I guess I'm mostly posting this because I'm drunk now and under no other circumstance would I be willing to humble myself and admit such a screw up.
A couple weeks ago my fiance and I embarked on a little overnight trip to visit some local breweries. The first leg was from Carlisle to Pottsville, where Yuengling is made. During my pretrip planning I realized that my GPS, a Garmin Nuvi 260 which has served me since 2007, doesn't really work anymore. The original power cord completely failed, and the aftermarket Radio Shack power cord only works intermittently, and not often enough to actually keep it charged. I thought, "No problem, I've gone places without GPS before so this should be no problem!"
I plotted out a nice route though a state park that should have been pleasant in my Miata. It was longer, slower and had more turns than the route most normal people would take, but that's not why I own a Miata. I carefully printed the google maps pages with all the tricky turns presented graphically and everything.
Unfortunately, I managed to screw it up within about ten minutes. The problem is that my directions told me to turn right on Mountain Road in 1.8. miles. At about that time (1.5 miles I guess) I saw "Mountain Road," slammed on my brakes to make the turn, and followed it to the end.... exactly in a place I didn't want to be. As far as I knew, "Mountain Road" didn't end on PA-944, but that's where I was, so I just turned left to go East, which was the general direction I needed to go and I knew would lead me to I-81. After several minutes of confusion which convinced me (and my fiance) to admit that I was lost, I pulled over in an empty church parking lot, broke out the map and memorized the easy interstate and state route way to Pottsville.
Now, when we actually got to Pottsville, my directions should have still been valid. However, I ended up driving around in circles and making U-turns several times. Why? Well, I realized when we were leaving the next day, that the street sign I was looking for did not exist. The street was completely unmarked. Actually, the only reason we ever found the hotel was because I deducted that the street we were on had to be the right one because it was the only unmarked street in between two marked streets that were on my google maps printout, and because my fiance noticed the hotel's tiny "check in parking" sign, about a foot high and three feet wide. The real sign was painted up on the side of the building, which I had no chance of seeing as a driver on the street.
Now, going back to the first "Mountain Road" screw up, I checked when I got home and it turns out that there are TWO MOUNTAIN ROADS... PA-34 N/Spring Rd to PA-34 N/Spring Rd - Google Maps
They're just a bit more than half a mile apart from each other, yet they're both named "Mountain Road"... WTF?!? The first mountain road is obviously the one I took, and was wrong. The second mountain road is what I wanted.
You know, I'll never feel sorry for the people who follow their GPS into life threatening situations like driving onto train tracks or dirt roads in the desert, but I'm beginning to see how essential it is in a world that assumes you're either a local who's familiar with the streets or using a GPS. I used to get around without one but I think those days are over for me. I'll be buying a new one as soon as I can.