Tuesday, January 12, 2010
GPS: Friend or Foe?
I have to admit that I have always been “directionally” challenged. I’m one of those people who can turn around in a room and be totally lost. Not that this handicap has stopped me from driving wherever I wanted to go but it usually takes me a bit longer to get there. Surprisingly enough, I always led the caravan on Girl Scout trips. We always turned around at least once. What a leader!
You can imagine my excitement when the personal GPS units came on the market. Finally, directions to wherever I wanted to go. No more planning for that extra hour or so for “lost” time. Of course I have heard the funny references to the unit directing people into lakes, etc. Hmm, I’m not so sure. This brings me to my recent adventure.
Hilary and I set out from her apartment in Fairport to visit the Rochester Museum and Science Center. The directions were easily found listed under the museum section in the GPS information center. We were off, feeling pretty confident. We found our exit and first few turns without a problem. As we got closer to reaching our destination, the unit appeared to be directing us to turn down a dead end street. I couldn’t believe this was correct and tried to get the unit to recalculate several times. This meant several turns around the block on snow-covered streets with cars parked on the street. It was pretty tight.
After two or three times around the block, I decided that maybe the dead-end street ended in the parking lot of the museum. Stranger things have happened. When we got to the end of the street, there was a chain link fence. And lo and behold, the museum was just on the other side! Now technically, the GPS did get us to our destination we just weren’t willing to take the extra step and scale the fence.
We did end up finding the parking lot for the museum but the exhibit was sold out and we were turned away. I wonder if I had told my harrowing tale if they would have let us in. After all, the street did look pretty scary.