We took a trip out West a couple of summers ago.

We drove the old Dodge Caravan minivan….and except for leaving a gas cap somewhere in North Dakota, didn’t have any trouble with the old car.

That was kind of a miracle.

We bought a GPS for the trip….and I guess that it helped, some….for the most part….it told us where to go and we went.

We put a lot of faith in something that we’d never used before.

I know that I did get pretty familiar with the phrase “recalculating”.

I was thinking about the West this morning…..broad vistas and isolation and being on a road with no one else in sight….and it made me remember one of the detours that the GPS sent us on.

Now, if you looked on a map after the day of indecision and dread, you might see that what the device told you to do made some twisted kind of sense.

It might have been shorter….or strangely more direct….or helped you to bypass a toll road….or skip any amenities….or even just get you off the pavement and on to the gravel.

There are a million reasons why it might have made sense to a disinterested robot voice.

The robot voice doesn’t “have a dime in it.”

Why should it care what happens to you?

It knows that you can’t track it down.

Anyway, we listened to the robot voice and soon we were climbing over a pass on a gravel road that was under construction.

It was just us and some dormant graders that we passed every couple of miles…up, up, up….crunching up this steep gravel road in our old van….not knowing where we were going but nervous about going back to a place that was equally as unfamiliar.

That’s what GPS will do for you….take you on an adventure while giving you the false hope that the voice from the sky has your best interests at heart.

That whole thing about no one hearing you scream in space?

It’s the same deal on an underused and under repair pass somewhere in the “Deep West”…..just gravel and no service for the cell phone….inspiring faith because it’s your only option….inspiring you to believe because the alternative is too unappealing.

It just hit me that I might have missed some of the best views of the trip….out there, by ourselves, on the side of a big mountain, climbing the gravel….because I worried enough about where I was going that I didn’t really see where I was.

“Worried enough about where I was going that I didn’t really see where I was.”

Hah!! That’s my life….in a nuthouse, er, nutshell.

I’m missing stuff….worrying about the future.

And that darn GPS isn’t going to take me where I want to go….or it’s going to take me to a route that I don’t know and that I get nervous about on the journey.

I don’t think that what somebody else…or something else….tells me is the “best way” is always going to work for me.

I need a good map, robot voice.

“Head Full of Doubt/Road Full of Promise” The Avett Brothers

About Peter Rorvig

I'm a non-practicing artist, a mailman, a husband, a father...not listed in order of importance. I believe that things can always get better....and that things are usually better than we think.

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