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GPS strands couple in snow for days
Nine News ^ | December 29, 2009

Posted on 12/28/2009 10:17:16 PM PST by myknowledge

An American couple who relied on their SUV's navigation system to guide them through the high desert in the state of Oregon got stuck in snow for three days when the GPS unit sent them down a remote forest road.

On Sunday, atmospheric conditions apparently changed enough for their GPS-enabled mobile phone to get a weak signal and relay co-ordinates to a dispatcher, Klamath County Sheriff Tim Evinger said.

"GPS almost did 'em in and GPS saved 'em," Evinger said.

"It will give you options to pick the shortest route. You certainly get the shortest route. But it may not be a safe route."

Evinger said the couple got stranded on Christmas Day and a sheriff's deputy found them in the Winema-Fremont National Forest outside the small town of Silver Lake on Sunday afternoon and pulled their four-wheel-drive Toyota Sequoia out of the snow with a winch.

John Rhoads, 65, and his wife, Starry Bush-Rhoads, 67, made it home safely to Reno, Nevada.

"It will be (a Christmas) we remember the rest of our lives," Starry Bush-Rhoads said in a telephone interview from her home.

"They said if they didn't find us 'til this time next spring, we wouldn't be happy."

The couple was well-equipped for winter travel, carrying food, water and warm clothes, the sheriff said.

"Their statement was, being prepared saved their life," he said.

The couple had been in Portland and followed their GPS as it directed them south on US Highway 97 to Oregon Highway 31, which goes through Silver Lake and Lakeview before connecting with US Highway 395 to Reno, Evinger said.

In the town of Silver Lake, the unit told them to turn right on Forest Service Road 28, and they followed that and some spur roads nearly 56 kilometres before getting stuck in about half a metre of snow near Thompson Reservoir, the sheriff said.

"For some reason, they finally got a weak signal after 2 1/2 days," Evinger said. "They called in. They alternated between two different cell phone numbers."

A GPS-enabled phone is able to send its co-ordinates to emergency dispatchers, and eventually one of the couple's phones sent its location to the dispatcher's console, the sheriff said.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events; US: Nevada; US: Oregon
KEYWORDS: gps; howdidwegetlost; navigation; satnav
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GPS (Global Positioning System) can get you lost and can help you find your way home.

They should carry street directories as backup next time they go on a trip.


1 posted on 12/28/2009 10:17:19 PM PST by myknowledge
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To: myknowledge

Letme see if I read this correctly.

they got instructions that were in fact the shortest route but not necessarily the safest route?

Oh wah wah wah, cry me a friggin river.

Let ‘em rot in their car, I don’t care.


2 posted on 12/28/2009 10:20:02 PM PST by mamelukesabre (Confucius: "Better to light candle than curse darkness")
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To: myknowledge

I don’t care how much this stuff is hyped.

Having access to good, reliable maps is important and should always be used in addition to GPS, especially in rural areas.


3 posted on 12/28/2009 10:20:59 PM PST by SatinDoll (NO Foreign Nationals as our President!!)
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To: myknowledge

They drove into and through a couple of feet of snow until it built up under their vehicle and lifted it enough for them to lose traction and get stuck.

That wasn’t the GPS’s fault.


4 posted on 12/28/2009 10:23:05 PM PST by Talisker (When you find a turtle on top of a fence post, you can be damn sure it didn't get there on it's own.)
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To: myknowledge
Some people need to learn that GPS units are there to assist their brains, not replace them.
5 posted on 12/28/2009 10:23:40 PM PST by xjcsa (Ridiculing the ridiculous since the day I was born.)
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To: SatinDoll

these story are becoming more common. We rely on high tech but the high tech has hicups, so we resort to paper as backup


6 posted on 12/28/2009 10:25:04 PM PST by 4rcane
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To: SatinDoll; Ernest_at_the_Beach; Grampa Dave

This past spring Mrs. Wasp and I were touring Huston, TX and programed the Johnson Space Center into our Tom Tom. We ended up in the far rear corner of a gigantic appartment complex parking lot!!!


