We were out on another adventure a couple of Saturday's ago, searching for some clues regarding a historic event that secretly occurred in the southwestern Utah area. Four wheel drive and a good suspension on my truck were needed to get over several rough back roads, but we made it to the spot we were looking for. We actually visited two locations; one was an old west cabin, and the other was a grove of aspen trees (more details on the reasons for this trip in a future post).
From the weather forecast we knew that a snowstorm was headed our way, and with perhaps 30 minutes of sunlight left, the clouds moved in and shrouded the mountains around us. Then the snow started coming down. We slipped our way on the high side of a slanting road that sloughed into deep trenches. The roads were getting bad, but not yet so challenging that we couldn't control our position.
It had taken us over an hour to navigate our way, visually spotting landmarks, on rough dirt roads to get to this back-country setting, a valley surround by low hills and a good sized mountain on the west. With the clouds almost at ground level, we found our memories a little thin on which of four roads was the right one for our return trip to the main highway. With three people in my truck, it was a cinch that there were three opinions. We tried each road sequentially and followed one of the roads for a considerably long distance before returning to our central valley of uncertainty. We even ventured down two of the roads a short distance, a second time. With the clouds hanging so low, we just couldn't see any landmarks to get our bearings.
Finally it occurred to us to see if we could get our GPS on our phones to work in this remote location. Surprising to us all, it did work, and we all figuratively smacked our heads with the palms of our hands. We were able to dial in on our location, pick out the road we should follow and which forks in the road to take.
We had food, water, a 3/4 full tank of gas, extra clothing for warmth, and had we needed to stay for the night we'd have made it through, but we all saluted the GPS technology as, an hour later, our tires hit the pavement and we were back on the main highway that headed for home.
By the way. Lest you read these various posts of mine, and begin to assume that I am always getting myself out of a bind in the outdoors, it's not true. It's only half the time, maybe a third.