Well, it should have been a neat trip to Oregon's Pacific coastline, destination Tillamook. The nice voice of the "electronic gal" speaking from the Garmin Nüvi GPS guidance device directed me via Salem on Hwy 22 NW to "Oregon Coast".
Yes, indeed, it's a beautiful trip - you go over "hills and mountains" uphill and downhill mostly at 55 mph (+tax). The signs show your crossing the Siuslaw National Forest, well, wood harvesting is a big issue here.
It takes you a while getting to Tillamook and then to the picturesque viewpoints at the coast. After a short stop at a rest area ahead of Tillamook, the guidance system made trouble. OK, sometimes, it's not unusual that the GPS signal reception is low, and "you" are unable to navigate - this electronics mess-up was different. The device didn't load the maps - gave me the overall direction and the GPS-metered speed, but no road, no street, no nothing. Then it blacked out.
Ok, having arrived at Tillamook, already quite late in the afternoon, I decided to get to Alamo's Portland RCC for changing the navigation device I rented for 2 weeks.
But how to get there?
Remember the old days when we were allowed to use the electronic calculator at school for the first time at tests and exams? Quite the same bull$4*+ happened after the batteries had run low. Yea, we had this neat non-electronic "brainware-based" slide rule as ersatz-remedy, oh boy, this thing saved grades and finally even lives. Think of Apollo 13 - "Failure is not an option"; and the engineers used slide-rules for calculating crucial items on the "altered" moon mission then, remember?
So, with brains, you get almost anywhere. Well, I have always Walmart's Rand-McNally Atlas for North America at hand. With the help of a magnifying glass - don't forget this because sometimes you have to read really fine print - I was able to navigate on my own with the Oregon map provided.
The route getting to Portland was quite easy to find - take Hwy 6 East to Portland, uphill and downhill, again with 55 mph (+ tax).
The nasty thing does really begin with approaching Portland, the whole area in the evening is a huge traffic jam. Now, the task was to get to Alamo's RCC near Portland Airport.
The Hwy 6 E changes to Hwy 26 E "Sunset Hwy", then I-405 South change to I-5 North then I-84 E, finally I-205 North Exit 24A to NE Airport Hwy and Frontage RD where all the rental car companies have their facilities there.
When I arrived at Portland last Monday and was shuttled to the Alamo's RCC I took their free map with me. It helped a lot in this situation.
Changing the GPS guidance systems was not a big deal but the Pacific view was blown to pieces. OK, I could have gone there without this electronic device, on the other hand I wanted to be at my motel room before dusk.
OK, fellas, don't leave your accomodation with a neat map or atlas.
Electronic devices are prone to sudden failures or malfunctions - it is so!
If your brain still works properly you will get out of any mess, for sure.