The reality of doing dumb things wasn’t always limited to me traveling. It also wasn’t limited to me at the pool or near the pond. Sadly I have had the ability to do dumb things in almost every single part of my life. In the early days of GPS, before what we have today I was, I know the geek adopted GPS! I remember knowing the way to places and arguing with the GPS. It was something I frequently did. It so happened that I was bound for Chicago on a business trip. Sometimes I flew, I drove. In this case, I decided to drive. It had rained in the Northern Indiana and Chicago area. I 65, or interstate 65 north was the route from Indianapolis to Chicago.
There was a really bad accident on the road ahead (I-65), and I pushed the reroute me button. Now this was in the early days of GPS. There are a couple of things that ultimately were changed later, but at the time, things were different. I have a PocketPC, with a GPS sleeve and an application running on the PocketPC that was providing me with real-time driving information. I was roughly 5 hours ahead of the meeting and about 1.5 hours from the meeting location. The GPS didn’t know about the accident, but the police were standing there waving people off the highway (I later learned a semi-lost its entire load all over the road. No one was hurt, but it took a long time to clean it up!
My GPS quickly came up with an alternate route, so I relied on technology. I was cruising along a State Highway (the Interstates in the US are Federally built and maintained). The GPS arrival time went from 1.5 hours later, to 55 minutes later. I was not only going to get there well ahead of the meeting, but I was saving time over the highway! I came around a corner at about 55 miles an hour, on the state highway and slammed on the brakes. By the time the car stopped, I was about 30 feet into a flooded road. You see those early GPS’s didn’t know about road conditions. Didn’t understand the concept of weather and ultimately were good at maps but bad at everything else. I sat there for a couple of minutes. I stupidly thought about going forward, but remember horror stories of people driving into moving floodwaters. So I turned around. I went back to the route that the police recommended via the detour. I arrived at the meeting 20 minutes late (nearly a 4-hour trip took nearly nine and a ½ hours).
Sometimes, having a tool that understands more than what is directly in front of you is critical!