Marathon vacation lost in Atlanta and GPS

Krayton Kerns
Thursday, March 21, 2019
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Ramblings of a Conservative Cow Doctor

The trophy wife and I are on our seven-day, triple-state marathon trek in Appalachia country. We flew into Atlanta, Georgia, and rented a car before heading north to Greensboro, North Carolina. With Druann navigating, we pulled from the airport parking garage, locked onto a GPS signal and were on our way … almost. The GPS turned us left, then right, then down a one-way before circling the terminal, twice. It was cloudy and there were no mountains, so my internal compass frantically scanned to find true north. I was sweating as I hate not knowing where I am relative to home should a geo-political crisis necessitate a walk back to Montana.

We expected to cover the 320-mile trip to Greensboro in five hours, but at the 30-minute mark we seemed to be hopelessly trapped in the bowels of Atlanta. While wandering, we shot past Kerns Auto Salvage, a dead business choked by scrub brush and car bodies. It could have been a shirt-tail cousin from my family tree of ticked-off Irishmen, but I lacked the time for a reunion so continued blindly obeying digital voice commands. I finally snapped and asked the trophywife-navigator which interstate took us north. Using a tone typically reserved for husbands directing wives while backing up horse trailers, she blurted, “We are on the right road. There is no interstate and we will reach our destination in nine hours!” She had not yet reached her vacation happy place.

“That can’t be right.” I softly mumbled. (It’s my story and I get to tell it how I want.)

“Well, pull over and check it yourself,” she shot back. I slipped on to a side street, dug my phone from my pants pocket and clicked my Map Quest app. Within seconds, it directed us 320 miles up I-85 to Greensboro with a travel time of six hours.

“Your phone has a glitch, use mine,” I offered while lovingly tossing my I-phone to the trophy wife. Before long, we were motoring up the rain-soaked eight-lane with our tension easing by seeing green grass and blooming trees. We would be out of blizzard country for seven days. As the miles passed, Druann fiddled with her phone and discovered something many tech-savvy folks may have already known. Somewhere in the digital fine-print of her navigating app, a box had been checked directing her smart phone to “Avoid All Highways.” We chuckled imagining her phone routing us to open gates and drive-through muddy pastures on the scenic route to Greensboro. This brings me to my point, which is I have no point. I am on vacation.

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