the dear lady sent us right into the back entrance of Dollywood. That called for a definte "route recalculation".

  22. I know they can give a round about way to reach a destination...but your experience really is scary! I'm glad you were able to turn around and get back...and that you were not alone! Hugs to all three of you! ♥

  23. We borrowed a GPS for our recent trip to Tennessee because we were making some side trips and were take a new route. NEVER AGAIN!!! NEVER. What a stinkin' mess it was. My sister and I were praying for a old fashioned paper and ink atlas. Seriously.

    For one thing, if you punch the address in it will not tell you.... this trip will be 29 miles. That information (easily discernible by looking at a map) would have changed our decision to head out for that location. That's just the tip of the GPS iceberg.

    And the worst thing is..... the stupid GPS won't stop and ask for directions!!!!

  24. What a horror story! I can only imagine the frustration. We don't have a GPS but we do use google maps. We have found ourselves out in the middle of no where several time. My brother keeps saying get a GPS. Ha! I can't wait to share your story with him...

  25. OMG Vee,
    What an unbelievable adventure. Thank God you weren't alone...lions and tigers and bears Oh My.

    Thank God you could turn around. I never use the GPS, that woman tells me when to turn just too late for me. I like good old fashioned maps. This way I can plot alternate routes on a dime.

    Glad it worked out okay, can you imagine?


  26. Oh my! You should write a letter of complaint to the GPS manufacturer!

    We had a rental car in California and my husband bought a brand new GPS to use on the trip because the old one we had would often send us down dirt roads like yours did , Vee. He charged it up when we got it and in the middle of a 6 lane freeway on our way back from Yosemite National Park to San Francisco it died..kaput! It seems the Impala we were driving did not have a working power source and the GPS battery finally died out. Thank goodness we had a back up plan and had gotten a map from AAA I had to plot a course on three different freeways to get us to out hotel...a very complicated part of the trip. We found out when we got home the GPS was fine --it powered up in our car easily.

    When I got home my daughter also reminded me I have a GPS on my phone..I could have turned it on and followed it's directions...lol..I just wasn't thinking.


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