Thursday, September 23, 2010

We Know Where We are Going but Can't Get There!

Ron traveled for more than 20 years in his secular job so he is somewhat familiar with various cities. However,traffic has greatly increased and roads have changed (or more been added) since that time. We find some intersections that are somewhat like and sometimes worse than "Spagetti Junction" at I-285 and I-85 in north Atlanta.

Yesterday, we were in the car going to the airport and the directions were horrible. Although we were not far away, we had to get onto several different interstates and loops and still got lost with a GPS. If we make one wrong turn, the GPS lady goes crazy and keeps trying to turn us at every street to get us back the way she wants us to go.

We were on Loop 12 yesterday between Dallas and Ft. Worth and it was an absolute nightmare. I am not sure how we found our way to the airport, then to the hospital and back to the place where the RV is parked.

Last night one of the elders asked us if we found the hospital O.K. We told him after losing our way several times, we finally found it. He said he left one morning at 8 a.m. to go to a hospital in Dallas to be with a friend having surgery at 10 a.m. He said about 10:45 he was so turned around he didn't know if he could find the hospital or not so then he decided to just go back home. He said then he had trouble finding his way back. (We could really relate to that!) He said he finds it horrible to drive in Dallas. I'm glad a person living in this area said that and reassured me that I'm not a complete idiot with directions.

Part of the problem is that Ron will decide the GPS or Google directions are wrong or it is taking us out of our way as he remembers his previous travels in the city. He knows his directions so he gets impatient if the GPS turns us in the wrong direction even though it may be correct to get us on the way we need to go. The GPS may say exit right and then turn left and it's confusing as to exactly where we are to turn left. Sometimes it's an immediate turn and sometimes it's not. Ron sometimes loses his patience and starts turning in the direction he feels we should be going. When he does this, I just turn the GPS sound off at this point because it just drives us crazy saying "recalculate" "make a U turn" etc.

After a short while, Ron may decide he doesn't know where he is or which road to take so I turn the GPS back on to see if it can find us at that point and get us where we want to go.

Judy suggested I look at the map on the GPS to see the streets but my eyes are not good enough to read this small print in the glare of the sun (even when I enlarge the map). The problem is the GPS won't always tell us to turn until sometimes it's too late for Ron to get in the correct lane. I tell him it's one mile and he needs to be in the right lane, but like most people, he waits too long to move over and may miss the turn. With heavy traffic, this is really a problem.

Using a Google or Mapquest direction does not help much. Usually the GPS wants to go a different way. It's easier to follow the GPS sometimes but I can seldom compare it with the printed directions or a map. I'll have three sources in front of me and we still get on the wrong roads. I am actually working with four sources of information when Ron is part of the equation. Then if there's construction, which is often, there are roads and exits that are closed and then we are hunting our way through the maize again.

I've threatened to not do anything to help out but when we get ready to leave with the RV and car pulled behind us, I am too nervous to just leave it to chance. We can't weave all around like we did in the car yesterday with the RV and even moving over to another lane takes good timing.

I suggested we try to find a GPS that will mount on the dashboard of the RV close to Ron so he can watch the map and do a better job of maneuvering. I haven't had any response to that suggestion but when I quit completely, it might be considered a good idea!

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