Not Necessarily The News In Hoke
By Ken MacDonald
Today I’m going to do all you frustrated drivers a favor. (No, I’m not going to stop riding my scooter around town.) I’m going to share with you a way to trick your GPS unit into taking you the way you want to go.
You know what I’m talking about. You thought that after the days of MapQuestget online, ask for a route to Asheville from Raeford and marvel as it directs you through Virginiathe new GPS gadgets would fix things.
I know I did.
But then I was in downtown Raleigh one day and wanted to come home. While sitting in my parking space, I selected my home address, careful that the route it picked led me down US 1, not I-95, because I’d rather go through Virginia than Fayetteville.
“Proceed to the highlighted route,” my little GPS female friend said cheerfully, and I pulled out of the parking space.
“Rerouting,” she announced immediately.
Though I thought it was strange to reroute me immediately I followed her every commanddozens of turns through the heart of Raleighuntil I began to realize I was heading east. Argh! I-95. Fayetteville. Skibo Road. Mall traffic. The Walmart at East Hoke Middle School. That little hussy tricked me!
I know it’s not just me. This weekend, I was at a newspaper conference in Atlantic Beach, North Carolina (a place you can’t get to from Raeford). One of the featured speakers, Pat Taylor from the Southern Pines Pilot, failed to arrive by the beginning of the meeting and organizers were frantically trying to phone him. “Pat is usually on time,” they were saying. “This is so unlike him.” I knew exactly what happened to him. “Siri, take me to Atlantic Beach,” I could hear him saying.
Well, sure enough, Siri, or some other GPS genie, had taken him on a five-hour tour of Duplin and Onslow counties.
I got to thinking: there has to be a better way. What I came up with is deceptively simple. Perhaps you’ve already figured it out. Perhaps I’m just slow. But here’s what you do.
When you’re in your parking space in Raleigh, instead of saying, “Siri, take me home to Raeford,” say, “Siri, take me to Sanford.”
Use location fixes like pilots do.
In Atlantic Beach, I asked the GPS genie to take me to Jacksonville, then Wallace; the rest of the way I knew.