Three GPS Family

Okay, so we forgot a few things. Water bottles, munchies, and most of the elegant paraphernalia we’ve collected for powering our electronics abroad. This time we did remember cheese, nail polish remover and sunscreen. Life is always a compromise.

Once we took off on a trip without any printed maps. Not a problem, we thought. With our trusted GPS in charge of navigation, who needed a map? That was the trip when it sent us over a bridge that didn’t exist to a campground located in the middle of a river. Even when we pulled into the campground after crossing on a bridge a couple of miles downriver, (never identified on the GPS,) it insisted we make a U-turn and keep searching.

We should have suspected its potential for delusion. It was the same GPS that refused to acknowledge a road near our home that shaved off a good five minutes reaching our nearest interstate, and we had to regularly ignore it. Then one day it suddenly became enlightened with reality. We were never certain if there was built-in artificial intelligence that kicked in or we had just proven a greater capacity for stubbornness.

That said, I’ve come to rely on my GPS, despite it’s whimsical approach to navigation. I became a convert the day I was hopelessly lost, wandering the back roads of New Hampshire trying to find my way back to Massachusetts. Most of these roads are a network built from colonial era cow paths that resemble the web-work of a drunken spider, and I discovered one must think like a cow for them to make any sense. When I began to chart my course by the setting of the sun, I concluded even an errant GPS was fitter than I for finding my way home.

Our total conversion was evident the day we took off on a cross-country venture equipped with not one, but all three of our GPS’s, lined up on our dashboard like intrepid scouts. That continues to be our modus operandi on this trip as well. My husband’s two are dedicated to serious navigation, and I stay out of their way, except when called on to referee when they disagree (the GPS’s or my husband and one or both of them.) Mine is dedicated to finding Starbucks when I need a latte fix, or the grocery or drugstore we inevitably require. More often than not, mine disagrees with its colleagues, but I’ve learned to ignore them. As far as I’m concerned, any GPS that’s guiding me to a Starbucks is on the one, true path.

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