Navigation In the 21st Century

Well, I finally went and did it.  I had been promising Leive for at least a couple of years that I would buy a GPS system, and today I got one.

For those who haven’t been to Kentucky, the rules for getting around here are quite different from what we were used to in Florida.  There are the special driving conditions in the wintertime, to start with.  In the “old country” we never had to deal with antifreeze or salt in the roads, nor was the danger of skidding any worse when it was cold, only when it was wet.  Second, Florida is flat; throw in the hills and mountains of a rugged state like Kentucky, and driving becomes a three-dimensional experience.  Third, and maybe most important, none of the roads go in a straight line.  Part of that is because of the previously mentioned rugged terrain, the other part has to do with how Lexington is designed like a European city, with the roads radiating out like wheel spokes from a central point.  In Florida you can usually tell whether you are going north, south, east or west; here in Kentucky the road can bend so subtly that you change direction and don’t realize it.  What a change from the grid layouts of Florida communities, where the roads are only likely to curve if you are going around a lake!

Because of all that, I make wrong turns regularly in Kentucky.  I haven’t gotten seriously lost here, but to quote Daniel Boone, there were times when “I was a mite bewildered.”  Therefore I haven’t let Leive drive around here, but that may now change.

We’re expecting to make another trip to Paris, KY soon, to do a presentation for our Pre-Paid Legal business.  It may happen as soon as tomorrow.  However, I’m not sure where I’ll be going, so today, while in our local Meijer supermarket, I looked for a good map of the Bourbon County area.  What I found wasn’t any better than what I already had, so next I went to Radio Shack for the GPS, figuring I’ll need it sometime this year.  The one  I got was a TomTom XL 350, which has maps for all 50 states, Canada and Mexico.  My first choice was an XL 355, but they didn’t have it.  This should do, though; the only real difference I can see between the 350 and the 355 is that the 355 also has maps of Puerto Rico.  I won’t worry about that until the day comes that I find myself going to that island; currently I don’t expect to go there.

By now I have figured out how to work it, and downloaded a map update and some amusing new voices.  Tomorrow I’ll decide how to set it up on the dashboard, and maybe we’ll find out how well it really works out of town.

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