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Getting There

October 12th, 2010

As I wrote about earlier, Mr Chiots and I are headed on vacation to New England for a while. We have a GPS that we use for our business. It makes our lives much easier when we’re heading out for a job knowing that we’ll get there and we don’t have to worry about printing out maps and directions. About 99% of the time it gets us right where we need to go.

When traveling on vacation however, we much prefer to use a road atlas, particularly county road maps if we can find them. We like to take the road less traveled, and the GPS doesn’t like that too much. We’ve also found that when trying to find camp grounds and other out of the way places it’s not as accurate as it is in the city. And sometimes depending on the weather it quits all together.

I also love maps because you can see the bigger picture unlike our GPS. I love having the atlas on my lap and enjoy charting our progress along with way with roads, exits and towns. When you’re driving the back way it’s also nice to be able to watch the roads to make sure you’re headed in the right direction.

Are you a GPS or a map user, or do you use both?

15 Comments to “Getting There”
  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by mark mile, Susy Morris. Susy Morris said: Getting There #aboutme #miscellaneus #gps #map […]

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  2. kristin @ going country on October 12, 2010 at 8:13 am

    I don’t use either, if I can avoid it. I am terrible with directions. My husband is all about the atlas–every tiny road is listed in that thing, and it shows the entire state (or the entire country, if it’s the national atlas). My parents have a GPS they always bring when they visit here, and that thing chooses the most ridiculous routes around here. GPS units don’t work well in the country.

    So when are you planning on being at Blackrock? I’ll make sure to have a Slippery Slope ready for you.

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  3. Renee on October 12, 2010 at 8:55 am

    I have GPS on my phone and rely on it heavily, but it went out once when I was in the WV mountains (still had a GPS signal but no data signal for the phone to generate the map) and I’m glad I had printed out directions!

    I have fond memories of being the ‘navigator’ on family trips as a kid. I used to spend a lot of time staring at Atlases and still love them :)

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  4. Steve on October 12, 2010 at 9:25 am

    Def a map person! I love seeing the area, what’s nearby and roads that look interesting to drive along

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  5. Dirt Gently on October 12, 2010 at 9:43 am

    Paper maps, for all of the reasons that you mentioned, and more: they’re tactile, you can make notes on them, and, quite often, they are beautiful.

    Reply to Dirt Gently's comment

  6. Justin on October 12, 2010 at 9:52 am


    Good luck finding “County” road maps for New England. Things are so small out here that counties don’t really do or mean much (you might find a County Courthouse, but that’s about it…the rest of government is at the state level). Furthermore, it’s even difficult to find maps containing a single state. AAA, for example, lumps MA, CT, and RI into one map. It seems to make sense until you’re trying to find a rural road or state highway in RI or Western MA and it’s so small on the map that you can’t see it.

    That said, I highly recommend taking Rte 1 (and 1-A when it branches off) starting anywhere north of the MA/NH border. It’s the scenic route that follows New England’s beautiful coastline and will get you roughly anywhere that I-95 will (obviously, it’ll take much longer). The one exception, unfortunately, is Johnny’s Seeds…which is quite a bit inland.

    If you happen to be going between Maine and New Hampshire, there’s a small road…I forget the route number, but it goes through Freyburg, Maine and will wind you up to the Kangamangus Highway, which goes through the White Mountains National Park and puts you into North Conway, NH. It’s a beautiful drive with gorgeous views this time of year.

    Enjoy your trip! New England is a wonderful place.

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  7. Caleb on October 12, 2010 at 12:23 pm

    I have a handheld GPS we use for geocaching that can be used for auto, but if we don’t know where we’re going, we print a map. I also have an older (4 years old) version of a Thomas Guide. They are the best maps for metro areas!

