I just got back from an 18-day, 6000-mile journey with my 15 year-old daughter. We went from Philadelphia to Tucson to Denver then back to Philadelphia. The nuvi was a great help in many ways. I bought it the last week of June but it came with the old maps. I was disappointed the new maps were not available in time for the trip but we only had few minor problems with the old maps.
We were going to spend a few days with friends in Tucson and Denver. I loaded the nuvi with lots of differents POI files. I loaded Walmart, bookstores, motels, restaurants, rest areas, fuel stops, red light cameras, Arizona and Colorado attractions, VW dealers, and Starbucks (word of warning: Don't use proximity alerts for Starbucks--We had alerts just about everywhere! In some towns like Boulder there is one every few blocks). I also preloaded as Favorites our planned stops along the way.
The first day of the trip was when Harry Potter came out and we were in Tennessee. Using my POI-Factory Borders file we found a store in Nashville and were on our way. We also used the nuvi to check the location of motels we were planning to stay to see how close they were to our main route.
Along the way we played GPS games such as "Guess our altitude" , "How far have we've gone", "What is the discrepancy between my car's odometer and our actual travel distance? (Answer: 5 miles more on the odometer every 1000 miles traveled), "What is our farthest western and southern points on the route?", "Which voice guide is our favorite?" (Answer: Australian Karen) and most important "How far to the next rest stop with a bathroom?"
With many interchanges under construction the nuvi sometimes was confused as to where we were. As long as I knew were we were headed we just had to ignore Karen and follow the signs.
The BAD: There were times when in some small towns we were directed to make turns on non-existent streets. Also, some restaurants we looked for were either closed (darn you, old map!) or the location was far down the road from its mapped location.
The GOOD: The ability to test different trip scenarios with different Via points let me see how long different side trips would take. The GPS also gave us confidence to drive into a new city, find the attractions, and get back on the road in a very efficient manner. It also makes for good planning of your destination time in order to plan a stop for the end of the day. Each day we picked a motel based on how much more time I wanted to drive, then called ahead to make a reservation.
Overall, I found the nuvi invaluable on such a trip. Letting me know where to find food, fuel, and lodging takes a lot of stress out of being in new places. Besides, having the GPS is just plain fun on a long day of driving. Thanks Garmin and POI-Factory file contributers!
Sounds like you had a nice trip. How do you tell altitude on your 650. I have a 660 and cant figure out how to bring that number up.
To see your altitude:
1. From the Map screen press the Menu button (second area on the lower left hand portion of the screen).
2. Press the signal strength meter in the upper left hand corner of the Menu screen. It can be tricky to press, so be careful just to touch the upper corner of the screen. The altitude reading is on the upper right side of the satellite map.
I loved your story, I am in the middle of the Harry Potter book right now;) So at what age do the kids stop asking are we there yet?
Once I got her the book in Tennessee, I did not hear her voice until New Mexico.
My daughter is a very good traveler. She was content to read, listen to her iPod, talk, and visit the crazy places her father took her (like standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona).
Did you see a fine sight at that corner;)
Yeah, I can't say that I ever stood on a corner (on purpose) during my vacation...lol.
Love the GPS games, we are sick ppl!!! LOL.
You must not listen to the eagles. See here http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/eagles/takeiteasy.html
Ah, no I only know "Hotel CA". Thanks for the enlightment, he must have been looking at...
"Arrows of neon and flashing marquees out on main street."...rofl
"What a long strange trip it has been"...lol
*both from Grateful Dead, "Truckin'"
Great story. I can't wait for my first cross-country road trip with my Garmin.
Actually, the folks in Winslow have cashed in on the fame that one line in one song has provided. There is a statue and and mural on a corner. In the mural there is a woman in a Ford truck reflected in a painted window. Across the street is a store selling Eagles and Route 66 memorabilia. If you are an Eagles fan it is worth a stop.
Just to let you know how crazy I am, I played town-appropriate songs on my iPod during the trip. For example, when going by Graceland I put on Elvis (I didn't have Paul Simon's "Graceland"), "Takin' It Easy" when going into Winslow, "Willing'" when going through Tucumcari, and Route 66 while cruising through Gallup, New Mexico.
For more information on Winslow's Takin' It Easy Park see:
Can not wait form my first long trip with the new 660
My wife and I are leaving for a week in Cali, plan on flying into San Jose on Aug 18 and out on the 25th everything inbetween is as we feel. Nuvi 660 will guide the way. We cannot wait. As we feel, after the Winchester House, Hearst Castle and THE ROCK.
PS I have only been a member for a monthish, as long as I've had my NUVI 660, I must say brentrn, that was one of the coolest stories I've read on here.
I was glad to do a father-daughter trip. It gave us both memories to last a lifetime. I never even mentioned some of the other things that happened like getting stopped by the Border Patrol late one night, fooling someone in line at Borders about the ending of Harry Potter (for a minute she believed me that Darth Vader was Harry's father), and rescuing a horse that got loose from its trailer on I-40 after an accident.
While we could have easily done the trip without a GPS I would hate to have the added stress of trying to be pilot and navigator on the trip. Also, the nuvi let us know the location of stores, restaurants, and hotels that would not be in any other single reference source.
We are visiting from the UK and touring New England in September, so we bought the Nuvi 670 because it had the USA maps pre loaded, as well as the UK and Europe maps.
We are looking forward to our trip and have already put in the favourites, our B&B stops in Boston, Ogunquit (what is the proper pronunciation of this?) and Bar Harbor.
Also we have pre loaded a 2 Gig SD card with lots of music to play on the built in MP3 player and some photo’s of our dogs to show some people we hope to meet.
The 670 is more costly then we were planning to pay but we think it will be worth it because of the extras on it.
We are also hoping the promised updated N/America maps arrive from Garmin before our trip.
Anyone any tips prior to our visit to New England?
I am big fan of Portland, Maine. There is a Mailboat cruise from the Casco Bay Lines ferry terminal. It is inexpensive and gives a great look at the lobstermen working the waters around the islands. The town also has some great restaurants and brewpubs. September is a great time to tour New England as the weather is usually nice that time of year.
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