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Road Trips and Mapping Your Destinations

Ernest Hemingway once quoted “Never go on trips with anyone you do not love.” Road trips can be a test of love but they can also be filled with wonderful adventures.I remember as a kid sitting in the back seat as my Mother would read the map “Norm, you are going to miss the exit!”



“The exit you need to take that exit!”

” You could have told me sooner.”

“You weren’t listening!”

I learned from those road trips that no good ever comes from driving two hours more to reach your final destination. My parents would then pull over to the side of road while my Mother tried to prove to my Father that she was correctly reading the map.

The only words you heard at the end of that argument were”I told you so.”

All of this occurred long before the arrival of the GPS with the  voice of Margaret Thatcher  sending us on course in the right direction. Maggie is what I refer to our GPS because she has a no-nonsense approach to forcing us to travel from point a to point b without going down the wrong road.

We are in the process of planning our first camping trip of the season with ten days on the open road. I look at the Google maps as I try to plot our course of action. But it lacks the same charm as a big open map sprawling across the kitchen table. I feel like a traitor to the old world maps as I plan our next adventure.

I also know as much as I howl about the map becoming a relic filled with romantic charm that we now frame to our walls with distant memories of the olden days.  The one thing I cannot complain about is that Maggie will guide us to our final destination without arguments and the occasional huff.  She will be our robotic companion to the open road in which we can spend more time with the ones we love conversing about the little things, admiring the views, and no one will be uttering the words “I told you so.”

Do you still plan your road trips with an old-fashioned map? Or do you rely on your GPS?

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Darcie Cameron is a RYT 200 who believes Yoga is a gift that is accessible to everyone with proper modifications, a patient smile and just taking the time to breathe. One of the greatest presents you will ever unwrap is when you connect your mind, body and spirit in perfect sync with your own breath. Connect with Darcie on Facebook

42 replies

  1. Road tripping for us requires maps, programmed GPS, programmed GPS on smart phone, AND printed off driving directions with more maps – ha! The GPS has not gotten us to certain destinations in the past. Plus I still recall the time she stated to do a u-turn on a 4-lane freeway – WTH?!? Happy Road/Camp Planning:)

  2. I don’t know what I did without GPS……….until I get back in the butt end of Nowhere South, and my cell signal goes, and I’m on some forgotten dirt road, hoping my car doesn’t break down.

  3. We don’t have GPS anywhere in our lives, so it is maps all the way. Makes every road trip much more of an adventure in geography and in marital togetherness. 😉

  4. I need a map when we go camping. The GPS is great and all, but one time, it took us to someone’s driveway, late at night, where the campground was supposed to be. We had to unhitch to get out of that subdivision she took us down.

    You know, I am really glad I met Michael before GPS came out. I WOW him with my map reading skills. He totally cannot read a map. I love putting my finger and tracing the roads and highlighting the route, and seeing what is on the way… I love road tripping 🙂 We should meet to camp. North Dakota? 🙂

    1. LOL! That would have been frustrating especially at the end of the night.

      I love reading maps and marking them up with highlighters. I want my children to learn it too. It is an important life skill to have especially when the GPS breaksdown or sends you in the wrong direction.

      North Dakota would be a fun trip in the future! We are looking at Montana and Idaho at the present moment. It is a debate over how much driving we want to do. I am ready to get those trailer wheels rolling!

      1. We talk about taking the California route and working our way back down to Arizona then back up through the rockies. But it is on our dream list – I would also love to go to New Mexico.

        Montana looks like a two day drive from your territory. It is suppose to be beautiful! My husband and I will be flipping coins over where to go tonight.

  5. I’m a mapper and a GPS-user. Jill, our GPS, is often ignored and we say, “DENIED!”

    I’ve told Mr. Muse that one day she’s going to respond, “Fine! One time, when you really need me – I won’t help you!”

      1. A friend of mine once noted that taking 3 good friends along in the car for a long trip will have much the same effect as taking three dead fish in the car :>)

  6. Hahah! But you can’t bonk someone over the head with a GPS like you can with map – or can you? A 10 day road and camping trip sounds like so much fun! I don’t have a GPS and so still do it the old fashioned way – that way whenever we get lost I can just blame the map.

  7. I am so proud to be an individual that can actually read a map these days – so yeah I tend to do so for mere show off at least. 😉

  8. Oh man…I think back on my childhood and I can’t count high enough to capture all the times my mom would make my dad stop the f’ing car and get out and start walking because she was so frustrated that he was so lost and so refused to ask for directions. Her dramatics always did prompt him to ask someone…

    I love my GPS

  9. Maps. Always and ever, just maps.

    One of my best roadies was a solo trip I made in the 80s. I drove from Houston to San Francisco via Salt Lake, stayed in SF for a month for a little project and then drove home via Nevada and New Mexico. I was in the Trans-Pecos when some belt broke. A trucker stopped, repaired it, and congratulated me on having spare belts and water with me.

    There was no GPS at that time. There were no cell phones at that time! On highway 50 through Nevada, there was an Indian girl sitting atop a bluff on her painted pony, watching me. At that point, there weren’t even any telephone wires to suggest the modern world. It was perfect.

    1. You just mentioned my dream trip! My husband and I have been talking about going route through Oregon to California and down through the Southern States. It is a dream of ours. I don’t think we will have the time in the future for several years but it is on the back of our minds every time we start to plan a camping trip.

      No GPS, No Cel Phones, and away from the modern world sounds like a dream come true! Just the open road and the views.

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