Thursday, December 25, 2008


Playing with the buttons on your new Garmin can be really scary!

Case in point:

Tuesday the weather was really bad -- ice storm bad! I had driven up to see my spiritual director (about a 65 mile drive) and had intended to go from there with my sister to see our mom in the nursing home. But when I was done with direction the weather had begun to deteriorate, so I stayed at my sisters for a bit and then headed back home ( a trip that normally takes an hour and a half on a slow day).

about 25 miles into the drive (and an hour of driving due to conditions getting worse by the minute) I encountered stalled traffic on the highway, and a nice gentleman in a truck said that there were two accidents up ahead one of them being a semi blocking both lanes of traffic.

So, since I had my trusty new Garmin in my car, I just hit the nice little detour button figuring it would find me a nice safe way to get around the accident and into the nearby town (which was eight or so miles up the road.)

What the Garmin proceeded to do was take me on a merry chase through the countryside on small country roads and worse. Some were one lane gravel roads. I am sure to the GPS they looked quite passable, and if the weather hadn't been so bad they might not have been so scary. (Although one neighborhood was a banjo shy of Deliverance). At one point I could barely get up a hill it was so iced over and so far out into the country that salt trucks never get there I am sure. I even pulled into a driveway halfway up and called my husband to tell him I didn't think I could get up the hill. He said to just keep trying, which I did and eventually I got up the hill (lucky for me that was the last bad hill before I got back onto a major state road.

When I got to the State Road, I got turned around and the traffic going into the town I intended to go to was totally stopped still, so I went the other direction hoping the Garmin would "recalculate" but no such luck. Beyotce just wanted me to turn around and go back the other way. I kept driving south and ended up in a town about 15 miles south of where I needed to be. That was when I stopped for Gas and asked the nice lady working at the Gas station what I should do.

Come to find out, a major hill on the state road was totally impassable (hence the stopped traffic going in the direction I would have had to go.) She said I could go south another three miles and then turn east for three miles and I would be at a road that would take me to a town that was one county south/west of where I lived. I figured I could get home from there.

Only when I finally got to there I decided that rather than take the shorter but much more curvy route I would take the much longer but straighter route , which added about an hour or so to the drive again. Then I drove right by where mrangelmeg works and where it normally takes him 25 minutes to get home, it took me nearly a hour and a half to travel the same distance. I did find out a salt truck had turned over off the side of the road (actually mrangelmeg saw it and told me about it, ).

Traffic was bumper to bumper in both directions for most of the last part of the drive and I was terrified that I wasn't going to be able to make the left-hand turn into my driveway, so for the last two miles I was praying to every saint I could think of to give me help, and there was just enough of a break in traffic for me to make the turn without having to hold up the traffic coming up the hill behind me (praise God).

The lesson I learned from this was, when weather conditions are dicey, don't mess with the detour button on your GPS system. I probably would have been smarter to head back to my sister's house and wait out the storm and drive back down on Wednesday morning when the ice had all been washed away by constant rain.

I did learn that I can handle a car pretty well in adverse conditions too, which is nice to know.
I just hope I never have to do that again, ever!



Mimi said...

Yikes! I've had my share of driving in dicy weather lately (complete with being pushed out of getting stuck four times) and I'm totally fine if I never do it again.

Glad you are ok.

Suzanne said...

I'm so glad you are okay, my friend!
That was awful!

Rosemary said...

Wow. sounds awful. We had some terrible driving weather too. Glad you made it home safely.

Paul Stokell said...

We programmed our Nuvi to display a jet-powered sleigh and talk like an elf, breaking in at odd times with phrases like, "I bet it takes REALLY tiny tools to make this!" and "This sure beats being behind the reindeer!" After 1200 miles of driving we set it back to British gal and put made our Pilot look like a Patton tank onscreen. Wonderful things!