Sunday, January 18, 2015

When Will I Stop Getting Lost?

by Leann

If you're on Facebook, you probably know that I adopted a darling kitten on Friday. His name is Lynley for DCI Thomas Lynley in Elizabeth George's series. It's a favorite and I have read every book more than once. Cutie pie, huh?

But this is about what happened after I was on my way home with my new little friend. I went to Greenville in South Carolina, about a 70-90 minute ride from Greenwood where we live. The animal shelter there is wonderful. But I am very unfamiliar with Greenville. I go to the doctor there and that's about it. And I had a doctor's appointment that day and went to the shelter afterward.

The place is on the north side of town and when the mountains of paperwork to "foster to adopt" were done, the crying cat and I were on the way home. Or so I thought.  I programmed the GPS for home. In my defense, the sun was very bright and my GPS screen was impossible to see for most of the trip. So I listened to the
lady tell me where to turn. After all, she'd gotten me from the doctor to the shelter without a hitch, even though it was a circuitous route.

So when the machine led me in a different direction (though still west, which was right) I trusted that darn thing. But when I saw a sign for Clemson University, I began to get nervous. Surely this new route didn't take me through the north part of South Carolina! Finally, I pulled over after traveling at least twenty miles, maybe more. I put on the sunglasses and took a good look at the road we were on and it was very unfamiliar. So I decided to reprogram the thing. Maybe there was a glitch--and I had NO IDEA where I was.

And that's when I learned that there are two streets with the same name that include my house number, but in different towns--towns very far apart. My heart sank. Somehow, when I'd tapped "previous destinations" the street in the OTHER town was programmed in and that's the one I chose. How did THAT happen? I have no idea. But the biggest shock was when the GPS "recalculated" and I learned I was 66 miles from home--farther away from home than when I'd started
out at 8 AM in the morning. Yup. I was lost. To say the rural roads in South Carolina are all very much alike is an understatement. I now believe they all look EXACTLY the same.

Needless to say, I made it home with a very sleepy, sweet kitten. My next challenge is to figure out how to delete that wrong address from my GPS. Ever had anything like that happen to you? Or are you far smarter than me?

42 comments:

Mama Cat said...

I don't have GPS, and haven't been smart enough to use the one on my phone...so you arr doing great to get it right most of the time! Or maybe I like the security of seeing a map to help picture the route...from Map quest or similar. Blessings!

Allison said...

I kept having trouble with my Maps app on my iPhone. Couldn't figure out why it was taking me on bizarre routes to get places from "Home." Finally figured out that it had my home about 5-7 miles west of where it really is - even though I'd programmed in my actual address. Since I was just trying to get around town and knew mostly where I was going, I never actually got lost, but, boy, I was confused much of the time. My GPS sometimes can't find me or the satellite or something, so I was trying not to rely on it, but at least it knows where I live.

Lynda Turpin said...

I cannot survive without my GPS (I can easily get lost in my own neighborhood), but I've learned to print out a map from MapQuest or Google Maps as well. Also, when I program the place I want to go, I check the "details" to see what route it is going to take me, so I have a general idea of where/how I'm going. But none of that would help much if it's programmed with the wrong address. Who would have thought that there would be the same address in a nearby town?

In a town near me, the numbered streets have both St. and Ave., and they are right next to each other. So, if I am looking for someone on 9th - but don't know if it's Ave or St. I will never find it. I think that the people naming the streets are either totally without any imagination or they have a very sick sense of humor.

So glad you and Lynley got home safely. He is just such an adorable little guy.

Aurian said...

O that is scary. I need my TomTom if I have to go somewhere alone, a place I have never been to. And to think it can totally steer me wrong ... I would panic. Lucky for me, I very rarely travel alone. My boyfriend or my best friend is with me, and they both love to drive.

Aurian said...

Congrats on the new Kitten Lean! He looks adorable and I do hope he is very healthy.

mary kennedy said...

Yes, I had the same thing happen in LA. I flew into LAX and was heading out of the city to Palm Desert. The annoying woman on the GHP told me to take a right turn--I didn't see how that could be correct, I clearly needed a left turn to head east, towards the desert. But, dutifully, I followed the "voice" and found myself heading right back into the heart of LA!! Very annoying. Why didn't I trust my own judgment? ACK.

mary kennedy said...

That was supposed to be GPS, sorry!

Leann Sweeney said...