7 posted on 12/28/2009 10:25:38 PM PST by SierraWasp (AARP is guilty of Elder Abuse by endorsing a law that eliminates Medicare Advantaqe plans!!!)
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To: myknowledge

My sis and I were testing hers driving from my house to hers. The thing kept saying ‘turn right’. Just before we got to the bottom of her driveway it said ‘turn right’. Problem was the driveway was left and ‘right’ was over an embankment. Stupid GPS.


8 posted on 12/28/2009 10:30:47 PM PST by ReneeLynn (Socialism is SO yesterday. Fascism, it*s the new black. Mmm Mmm Mmm.)
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To: myknowledge

Anyone remember that episode of the Office when Michael and Dwight drive into a lake because the GPS keeps telling them to turn?


9 posted on 12/28/2009 10:31:49 PM PST by Feline_AIDS (Boop boop hoop yeah!)
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To: myknowledge; Jeremiah Jr; Slings and Arrows; null and void; martin_fierro; dead
"It will give you options to pick the shortest route. You certainly get the shortest route. But it may not be a safe route."

"You Should Have Bought a Squirrel."

10 posted on 12/28/2009 10:32:09 PM PST by Ezekiel (The Obama-nation began with the Inauguration of Desolation.)
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To: myknowledge
The couple was well-equipped for winter travel, carrying food, water and warm clothes, the sheriff said

A map is good too.

11 posted on 12/28/2009 10:32:59 PM PST by Oztrich Boy (Life is a tragedy for those who feel, but a comedy to those who think. - Horace Walpole)
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To: 4rcane

12 posted on 12/28/2009 10:40:20 PM PST by myknowledge (F-22 Raptor: World's Largest Distributor of Sukhoi parts!)
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To: myknowledge

Ah, the GPS, they were supposed to help avoid arguments, but that hasn’t worked out quite well. I’ve been trying to convince my husband t hat the GPS isn’t necessarily always 100% right.


13 posted on 12/28/2009 10:40:42 PM PST by psjones (u)
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To: myknowledge

Fastest my butt. Maybe shortest distance, but definitely not the fastest. Even in summer months with good driving conditions it would be faster to stay on 31 till it met up with 395 at Valley Falls then followed to Reno.

I’m surprised the forest service road wasn’t gated off. Many of them in that area of Oregon are during winter.

Idiots.


14 posted on 12/28/2009 10:41:26 PM PST by Domandred (Fdisk, format, and reinstall the entire .gov system.)
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To: myknowledge

Forget GPS. Given a decent map, I can find anything on this green earth, no matter how remote, no problem.


15 posted on 12/28/2009 10:42:28 PM PST by Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus (Conservatives unite behind conservative Republicans in the primaries!)
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To: Domandred

Oh heh read it wrong, they were on shortest when they probably should have picked fastest.

Either way just staying on 31 and a good GPS would have auto-recalculated in a matter of seconds.


16 posted on 12/28/2009 10:45:12 PM PST by Domandred (Fdisk, format, and reinstall the entire .gov system.)
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Glad they're OK..............GPS? Please. C'mon, MapQuest has taken me to all 50 States.......and throughout many parts. I'd NEVER use a GPS. MapQuest rules.

MapQuest would've helped these folks better....or a stop at the corner Gas Station. (GS).

17 posted on 12/28/2009 10:45:29 PM PST by NoRedTape
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To: Domandred

And that’s another point I’ve tried to make, the shortest route is not necessarily the fastest way to get to where you’re going. Hubby once took the shortest route, but it was miles of street lights vs just staying on the freeway which would have gotten us to our destination faster.


18 posted on 12/28/2009 10:46:25 PM PST by psjones (u)
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To: Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus

Well, make sure the map is up to date.


19 posted on 12/28/2009 10:48:01 PM PST by myknowledge (F-22 Raptor: World's Largest Distributor of Sukhoi parts!)
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To: NoRedTape

My wife and I have had a couple of cross-country moves in the past few years, and we always do the Primary, Alternate, Contingency, Emergency thing:

Primary: GPS
Alternate: Google Maps print outs
Contingency: old-fashioned map
Emergency: OnStar/AAA/ask for directions at gas station (implied task there—study some Spanish or Arabic)


20 posted on 12/28/2009 10:51:48 PM PST by Future Snake Eater ("Get out of the boat and walk on the water with us!”--Sen. Joe Biden)
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To: myknowledge

A decent map IS up to date.


