These days, nearly all of us use some kind of GPS on long trips.  Whether it is a global positioning system that is built into your vehicle or a GPS system on your phone.  When was the last time you saw someone using a paper roadmap or printed directions from MapQuest?  Right?

Even though these GPS systems and apps always give you a map on the screen, most people just listen to the spoke instructions.  "Turn left at the next intersection.  Your destination is on the right".

If I had followed those spoke directions during a recent trip to Skowhegan, I would have been in big trouble.


Madison Avenue, Skowhegan

A few days ago, I was visiting a business on Madison Avenue in Skowhegan.  I've spent enough years in this part of Maine to have a pretty good idea of where I am going.  I could easily find my way from Augusta to Madison Ave in Skowhegan without a GPS.  But, since I was going to a business that I had never been to before, I set the GPS just to make sure I did not drive past it.

I was approaching the intersection with Madison Ave and my GPS (Google Maps) started telling me to take a left.  Makes sense.  It does want me to turn onto Madison Ave, after all.  Right?  Nope.  Not so much...

If I had made the turn when it told me to, I would have driven into oncoming traffic.  And, considering how busy town was that day, I probably would have caused a crash.

Fortunately, I have spent enough time in Skowhegan to know that was not the right move.  Instead, I ignored the voice's demands and continued down Water Street, turning onto Commercial Street, and then onto Madison Avenue.

Google Maps
Google Maps

Not a huge deal, but it is something you really want to keep an eye out for.  GPS are great tools, but they are not infallible.

Here's a wild GPS fail in Hawaii


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