Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Believing in my GPS

Last week my wife Trudi and I were on our way from Capitol Reef Park to Arches (Oh, she flew in to Vegas to join me for a week of the trip.) we were following the directions of my GPS unit to the letter. We were traveling on what appeared to be a new highway (70) through the desert when the GPS said turn right in 2 miles. With out question I pulled off the highway onto what seemed like an old road the GPS said go straight for 27 miles then turn left. I looked at Trudi and she did not look to thrilled with the prospect of driving off into the desert on this old road.  I said lets try it for a while we have water and food and a full tank of gas so off we went into the unknown.

Slowly the road got worse, the desert was reclaiming pieces of it as it clearly had not been driven on for some time. Now we had gone on for 30 or 40 minutes and the road was giving way at the edges to sand tumbleweeds blew by and the road soon turned to sand. The GPS said turn right in 5 miles so I pushed on… I could see the 70 freeway off in the distance and thought if I can get there we can get back on the main road. So I pushed on… Then the GPS said turn right but there was no road at all to turn on so I pushed on… thinking about getting to the highway again, I drove over a hill and low and behold in front of me was highway 70 but there was one small problem. There was a large fence between me and the highway not to mention a deep impassable ditch. Trudi said lets go back, I agreed so we turned around and following our tracks through the sand drove back the GPS kept repeating recalculating, recalculating… I turned it off.

On the way back we drove through a rock canyon. I noticed something on the side of the road that I could not see when we drove in, I stopped the car to get a closer look, It was the carcass of a cow. It was at this point skin and bone but I noticed it had been eaten the bones were scared with teeth marks and there were large paw tracks in the sand. Cougar I thought. I took some pictures and quickly got back in the car and drove on. I guess if I had seen the cow body coming in I could have read the signs and turned around then, but then there would be no story to tell. After several miles we were back at the turn off where we started. Trudi breathed a sigh of relief and I could not help but laugh at what was an exciting romp through a desolate tract of forgotten desert.  Oh by the way the GPS was right after an additional 30 miles I recognized the part of the fence where we were. If  they didn’t put up the fence and dig the ditch we could have saved some time and miles with the very long short cut through nowhere.

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