SoCS

SoCS – You Can’t Get There From Here

Yay! We are celebrating Linda’s 8 year anniversary of SoCS.  Congratulations, Linda! If you are curious what SoCS is all about, check out Linda’s post for all the details. Join the fun while you are there.

Today’s prompt is as follows:

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “way to go.” Use it as a phrase or use it in its literal sense. Enjoy!


Back in the day when I moved into a new town, it was my practice to take one day to simply explore. The first stop was usually to a gas station to buy a town map. Every gas station sold them at one point. This was pre-GPS and although almost everyone carried a Road Atlas in their car, a town map was a detailed snapshot of all the street names and areas of local interest.

The map was to be opened only in case of emergency. I would spend the day just driving around, trying to find my way around town, noting when I encountered the same places again and again. After a full day of driving every little street, I built up confidence in getting around town. If there was an accident or if a road was blocked, at least I would know if there was another way to go to get to my destination.

Our first GPS system was actually software than ran on a laptop. There was a sensor we put on the dashboard that picked up satellites. The software was made by a company in Maine and I think it was called “Street Atlas”.

In Orlando, sometimes. GPS systems would get confused because there were many streets with the same name. Streets would start in the north, stop and break, then pick up again further south.

I remember trying to find directions once on my Google Map app on my phone. I entered the destination and the app displayed a screen I had never seen before. It simply said ‘No routes detected”. That gave new meaning to the old adage ‘You can’t get there from here’.

GIF Courtesy of Giphy

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23 thoughts on “SoCS – You Can’t Get There From Here”

  1. I still don’t have a GPS/Satnav in my car. If I have to go somewhere unfamiliar, I look it up on a paper map beore I leave, then just have to remember the way. 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete.

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  2. When I first moved to this hilly part of the country, I’d ask for directions [because no GPS back then] and people would tell me “you can’t get there from here.” I didn’t understand at first, but what they were saying was there was no direct street that went from one hill to the next one over. You could get there, but not in a straight line.

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    1. Willow, the worst part about those old maps was always trying to refold them. I try not to rely on Satellite navigation too much. I at least want to have some idea where I am going and how to get there.

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  3. I am directionally challenged. I have a small comfort zone for driving to unknown places. I love my navigation in my car and on my phone. A great post Maggie.

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  4. I don’t know how I functioned on the ground before GPS. My wife once asked how I could fly a plane if I had no sense of direction. I told her the aircraft was equipped with a directional indicator, and I just looked at it and knew the way to go.

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  5. My misappreciation of physical maps started early in our marriage when I was navigating & my husband was driving through Austria. As I struggled with sixteen syllable street names (all of which started with strasse 🙂 ) he would inevitably drive past the road and read the sign in the rear view mirror. Nowadays, whenever we travel abroad, we rely on GPS but even then, we prefer to walk or take public transit!

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    1. Traveling in unfamiliar territory can be stressful. The map reader’s job carries a lot of responsibility! Having technology to blame can save marriages.

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  6. Nice memories, Maggie.

    My wife always has maps and atlases. I have had a GPS since the first were available, but it’s gotten us lost more often than the maps.

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  7. Part of the fun of planning a trip used to be studying the map. My parents did a lot of traveling in their retirement before gps. When I cleaned out their house, there must have been thirty maps of states they’d been to and travel club books with maps, lists of campgrounds, restaurants, and more. They also had a couple of road atlases. I kept a few maps for a possible art project. Your way of getting used to a new town sounds adventurous. I’d probably study the map.

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