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GPS advice, A.K.A. lessons learned the hard way

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GPS

GPS advice, A.K.A. lessons learned the hard way

Recently I experienced firsthand how GPS can lead you astray when traveling the back roads of rural NC. Being in The travel and tourism business I have lots of great advice for guests who are first timers to our Blueridge Mountain resort. Before I even begin dictating road turns and landmarks I preface my directions by clearly stating that you cannot rely on your GPS when getting to our resort. It is notoriously sending weary travelers down roads that don’t exist, across creeks and fording rivers, only to end at a locked gate.  Our receptionists receive frantic calls from guests who are completely at the mercy of their GPS that has lead them astray. We shake our heads and say didn’t you read our warnings to not use GPS?

We took a kid free trip over MLK weekend in our 30 foot tagalong camper. We couldn’t go far due to childcare constraints so we chose a relatively local State Park called Stone Mountain State Park. The travel time from our home should’ve been about an hour. In our haste to begin our vacation we left in a rainstorm on Friday after work… my sister and I relished our freedom in the back seat while my brother-in-law and husband navigated the curvy roads towards Stone Mountain Park. We actually had been there before and knew we were heading in the right direction so GPS has to be a failsafe right? Wrong! First it led us down extremely unnecessarily curvy roads to a road closed sign that could not have applied us… Surely it was open to local traffic right? Wrong! The bridge was out… So my incredibly talented husband had to back up our camper in a precariously tight place and get turned around. The humor in this is according to the GPS we were about a 10th of a mile from the gate. Which by the way was set to close any minute.   Now we are in a race to make it to the gate so that we can get out of the rain storm and begin our camping trip. Again we embark following the GPS’s advice. Traversing more curvy roads with more crazy turns we finally arrive 45 minutes later at what we thought was the front entrance to stone mountain park. Has to be right? Wrong! It was a random back entrance that was locked.

It was at that moment that I sympathized and understood the frustration of every single traveler that has ever tried to use GPS to get to our resort. The bottom line is we were fine… Thanks to a lovely volunteer fireman who graciously took an hour out of his life to help us find another campground on a foggy rainy night.  There are good people everywhere! Never again will I put my faith in a device that I warn every single person about. What makes me think I was so special to be able to trust it blindly?  Until it happens to you it is so easy to trust our devices. Never again! I will always back up the devices’ directions with a paper map or a phone call to a human person who understands the importance of true, roadworthy directions.

Abbie Hanchey



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