21 posted on 12/28/2009 10:51:58 PM PST by Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus (Conservatives unite behind conservative Republicans in the primaries!)
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To: myknowledge

Two things:

They didn’t have a paper map? Not cool. Acts a as a system for verification and backup should primary system go down.

The GPS didn’t indicate they were going onto a service road and it didn’t mean anything to them?

Next time try Magellan, Rodney Wrongway.(I actually prefer Garmin but your mileage may vary)


22 posted on 12/28/2009 10:53:17 PM PST by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously... You'll never live through it.)
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To: 4rcane
I think this incident was staged. They had everything they needed to survive. They were actually found by the sister that also used a GPS to find them. And they recorded the whole thing. Just saw them on the local news here in Portland. It just does not add up. You would have to be a real moron to drive the route they took. The law suit against Garmin or Tom Tom is coming soon.
23 posted on 12/28/2009 10:56:20 PM PST by MPJackal ("From my cold dead hands.")
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To: 4rcane

Took a road trip to Yakihma from the Bay Area a few years ago. Loved the GPS but confirmed the routes and points of interest on a physical map before taking off.

Carried the maps of three states with me just in case plus my 30 day pack, which has everything I need to survive or get home with two compasses and my handy dandy star map for North America.


24 posted on 12/28/2009 10:56:45 PM PST by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously... You'll never live through it.)
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To: Talisker

People think they can go out in the winter on trips to rural areas in their all conquering 4x4 SUVs and be totally safe. They were better prepared than most but were very lucky they did not die.


25 posted on 12/28/2009 10:57:38 PM PST by Frantzie (TV - sending Americans towards islamic serfdom - Cancel TV service)
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To: Vendome

GPS has it’s uses and they can be great, but you can’t turn off your brain.


26 posted on 12/28/2009 11:01:43 PM PST by ltc8k6
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To: myknowledge

Forget the street directories how about a little common friggin sense???? Do you not look at the road in front of you? Have these idiots NO sense of direction???? Hell this is inexcusable as far as I am concerned. If you rely that much on GPS to get places then you probably should not be behind the wheel of a lethal weapon ( cars after all kill people)


27 posted on 12/28/2009 11:02:10 PM PST by the long march
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To: the long march

I often use GPS but I am no overreliant on it because I am aware of its shortcomings.


28 posted on 12/28/2009 11:15:20 PM PST by myknowledge (F-22 Raptor: World's Largest Distributor of Sukhoi parts!)
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To: myknowledge

lawyer up 4sure


29 posted on 12/28/2009 11:16:27 PM PST by FreeperFlirt
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To: the long march

lol...its ppl who kills with cars just like guns~~~


30 posted on 12/28/2009 11:17:58 PM PST by FreeperFlirt
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To: FreeperFlirt

but of course ;)


31 posted on 12/28/2009 11:24:03 PM PST by the long march
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To: ltc8k6

Too true but, they did.


32 posted on 12/28/2009 11:24:09 PM PST by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously... You'll never live through it.)
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To: myknowledge
It's a great thing they were properly prepared...


33 posted on 12/28/2009 11:30:06 PM PST by ProtectOurFreedom
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To: MPJackal

Sure does smell like it


34 posted on 12/28/2009 11:31:55 PM PST by free me (Sarah Palin 2012? You Betcha!)
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To: the long march

The GPS directions didn’t get them in trouble. They got in trouble when they drove into deep snow following the GPS? If the GPS told them to cross a washed out bridge in a flood would they have tried that, too.


35 posted on 12/28/2009 11:32:33 PM PST by USNBandit (sarcasm engaged at all times)
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To: Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus

like to see how long it would take you to pinpoint a small unmarked wreck 35 miles offshore in 300 feet of water with a map compared to me with a GPS


36 posted on 12/28/2009 11:51:58 PM PST by Lib-Lickers 2
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To: MPJackal

If staged, it’s based on a similar situation a couple of years back that resulted in a fatality. Could be where they got the idea.


