Most ridiculous, dangerous, or...

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Most ridiculous, dangerous, or...

Post by highpilgrim » Wed Oct 21, 2020 8:39 am

d_baker's thread about some nimrod trying to drive a relatively large truck over Engineer Pass because his GPS unit told him to, struck me as funny but not all that uncommon.

I myself have followed my phone to some "interesting" places, once into the middle of East Saint Louis, IL, in a neighborhood that an older white boy should probably not have been. :shock:

So, tell us: where is the place you've been where you shouldn't have, or wouldn't have gone if not for your cell phone leading you there? Bonus points awarded for the most embarrassing example.
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Re: Most ridiculous, dangerous, or...

Post by nunns » Wed Oct 21, 2020 8:49 am

highpilgrim wrote:
Wed Oct 21, 2020 8:39 am
d_baker's thread about some nimrod trying to drive a relatively large truck over Engineer Pass because his GPS unit told him to, struck me as funny but not all that uncommon.

I myself have followed my phone to some "interesting" places, once into the middle of East Saint Louis, IL, in a neighborhood that an older white boy should probably not have been. :shock:

So, tell us: where is the place you've been where you shouldn't have, or wouldn't have gone if not for your cell phone leading you there? Bonus points awarded for the most embarrassing example.
Hahaha, highpilgrim we have something else in common besides MIZZERY and mountains.
Returning from a swim meet in Illinois in the late 1990's, I had to stop and change a tire in East St. Louis. Didn't have anything to do with my cell phone, just poor navigation.

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Re: Most ridiculous, dangerous, or...

Post by climbingcue » Wed Oct 21, 2020 8:58 am

It is really amazing human kind has not been wiped off the face of the earth. This lady drove right into the water and almost drown. ... 12876.html
Last edited by climbingcue on Wed Oct 21, 2020 9:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Most ridiculous, dangerous, or...

Post by cougar » Wed Oct 21, 2020 9:01 am

GPS recommended a route to Canada that required a ferry crossing across Campobello island, which ran maybe once a day or less in off-season, instead of the bridge at Calais a couple miles down the road. I was fortunate to be able to turn around just before getting funneled in to the ferry terminal entrance which oddly didn't appear to have a turnaround.

Another guy I know had his gps lead his Civic up a rough jeep road to get to a trailhead, up the opposite side of the mountain from it, and rolled off the road and had to get towed out. He set his destination for the mountain instead of trailhead.

"If we don't change direction, we'll end up where we're going."
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Re: Most ridiculous, dangerous, or...

Post by shelly+ » Wed Oct 21, 2020 10:28 am

ummm..... nowhere. lol
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Re: Most ridiculous, dangerous, or...

Post by PI Joe » Wed Oct 21, 2020 11:10 am

I was in Lake City a few years back and wanted to drive back to Silverton via public roads after coming over Engineer Pass and I noticed that the GPS was trying to route me back over Cinnamin Pass. I'm pretty sure that the GPS did not know that I had a Jeep but the fact that these passes are crossed by "county roads" probably had something to do with it's routing choice.
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Re: Most ridiculous, dangerous, or...

Post by 9patrickmurphy » Wed Oct 21, 2020 11:16 am

I drove the road to Phoenix Park in my stock 4Runner last year. Absolutely shouldn't have. It's relatively long, so slow going, the rocks are pretty damn big, and there are real obstacles. And nowhere to turn around. Shortly into it I realized I was committed despite having an awful time. You actually can't turn around or pass pretty much until you get to the meadow, where the road becomes a trivial dirt road. Gorgeous place, was glad to have spent the evening there. Crazy glad I had locking 4WD because my tires got spinning in the air more than once. It built character but I felt like an idiot the whole time. No damage though!
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Re: Most ridiculous, dangerous, or...

Post by WanderingJim » Wed Oct 21, 2020 11:21 am

Well, at the moment my GPS in my Jeep is malfunctioning so it routinely shows me going cross country through people's backyards, crossing over roads at right angles, and driving through the bay underwater. :)

I know Jeep is known for going off road, but this is ridiculous. :)
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Re: Most ridiculous, dangerous, or...

Post by pbakwin » Wed Oct 21, 2020 11:32 am

Kicking around La Paz, Bolivia. There are some nice looking hills just at the edge of town. We wanted to go for a run. But a local said, “Don’t go there”, and then proceeded to teach us how to say “I have already been robbed” in Spanish in case we ignored his advice. Which we did. Next thing you know we’re looking down the barrel of a pistol that looked like it was from WWI. Nevertheless... Fortunately, we had left ALL valuables in the hotel, except about $0.50 for the bus back into downtown. Which seemed to be enough to (barely) satisfy the pistoleros.

A few days later there was a transportation strike. We decided it was time to get outta Dodge. We figured if a taxi would take us it must be okay. Nope. At the edge of town there was a big road block. The taxi stopped, and as we were contemplating our next move the vehicle was swarmed with angry strikers. I turned and saw Buzz’s hand slap the door lock just as a striker was grabbing the handle. Rocks smashed the windows as we sped away.

Returned to La Paz a year later and there was another transportation strike. We left immediately.

The Wild West still exists!
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Re: Most ridiculous, dangerous, or...

Post by Carl_Healy » Wed Oct 21, 2020 12:12 pm

Not that this had anything to do with a GPS leading me astray, but had a work trip to Port Harcourt, Nigeria over Christmas 2015.

