I have heard stories of people following their GPS into bodies of water, or the middle of nowhere and getting stranded. Then they die. I heard these stories more when GPS systems were first starting to be widely used, less now. Now I hear of people getting lost in the woods using a smart phone GPS. I just wander into the woods and always seem to be able to find my way back. This GPS story isn’t about being lost though. I was on my way to camp in Vancouver, Washington; I was following my GPS to a state park to camp. I had to be in the area to meet a skipper, the one I planned on working for up until two days prior. He said he had a friend who still needed a deckhand and we were supposed to meet up just to talk. While following my GPS it took me down someone’s private road to the state park, at the end of the road there was a closed gate. It is pouring rain. I turn around and in the distance I see a man on an four-wheeler with a rifle laying across his lap. He was not too happy about me driving down his private gravel road. We talk in circles for about five minutes, he kept saying “This is private property, did you not see the signs?” I had to tell him several times that I didn’t and I was just trying to get to the state park to camp for the night and my GPS brought me down that road. I even offered to show him my GPS and told him his quam was with the GPS manufacturer and not me. After a while he let me leave. I had to cross railroad tracks to get on the private road and I stopped to look back. There were signs on either side of the road but they were black and white with many words. Driving in I must have just ignored them as railroad warnings. I feel a simple black and orange “Private Property” sign would have worked better. I was tempted to go back and tell him but the whole prospect of getting shot told me to just be on my way.
I get back on the main road to search for the state park and cannot find any other entrances. The cover of darkness is creeping in as the sky pours down. I decide at this point it is just better to pay for a hotel room and actually be able to enjoy my money spent on it. Most of the time when I check into a hotel I check in after midnight and usually around two in the morning. It was nice to lay around and catch up on a favorite TV show. In the morning I call that skipper and he doesn’t answer, so I leave a message and waste a couple hours. He never calls back and he has wasted enough of my time by now, so I start drive north up the coast stopping in any harbor to look for fishing boats in need of a deckhand. I meet none and continue north until I reach Bellingham. It is midnight, tired, lazy, not knowing where to camp, and pouring rain I just decided to sleep in my car instead of camping. I needed to save money. I had to be up early anyways to walk the docks to find a job.
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