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  8. Joshua on October 12, 2010 at 12:58 pm

    I lived in Atlanta and the surrounding areas from about the age of eight. Ever since I started navigating the roads, first on bicycle, then in a car, all the way through college and into adult-hood, I lived in that area. By the age of thirty-five, I knew the area pretty well, so it was quite a shock to move to Knoxville and not know a darn thing. The first thing I did was buy a map of the area and put it on the kitchen wall. Every time I had to look up directions to go anywhere, I would look at the map when I got back and try to put it all in perspective. I still use a GPS to get everywhere because, let’s face it, GPS is awesome, but I’m glad to have the “picture” of that map in my head as background.

    Ever since I got an Android phone, with free Google navigation, I have totally stopped using my dedicated GPS. I sold it on Craigslist. It was a pleasant surprise.

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  9. MAYBELLINE on October 12, 2010 at 3:12 pm

    MAPS, MAPS, MAPS! I love maps. Don’t get lost.

    Reply to MAYBELLINE's comment

  10. Bethany on October 12, 2010 at 5:24 pm

    Pretty much any road is nice right now, the leaves are changing a bit late so you haven’t missed the best of “leaf peeping” yet. Can’t help but notice you’ve got a map open to Boston. That’s where we are, so if you need anything, from directions to a place to stay, let me know.

    Below contains too much information. Please ignore me if you’ve already lived or vacationed in Massachusetts.

    If you ARE driving in Boston, use BOTH the GPS and a map. Roads randomly end, go in different directions, etc. Sometimes the GPS will direct you through the worst traffic when it makes sense to go around it, and they don’t work in the tunnels where some turns must be made.

    Also of note when driving in ANY New England city…the city/states(?) are too cheap (or budget weary?) to put up street signs for both streets at each intersection. Usually there’s only one street listed and it’s invariably the one that doesn’t help you figure out where to go.

    Favorite places in Massachusetts:

    Wheatberry Bakery in Amherst, MA (you can get 100% local bread or 90% local bread, they make a wicked good whole wheat sourdough)

    Nashoba Bakery in Concord, MA (it’s hidden, you have to look for it) They have great bread too, but its not milled locally. Still they have to die for desserts.

    Eastleigh Farm, Framingham, MA. Raw milk for sale on the farm, and they make ice cream too.

    In Boston: Victory Gardens at the Fens (they are truly beautiful, we had one until we moved a little too far away)

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  11. Jennifer Fisk on October 12, 2010 at 8:58 pm

    I use a GPS when traveling. The reason for that is unless I go to the Maritimes, I never travel outside New England and upstate NY. I have the big picture in my mind so I use the GPS to find specific places. I also have the DeLorme Gazeteers if need be.
    You have to be careful in your settings. The shortest route may take you over a jeep trail in New England.

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  12. andrea on October 12, 2010 at 10:33 pm

    Maps! And I second Bethany’s suggestion of Wheatberry in Amherst. We are members of their local grain CSA – they are awesome! If you find yourself on Cape Cod, send us and email and we’ll show you around. Our chickens just started laying if that is any enticement. :)

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  13. deedee on October 12, 2010 at 10:41 pm

    i hope you guys have a great trip! my absolute favorite place to go during the best time of year! can’t wait to see your awesome photos:)

    Reply to deedee's comment

  14. carter @ the kitchenette on October 13, 2010 at 4:04 pm

    We don’t have a GPS… so I tend to either look at the map beforehand, or print out directions from GoogleMaps or something, and so I generally use the highways/major roads to get there. But that’s just to get there… I enjoy trying to find my way back using an atlas, using back roads/country roads. Back roads usually take longer to get back, but they’re so much more pretty… and a great way to chill out from whatever appointment I just had.

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  15. Stephanie Suesan Smith on October 14, 2010 at 11:35 am

    I live way out in the country and depending on the GPS system in use, it will route people all over creation. I have even heard that when entering my address, as opposed to the GPS coordinates for my house, it sends people to the wrong place.

    On the other hand, many of the maps do not have my little country road, either. Unless one is using a country map, I am practically impossible to find. I kind of like it that way.

    Reply to Stephanie Suesan Smith's comment


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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