S is for SAT NAV

We have a love/hate relationship with our Satellite Navigation System. We were warned ahead of time by our predecessors that we absolutely must have one, so we dutifully purchased a Garmin first thing. It’s true that we would be literally lost without it, but it is not infallible by any stretch of the imagination. Even after updates, it

  • led us to a non-existent on-ramp to a carriageway (“take the slip-road on the left to enter A11…” “Wait, what?? There is nothing but grass here….”)
  • can’t recognize roads on the military bases
  • is haphazard about whether it will accept an address or not (sometimes it will accept a road, but not a house number, giving us other choices than the one we want; or after inputting a street name, it will pull up a totally different name–often one CLOSE to the road we want, but why not the one we want??)
  • will take us to the same places via different routes. How does it choose, when it won’t give us a choice?
  • Whenever we select “HOME” it won’t give us alternate routes, just begins navigating…what if we wanted to take the scenic route home??
  • But the most incredible directions we got was when we missed a turn and Ms. Garmin rerouted us to take the next road. As we did so, it soon became apparent that our route was deteriorating into very narrow farm roads, or “droves.” That was okay, we’d done that before; not the best situation if we encounter another vehicle, but doable…then, the next instruction was, “Prepare to drive off-road.” WHAT? Turn off into the field of potatoes?? I don’t think so…We kept going and eventually found a real road, but I couldn’t believe that command was even in the database…

Once it gave us a good laugh: we were way out in the boondocks, driving along farm roads with not another vehicle in sight, when, for the first time, Ms Garmin broke in and said, “Traffic is flowing smoothly along your route.” Perfect! Very helpful information!
As necessary as the SAT NAV is to negotiate the labyrinth of a road system here, we have come to rely even more heavily on prayer and faith that we will be guided to the right destination, and THAT navigation system has never let us down.


Prepare to drive off-road…


About Gail

Genealogist, librarian, writer, traveler, Mormon
This entry was posted in A-Z Challenge, Mission, Travel and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to S is for SAT NAV

  1. shanjeniah says:

    Sounds like an adventure every time you use it! I have MapQuest on my phone; that does well enough, gives me options, and corrects the route if I miss a turn or stop at the store…

    That said, I also possess a remarkable sense of misdirection. Since my Accomplice works weekends, the kids, nearing 12 and 15, and I often travel together. There was a time when one or both exclaimed, “We CAN’T be there yet, Mommy! You haven’t made any wrong turns!”

    Gotta love that kind of confidence, eh?

    Boldly Going Through the Alphabet!
    Part-Time Minion for Holton’s Heroes
    shanjeniah’s Lovely Chaos

  2. Mars says:

    Love the “prepare to drive off road” instruction! I’ve just updated my maps on my TomTom and it keeps trying to tell me to drive home down a one way street the wrong way!

    They’re good as a guide but common sense and paper maps are still more helpful, however I drive for work by myself so the Sat Nav is an essential piece of kit, just have to keep your wits about you 🙂

    Mars xx
    @TrollbeadBlog from
    Curling Stones for Lego People

  3. Liz Brownlee says:

    Ha! We have a Garmin and it also has a few foibles… mainly the way it pronounces places. Dorchester (You can see how to pronounce that, right? It calls Dork -hester. it’s an idiot. It got a better though after we changed the voice from a woman to a man. I hate to say it, but he is better. ~Liz http://www.lizbrownleepoet.com

    • Gail says:

      yes! Ours has trouble too! When we’ve arrived at RAF Lakenheath, they pronounce the initials RAF like it’s a word: Raflaknheath! pretty amusing

  4. I’m old fashioned I still use a paper map or Google maps which are not infallible either. Still I do like the birds eye view.

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