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The Dengler Domain: GPS

April 22, 2016
Sean Dengler - Columnist , Traer Star-Clipper

Taking a road trip to new places is fun. Hopping behind the steering wheel and driving to beautiful places is a human right. I love rolling the windows down and having the wind blow through my luscious locks. Whether it is a short or long trip, the road guides me to my journey's end. It is never how fast I can get to my destination, but it is about the journey. That is why I never try to travel with a GPS because I love the backroads, the learning experience, and the lack of demanding from the GPS.Taking the backroads is the best reason to travel without a GPS. I have written about my love for two lane highways, and most GPSs are programmed to take the quickest route to the destination. That is no fun. Granted, taking a three-day excursion for a five-hour trip is a bad idea, but GPSs miss the best part of the country. The beautiful part of the United States of America. The efficient interstates pale in comparison to the long and winding roads of the countryside. The less efficient route, the more beautiful the trip. One example is taking 330 to 14 to 20 from Des Moines to Cedar Falls instead of 35 to 20. The former route goes through the scenic, beautiful small town of Albion while the latter route goes by absolutely nothing.

Using a GPS also diverts a human from the driving learning experience. I try not to take GPSs because I will not learn the route by memory. When forced to remember the exits and roads to the destination, I learn and visualize my traveling experience. Not using a GPS adds an emotional touch to roads. For example, I hate highway 20. It is the most boring road in Iowa. I love taking, Du Ponda, because it is a rollercoaster of a road. This emotional touch also helps me remember the route. I hate the voice of the GPS. I understand the GPS voice can be turned off, but I always keep my hands at ten and two cruising down the highway. I am a safe driver. The voice on the GPS is the worst because it does not sound like a Midland American dialect. This soothing form of the American English dialect is emulated by popular newscasters. The voice is also bossy and always sounds annoyed. It never politely asks to take exit 95, instead it says, "take exit 95, you fun hater." No elegance exists with the GPS voice. It should be a law that every GPS company should pay Morgan Freeman or Sam Elliot a bajillion dollars to be the voices of their GPSs. These three reasons exemplify my hatred towards GPSs. They need to be eliminated so we can enjoy our trip taking before cars starting driving themselves. There is one place GPSs do belong, tractors. Keep them there because fields need to be planted straight. Everyone loves symmetry. In cars and trucks, GPSs can go the way of the dodo bird. Because at this point in human history, a GPS is the crow of the road, and no road trip is fun with a crow.

Email Sean with your thoughts and ideas for future columns at: sean.h.dengler@gmail.com

 
 

 

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