37 posted on 12/28/2009 11:57:26 PM PST by ArmstedFragg (hoaxy dopey changey)
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To: myknowledge

Our Garman had us arriving at our destination on the left.

Which was the Hudson River.

Not so good!


38 posted on 12/29/2009 12:00:08 AM PST by Carley (OBAMA IS A MALEVOLENT FORCE IN THE WORLD)
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To: USNBandit

What’s weird is that just staying on the 30 from Portland to 395 looks to be the most direct route. That 97 to 31 to the Forest Service Rd. is the long way around.


39 posted on 12/29/2009 12:11:03 AM PST by ArmstedFragg (hoaxy dopey changey)
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To: SierraWasp

LOL!

Well, at least you weren’t stranded in snow without food, water, or blankets!


40 posted on 12/29/2009 12:18:12 AM PST by SatinDoll (NO Foreign Nationals as our President!!)
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To: psjones

I’ve had my gps, try to send me along some rail road tracks for the shortest route.

At our camp, it lists the electrical wire row’s as roads. Google maps does this also.


41 posted on 12/29/2009 1:51:08 AM PST by brooklin
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To: USNBandit
The GPS directions didn’t get them in trouble. They got in trouble when they drove into deep snow following the GPS? If the GPS told them to cross a washed out bridge in a flood would they have tried that, too.

They got into trouble when they were born stupid, and...Yes...they would drive off a cliff if GPS told them too. They probably even talk back to the GPS like my idiot boss used to do!

42 posted on 12/29/2009 2:02:14 AM PST by gr8eman (Everybody is a rocket scientist...until launch day!)
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To: myknowledge

Sounds staged for a lawsuit.

What’s with the claim, that atmospheric conditions changed enough to get their information to a dispacher?

Just look on the gps. It’s got latitude and longitude out to hours, minutes and seconds. If they were on the phone to a dispacher - they would only have to look and the gps would tell them (exactly) where they were.

“Gosh we have no idea where we are officer, somwhere it says in Oregon but we can’t be sure - please save us”.

Questionable.


43 posted on 12/29/2009 2:09:07 AM PST by Cringing Negativism Network (2012: Repeal it all... All of it!)
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To: SierraWasp
This past spring Mrs. Wasp and I were touring Huston, TX and programed the Johnson Space Center into our Tom Tom. We ended up in the far rear corner of a gigantic appartment complex parking lot!!!

You were not authorized to view that particular top secret portion of the space program. Come with me please...


Frowning takes 68 muscles.
Smiling takes 6.
Pulling this trigger takes 2.
I'm lazy.

44 posted on 12/29/2009 2:10:09 AM PST by The Comedian (Evil can only succeed if good men don't point at it and laugh.)
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To: Ezekiel

That was so freekin funny! What movie was that?


45 posted on 12/29/2009 2:41:56 AM PST by nkycincinnatikid
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To: myknowledge

There is a reason those package delivery guys carry a MAP/ROAD ATLAS with them when servicing rural areas...


46 posted on 12/29/2009 2:47:13 AM PST by who knows what evil? (G-d saved more animals than people on the ark...www.siameserescue.org.)
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To: who knows what evil?

Drove from BC to TX last September. I have a giant mapbook, paid 10 of your shiny yankee doodles. Never got lost once, driving through Montana, Wymoning, Colorado, Oklahoma and Texas.

Who needs GPS?!


47 posted on 12/29/2009 3:07:38 AM PST by BenKenobi
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To: MPJackal

That really sounds fishy.

Similar to the ‘kid in balloon’ incident.


48 posted on 12/29/2009 3:10:46 AM PST by Vinnie (You're Nobody 'Til Somebody Jihads You)
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To: nkycincinnatikid

Rat Race


49 posted on 12/29/2009 3:32:32 AM PST by Dusty Road
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To: Dusty Road

When I’m planning a big trip (recently from WV to Chicago)to an unfamiliar area I track it on Google Earth just to get a sense of landmarks. Heck, you can even note that there’s a gas station at a turn.


50 posted on 12/29/2009 4:22:52 AM PST by youturn (Conference, Christine!)
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