Thanks Mama Cat. But I HAD a map. I stopped and looked at it! But I still couldn't figure out where the heck I was! I am pretty hopeless in new places!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations...Lynley is precious! GPS is wonderful...when it works properly. :)

Leann Sweeney said...

thanks, Allison! I thought I might have lost my mind. I'm thinking GPS decided I lived at the OTHER street because I had to reprogram in our REAL home address. Sigh. I hope they don't think up some new technology because I think this techno brain freeze of mine will NOT get better! :-)

Leann Sweeney said...

Thanks Lynda. More adorable by the day! I have NO IDEA how that address got in there, but someone else who is far more technology challenged than I am does use my car on occasion because he has a gas guzzling truck. Of course he is not fessing up. :-)

Dru said...

I don't have a car, but when I'm traveling on the bus and don't know where I'm going, I use the bus tracker to know what stop I need to get off before I get there.

Leann Sweeney said...

I lived in Texas for a long time but everything there is flat and a straight shot. Here, all these country roads look the same. I have a compass on my rear view mirror and that's what finally clued me in that I should have been going more south west than west. Duh! i was very distracted by the crying kiitten. I should have paid more attention to my route when I started for home. But I saw a lot of pretty backroads! :-) And I never panicked because SC is a SMALL state--very small compared to Texas. I knew I'd find my way home eventually! :-)

Leann Sweeney said...

He seems VERY healthy. And already wearing me out with playtime! :-)

Leann Sweeney said...

Yup. It was my own "this isn't right" that kicked in or I would have ended up in Georgia! :-)

Leann Sweeney said...

Thanks Patricia. Yes. Now to figure out the "delete" function!!

Leann Sweeney said...

See, there's an app for that! I know my daughter and son-in-law know where all the subways are and where they go thank to technology. They never get lost!

Diane LaBrie Leverson said...

I don't have the GPS built in the car but have Maggie Magellan who I take with me now but didn't have one at this time.. I usually check out the routes from in my house on line before I go someplace. I'm good with maps but get nervous when I am alone in a new place. The worse time I got lost was when I was going back to Vermont from Montreal Canada. No GPS yet. I had stopped for gas and told my friend to remind me to take the other road after filling up. Well we both forgot, I guess. The only thing that saved me was after about 45 minutes, I saw a sign for Farnham Canada. Not a place I have ever been to, but I before leaving home in Ct., I had looked to see if we were going to be traveling near Farnham. My Maternal Grandmother came from there and no we were not. So I then knew I was lost. I guess we would have ended up at the Atlantic Ocean. I turned around and went back to that gas station and took the other road. I was too rattled to go into the town to look for relatives. My friend, Mary looked like she was going to cry. She perhaps thought we would never get back to the USA. I sure was glad to see the custom agents. Now I use my GPS, My cell phone and print out the route from Map Quest or Google Maps. I find I'm a lot more afraid of being lost when I am alone now.

Leann Sweeney said...

Glad I am not the only one! I was foolish NOT to print out a map from the shelter to home. Since the shelter was only about 4 miles from my doctor's office I thought I'd be fine. WRONG! :-)

Rachelle21 said...

In 1980, when I drove to see Mansfield for the first time. I turned where the sign said third st., it was in Williamsport, not Mansfield. No gps then, still use maps.

Annette N said...

I have had the GPS have me turn on to a truck weighing station short road - and it has taken me almost 10 miles out of my way. I know that it is a computer, and as much as we would like to think they are always right -----THEY MAKE MISTAKES. Leann, you had the baby as company - what a lovely thing. Looks like a very cute addition to your family.

Anonymous said...

Lynley is soooo cute and huggable. How old is he? How are your other animals doing with him or are they used to getting new buddies?

I don't have GPS even though my car is only about 3 years old. I look on MapQuest or Google Maps if I'm going someplace new and print out a map or get directions from someone who is at that location with one or two specific buildings for which to look. I have a good sense of direction and usually don't get lost, even in Europe where I couldn't read the signs. However, years ago when I was in Germany, I was going home from a friend's place, I took a wrong turn and then couldn't get back. It was late at night, there were no open gas stations, and I was running out of gas. I was sweating before I finally got going in the right direction! Cordella

Leann Sweeney said...

I like a good map myself! :-)

Leann Sweeney said...

Thanks Annette. Me being distracted by the kitten and the sun sure didn't help! I thought I knew how to work that thing pretty well. Obviously not! :-)

Leann Sweeney said...

Hi Cordella! My other cat, Wexford is only offering half-hearted hisses today. He will have fun playing with this one. He's feisty--and very young. Maybe 4-5 weeks? So glad I got him so young because he has already bonded with my husband, me and the dog. The cat? It will come. Getting lost at night is very scary! Friday's event didn't panic me, but if it had been at night, I would have had to pull over until dawn!! My night vision is AWFUL. At least I'd filled up with gas right before I left for home! :-)

Robyn K said...

