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Old 07-18-2013, 10:43 AM   #1
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Cool A Very Special Garmin Moment

Before our big extended trip, I reminded DW how efficient I am at obtaining directions to each of eight state parks we visited. Rather than mess with street numbers etc., I managed to program the exact compass coordinates into the GPS as I found them during my extensive Internet search. Two state park sites provided the coordinates and we found them quite accurate. On six other searches, without researching further than Wikipedia, I found find the 'exact' coordinates on that wonderful Wikipedia page of truth. The image above is one of two times on our recent journey that the Garmin got it right... We otherwise found ourselves living a few memorable predicaments thanks to the Garmin lady's advice. The moment mentioned here helped answer my nagging question of whether or not we would ever use our TV's four wheel drive option:

We were leaving SE Missouri's Johnson's Shut Ins SP on a rainy morning; heading north to our next destination located about 250 miles away. For those of you who may have visited this area, you would probably agree that the park is gorgeous; however, our drive to this remote wonderland included many narrow back roads that led us through areas where travelers were greeted with signs on front porches that stated in big bold letters to "STAY AWAY", GET LOST, GO AWAY, & the like. With the theme from 'Deliverance' bouncing through our heads, we insured the truck's doors were locked, told KC the Kanine Camper to use his nasty look out the back windows as necessary, and I double checked quick access to our traveling companion, Mr. Glock ...

Ms. Stella (Garmin) says turn left on Route N. (you know you're in trouble when there's no numbers on the road signs). The wife says "I think we should be turning right!". I quickly responded that Stella must have a nice shortcut in mind, and as many guys would, I turned left. Left onto a road that within 1/2 mile turned to a dirt road winding through tall trees, accented with shacks and abandoned old vehicles left in muddy fields. I disregarded DW's glare as I informed her to be on the lookout for a place where we could 'turn this danged rig around'... About four miles later, the narrow dirt road turned to a muddy rut which stopped at a slope leading to a (too) small crossing over the 'Black River'. Did I mention it was raining?

The only option was for DW to get out of the vehicle with the walkie talkie which she gladly did as she wasn't in favor of drowning as I performed heroic maneuvers to get us and the Garmin Lady out of this mess. Oh yes; almost forgot that 'Stella' was advising me repeatedly to 'turn around as soon as possible'. Stella nearly went for a swim, but I regrouped, muted Stella, and turned into a muddy field where I tried to get the rig parallel with the riverbank. After managing to do this, DW confidently advised that we should get KC out of the truck in event of the worst case scenario in which Stella and I would roll into the Black River and eventually become a coral reef or something...

KC now removed from the back seat to join DW in the rain and I'm ready to do a 90 degree (blind) turn in reverse in an effort to eventually head back out in the same way we came in. As I'm slowly performing this stunt, the wife reminds me that the trailer is now heading down the slope toward the river as my muddy truck tires are shifted into four wheel drive. Back, back, back I blindly go with Stella ready to jump off the dashboard and out the window, leaving me to complete the task as DW continues to remind me in a much louder voice that the trailer is heading down the slope into the Black River. Somehow 'Black River' seemed the appropriate name for this tributary at this moment on this given day...

DW finally says "STOP! AND I MEAN STOP!!!". I decided that to make amends for disregarding her former advice, I would do as she said. I quickly prayed for deliverance, put 'Thunder' in 1st gear, and hit the gas. Fortunately, I now happily realized the truck also has a capability that prevents rolling backwards as I move the right foot from brake to gas pedal. I slowly gave it the gas (in more ways than one) and rejoiced as 'Lonesome Dove' joined Thunder and me on the nice, level muddy rut road. DW and KC joined me and Stella in the truck and in total silence, we drove until we passed the state park entrance. It was then that I complemented DW on her sizeable contribution to our safety and politely asked her for the next navigational instruction as determined by her 2008 paperback atlas.

There were other moments on the trip where I tried to gave 'Stella' opportunity to make amends with more appropriate driving directions. I won't go into the accuracy of those instructions at this point...

Scratch sends...
'12 nights camped: 12
'13 nights camped: 24
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Old 07-18-2013, 11:06 AM   #2
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You are most polite with Ms Stella. My wife's aunt doen't mess around, she just calls her GPS 'the witch'.

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Old 07-18-2013, 11:07 AM   #3
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As I'm fond of telling my wife--
Don't worry dear, it's all part of the adventure!!

Thanks for sharing!!

As a footnote- we recently used our Garmin and I went thru the
menu's and searched and found Holland State Park Michigan.
Saved it as a "favorite place".
At the appropriate time in our trip I told "Alice" to take us there.
She did well right up to that very last part where she insisted I take
a back alley that led to a private 1 lane steep drive up the rear of the
dune. She totally ignored the fact the CG main entrance was only 500
feet further down the main road she wanted us to turn right off of.....
Dan & Rita D
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Old 07-18-2013, 11:10 AM   #4
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Hope you had fun at Lake Catherine. Stayed 3 nights there last month. Don't know if the little waterfall there was still running as dry as it's been.
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Old 07-18-2013, 11:12 AM   #5
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Have had a few experiences with Lady Garmin also, first Garmin we had took us out into a farmers field and with very precise instructions told us to go a certain distance, execute two right turns and back out the gate we came in. TOWTA and I were just cruising around in Deland, FL when this happened while we were looking for a bbq place. We both had a good laugh, turned the b--ch off and found the bbq on our own. Another time we were going to visit our nephew in Clearwater and was traveling west on I4, as we approached Clearwater, Lady Garmin took us off I4 down thru a less than desirable neighborhood and back on I4, she politely did this 3 more times till we got to a place that had no more exits. Needless to say, we read her pedigree several times and closed her mouth. Her antics had cost us over an hr. We kept her silent and ignored her directions on the way back to our cg in Davenport. We laugh now, but there wasn't much laughter during the episode.
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Old 07-18-2013, 11:13 AM   #6
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I love it..and yep, I've been to Johnson's Shut-Ins and the Black River...albeit never with our tt.

My compliments on your backing prowess...and your nerve.
Mike and Yvonne
and Sophie, the little white dog
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Old 07-18-2013, 11:59 AM   #7
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I would imagine there are lots of Garmin moments out there. Isn't technology a wonderful thing?

I don't know if this GPA is any better, but it takes RVs into account and offers some nice options not found on mine: Rand McNally - RV GPS

Pretty expensive though. Guess we'll continue to put our faith into the '08 paperback atlas...
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Old 07-18-2013, 12:39 PM   #8
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Reminds me of the Husband\wife argument in the MH with Garmin...'Lola'. From the movie RV with Robin Williams.
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Old 07-18-2013, 01:20 PM   #9
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I go to google earth, find the destination, put the cursor on the place and then copy the grid coordinates down and then enter them into my gps. So far so good.
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Old 07-18-2013, 01:25 PM   #10
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LOL. try "make a U-turn" in the middle of an interstate! she got nasty with me when I disobeyed her suggestion to get off at the next exit, instead of going 5 miles up the highway to the exit I wanted!

Gotta love the wicked witch Garmin!

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