Was being driven to Port Harcourt International Airport to fly home.
A couple miles away from the airport ran into a police checkpoint at a roundabout (nothing surprising, they're everywhere there).
But after getting through the checkpoint the traffic cleared up and we could see broken glass covering both lanes of the road for the next mile or so. People on either side of the road in shops and stalls all looked agitated.
Some distance later we noted a bunch of people walking on either side of the road opposite the direction we were traveling in. They were walking back to the part of the village where the broken glass covered the road.
They were also all wearing blue T-shirts or soccer jerseys, and many of them wielded machetes, swords, and even round wooden shields.

Luckily we had a Nigeria Police force officer in the vehicle, provided for protection, who indicated that what likely happened is that there was some sort of fight between two neighboring villages and now this group was heading back for "retribution."

Got to the airport safely, but I didn't like the thought about what would have happened if I were to have left for the airport just 30 minutes earlier when all those car windows were being smashed by a mob.
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Re: Most ridiculous, dangerous, or...

Post by JtheChemE » Wed Oct 21, 2020 12:43 pm

A few of mine, only insofar as they relate to driving.

1) When I first started out as an engineer, I had a project review meeting in Shreveport LA. The area around the airport (and refinery) is pretty sketchy. Myself and a colleague stopped at a Waffle House in the rough area to grab coffee before our meeting. After leaving Waffle House, we saw a gentleman leave closely behind us and was following us. At a stop sign, he came up fast behind braking sharply, stopping a few inches behind our bumper. I saw the drivers door start to open, and rather than assume it was for a friendly chat I burned through the stopsign. When I told the story at the end of my meeting, thurns out many of the refinery folks carry, as there have been numerous carjackings or robberies in the area. Moral of the story: never go to Waffle House in super sketchy neighborhood wearing suit and tie.

2) In Durban, South Africa I was out on project support for supervision / commissioning of a large environmental compliance Low Sulphur Diesel project. I was working nights, and as it was close to the winter solstice the days were short. Given the short days, it was already quite dark as I started out for my first shift. Google maps took me on the "quickest" route, which passed through a large open air market. Hordes of people co-mingled with hordes of cars, animals, really it is just semi-controlled chaos. I had intentionally got the junkiest rental I could, but still, a local came up and jiggled the passenger handle. Doors were locked, and luckily the general insanity meant that a car came right up to the passenger side, effectively shooing him off. Once I got to the refinery, the engineering manager advised me on another route (all of about 2 mins longer) on the hwy that would avoid this known sketchy area of Durban. Moral of the story: always rent junky cars in South Africa, always lock the doors, don't always trust google maps.

3) I found myself stranded in Mombassa, Kenya after some ridiculous flight shenanigans while en route to Seychelles. After some hours at the airport, and getting emergency transit visas, the airline put us up in a beach resort overnight, but to get there we had to navigate through what seemed to be some very rough areas of Mombassa at 11PM on a Friday night. Passengers we were going to be transported via transit van, but by the time it got to my wife and I the van was full. The airline employee flagged a random driver (they hang around airports in many developing countries). After a hurried exchange in their native language, the airport employee informed me that the driver would take my wife and I to the resort. I did everything I could to get us on the transit van, but it was indeed completely packed as the couple in front of us had pleaded similarly. With limited options, we decided to go with the driver as the airport employee did seem to know him, and the driver had some official insignia on the ratty car. I did manage to get the hotel name and plug it into google maps prior to leaving wifi (no cell signal, even though I have international data). Prior to leaving the airport I tried to notify contact at home regarding the situation, and planned course of action. Only after leaving the airport did I see that the message did not send out. The transit van was in front of us initially, but then the taxi driver turns off on another road saying there was a better way. The driver was incredibly friendly, and conversational, and seemed to sense we were a bit nervous so he worked to put at us ease with small talk. Even so, this was checking many boxes that lead up to sketchy situations. We kept getting farther and farther away from the google map route, but with no data it would not refresh to see if we were in fact taking a viable alternate route. In Africa, things generally have a very hectic / chaotic feel, and especially so after dark and heading into the weekend. The areas we were driving though had lean to corrugated metal type homes, people drinking and fighting in the streets, rubbish fires here and there, and given the incredibly poor state of the dirt roads we were going very very slowly through all this. The ultimate moment of anxiety was when the driver inexplicably stopped, and a man came rushing towards the car. Adrenaline now pumping, I ran through my mind what I could do in the event I needed to protect myself and my wife. The man abruptly stopped and redirected his bearing a few feet from our car, apparently somehow not having noticed us. The driver had also apparently stopped for another crazy ped, which I had not noticed given the rapid course of events. After this, we gradually moved into the nicer beachfront area and did indeed arrive to the resort. My concern was not unfounded, as the resort had armed guards with automatic weapons and they proceeded to question the driver and confirm with my wife and I that we were under no duress. Only after a thorough inspection of the vehicle, complete with mirrors on poles too look at the undercarriage, were we permitted into the hotel. I'm not sure the moral here, as I don't really know how I could have acted differently, but I still look back on that situation as one that could have gone very differently.
Last edited by JtheChemE on Thu Oct 22, 2020 6:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Most ridiculous, dangerous, or...

Post by Agstrohmeier » Wed Oct 21, 2020 6:26 pm

Not myself, but I met my fiancee as a result of google maps routing her over webster pass in a March when i70 was closed and she and her cousin got their car stuck in the valley. We drove up there earlier this year to see where they would have ended up if there wasn't any snow... Definitely not a viable winter route to summit county!
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