Congratulations! Lynley is gorgeous! I always get lost. My gps is constantly telling me that it's recalculating. I'm glad your precious baby is bonding with you, your husband and your dog. Wexford will come around. He can't resist being friends with Lynley for too long. <3

Grandma Cootie said...

Before the GPS days, when you used to print directions from the web, my husband and young granddaughter got lost one day. For quite awhile after that she would worry when she saw printed directions - "Is that Yahoo maps, Grandpa? Don't use it!"

GPS wanted to take us home once via a little 80-mile detour north when we lived south. Kept reprogramming, never figured out how to correct it. Went home the old way, reading the signs.

And that same little journey (up in woods to a concert) got lost going there. Called On-Star and I swear I could hear the actual human turning map pages, told us to turn around and go back to some place she could find. We really weren't that far in the wilderness.

Sue Farrell said...

A couple years ago I had eye surgery and stayed with a friend out of town so I could see the surgeon for a follow up the next day while my husband went home to take care of our animals. After the appointment the next day my friend was to take me half way home and meet my husband ---- she programmed in her GPS and it seemed fine for a while---pretty soon I knew we were not going the right way. She insisted on following the GPS and when we got to the destinations, it was obviously wrong. We had to find a gas station and ask for directions. I don't think I'll ever trust GPS again.

Leann Sweeney said...

Thanks Robyn. Yup. He's so curious already he won't be able to stay away from Lynley--who is SO adorable. :-)

Leann Sweeney said...

So even OnStar uses printed maps! Nothing like the original. If the print wasn't so darn small on the road map I had with me, I might have been able to read it and get home faster! LOL.

Leann Sweeney said...

Oh GPS can be oh-so-wrong as I found out. It's pretty good but it often doesn't use the most efficient or fastest route. Or so we've discovered!

Linda R said...

Leann, I'm so glad you and Lynley made it safely home! Kisses to the kitten ~

Margaret said...

That is why I never trust my GPS! I do use it, but I always map out my route before with Google Maps. On a two occasions we did think the GPS was wrong and second guessed it, only to find out it was right. But, a few times, like your situation, I knew something did not seem right and pulled out my printed directions to review them. And sure enough it would have headed us completely off track.
When ever we have been lost, I always remind myself, I am in the United States, every one speaks English and the worst thing that could happen is we need to find a hotel. But that doesn't do much good when you only see trees, not people :)
p.s. ever read or see "Big Driver" by Stephen King? Makes you never want to get lost.

Margaret said...

And congratulations on the kitten, she is beautiful.

Carrie P said...

When we moved to the Charleston area, I didn't know where anything was. But, I cheated, I looked at the google maps for where I wanted to go for the day so I could visualize it, then I would use the GPS in conjunction. If it was a longer trip, I'd print out the map and use the GPS. I love using maps and can usually find my way around using them, and I find if I rely solely on the GPS I don't "learn" my way around.

Leann Sweeney said...

Thanks Linda. He's had enough kisses today to count for everyone! SO sweet!

Leann Sweeney said...

Good idea. I have looked at the maps but where I ended up is like no man's land. It's like "you can't get there from here!" I've gotten lost up there before--in fact when I picked up Marlowe. I went around that town about 10 times and GPS was no help. I HAVE to remember to put a magnifying glass in the car because I do have road maps of South Carolina and Georgia. I just can't read them! :-)

Leann Sweeney said...

Thanks Margaret. I do NOT want to read Big Driver at all! LOL. This state is so different than Texas. All the roads are so clearly marked and you can take a big road or a freeway anywhere. Here, it's just lucky if there's a road big enough to stand out on the road map! And the only road that could get me home from where I wandered off to was a two lane road with lots of small towns. SLOW! I was very tired that night! :-)

Anonymous said...

Our GPS got in a snit and wouldn't talk to us for months. ;)

Love the kitty!

Sheila

Anonymous said...

If you are a AAA member and you have trouble reading regular maps, ask AAA if it has large print maps of your state or sections of your state. Those maps are really great! You may need to carry more maps in your car but you won't need to get a magnifying glass and then try to find it when you need it. Cordella

Pearl R. Meaker said...

I've not had this happen, mainly because I don't have a GPS. I'm so glad you and Lynley got home OK. :-)

Margaret said...

It is the same way here in New England, that is why I don't worry about getting lost, I know I can always find my way home, since we are all so close to each other.