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theksmith

another "just following the GPS" story... really?

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When I was in Alaska, my Garmin GPS showed the shortest route from Haines, AK to Juneau, AK was down the Inside Passage. It didn't say anything about being aboard a ferry boat (the Alaska ferry routes are part of the federal highway system).

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About a year ago I was headed up to do my trail work in the Bradshaws. I-17 was closed at Anthem with the usual advice to "use an alternate route." Sure. Right....

 

This was before sunrise.... So I threaded my way through Anthem. No luck getting back on. Made it to New River and it was closed too! I knew there was a route that parallels I-17 on the West side but wasn't sure where to find it off New River Road.

 

I wondered if there was a similar parallel option on the East side of I-17. I headed north along a road that did parallel I-17. It's one of those things that you kind of notice if you travel that way but you never really pay any attention to the details. Well, it was paved then it turned to dirt. Goes by New River School and crosses New River. It's considered a "street" and people live all along it.

 

As I drove in the early AM darkness I started encountering numerous 18-wheelers parked along the road/street. The further I went North, the more 18 wheelers I passed. Which of course was odd since that's not their usual "neighborhood."

 

I finally got to a point where the road/street turned East and climbed a pretty decent hill. Right there was another 18 wheeler, a Fed Ex double trailer unit. He was trying to uncouple and turn around.

 

It turns out the hill the road/street climbed was too steep for his rig. Didn't matter, though, because about then another 4x4 pickup showed up behind me. He had a GPS and said the way to go was "North" down "The Old Stage Road." I looked at where the GPS indicated and it looked like a wash instead of a road.

 

Nevertheless, I turned on all my KCs and checked it out. It was indeed a route to Table Mesa. Went through Mesquites so thick that there was barely enough room for my truck to fit; complete with the overhead canopy of branches. Oh yes, as I poked along this drive, I saw MORE snakes than I ever want to see again. All in one short section of road.

 

Somewhere in the middle of all of that I encountered a "bird sanctuary" with a shade ramada but no seats! A couple of twisty turns, one of which will drop you right off some bluffs into New River, and I finally saw the tantalizing Table Mesa signs on I-17. The whole trail was probably never more than a few hundred yards from I-17 yet even now when I try to spot it from the freeway, it's almost impossible.

 

Several others followed me, basking in the glow of my KCs!!!

 

Later I dug out my GPS, which I have hardly used since I bought it, and looked at the route. It did show the "Old Stage Road" on the map BUT the GPS makes no differentiation between a "street," "road" or "primitive trail."

 

ALL of the 18 wheelers no doubt thought they had found a way to get back to I-17 using their GPS units. The moral of the story is obvious. What I always wondered (besides why ADOT and DPS insist on closing major roads when there are no "alternate routes") is how the heck did they get those big 18 wheelers turned around?

 

I know the last one I passed, the Fed Ex unit, was not having any fun and the driver was turning the air blue with words I've only recently learned....

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This reminds me of the 'road' that goes through Alamo Lake. Luckily I'm not stupid enough to keep driving just because there's a road on the map... :rolleyes:

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in Ft Worth 2 Interstate highways 1 IH loop 1 US highway and about 4 named streets share same asphalt surface, Garmin uses those names and numbers interchangeably at random. When we were moving to Houston I was driving a U-haul, my wife was driving the Cadillac. She did not slow down so I could keep her in sight, When she called me in a panic and said she was lost, after I told her I didn't know where the hell she was I told her just to get into the center lane, turn off the GPS and head south and call me when the highways together. She subsequently killed the GPS by throwing it on the floor, I would NOT give her mine.

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I was on this road last May with Ladybug and OB1. There was still deep snow even in late May, and it is pretty remote.

 

Curly

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