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WriteDown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 01:14 AM
Original message
11-Year-Old Boy Dies After Mom Says GPS Left Them Stranded in Death Valley
Source: AP

LAS VEGAS An 11-year-old boy died in the intense heat of Death Valley National Park after he and his mother became stranded in one of the world's most inhospitable areas and survived for several days on bottled water, Pop-Tarts and cheese sandwiches, authorities said Friday.

Alicia Sanchez, 28, was found severely dehydrated and remained hospitalized in Las Vegas a day after being found with her dog, her dead son and a Jeep Cherokee buried up to its axles in sand.

She told rescuers in California's San Bernardino County that her son Carlos died Wednesday, days after she fixed a flat tire and continued into Death Valley, relying on directions from a GPS device in the vehicle.

"It's in about as remote and isolated an area as you can find," Death Valley National Park Chief Ranger Brent Pennington told The Associated Press. "How she got to that point, I don't know."...

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,538323,00.html



Geez.
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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 01:17 AM
Response to Original message
1. faux, and eat some baloney with this. They got lost in a sand storm
for days. Blame it on GPS before mourning the son? Ugh.
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Mojorabbit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 01:36 AM
Response to Reply #1
6. My sis and I ended
up near the top of a mountain on a desolate two lane road at a small farmhouse with pastures filled with cows in Germany.. as our GPS announced we had reached the middle of the city we had programed it to find.
I can believe this happened.
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mwb970 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 05:34 AM
Response to Reply #6
30. Why wouldn't you double check with a normal map?
Are people really this dependent on a GPS machine to tell them where to go?

:shrug:
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left coaster Donating Member (938 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 10:21 AM
Response to Reply #30
46. That's what struck me..
When I plan to drive somewhere that I'm not familiar with, I LOOK AT A MAP first, before I leave home.. and I write down the directions, as necessary.. I also always carry several maps and Thomas Bro. guides in my car.. they do come in handy..

This is a sad story, no matter..
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grace0418 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 10:38 AM
Response to Reply #30
50. GPS is just a tool, it should never be THE tool. First of all, navigating with a map
keeps your mind more engaged and allows you to more intuitively figure out where to go. GPS shuts your mind off. I've read stories of people blindly turning the wrong way on highways or even driving off the road because the GPS told them to turn. You'd never do that if you were navigating yourself.

Secondly, what happens if the GPS malfunctions? You're fucked. You should always have a way to get around that doesn't require plugging in or batteries.

It's very sad what happened to this woman. Although I'm actually surprised it doesn't happen more often, the way people seem to depend on GPS.
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mwb970 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 10:56 AM
Response to Reply #50
54. It reminds me of people who don't know anyone's phone number
because the numbers are programmed into their cell phone, which they left at home today.
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krispos42 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-09-09 02:03 AM
Response to Reply #50
131. Couple of year ago, a German couple drove off a pier into a river.
They kinda missed the part about stopping, buying a ticket, and boarding the ferry.

:rofl:
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NashVegas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-09-09 10:02 PM
Response to Reply #50
150. I Always Tell Them "Real Men Don't Use GPS"
Real men get lost and find their way out without any help from us :)
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question everything Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 12:57 PM
Response to Reply #30
80. That's pretty much it.
We had an opposite case. We were going to cross a bridge from Door County, WI, peninsula which was under construction. So we followed the streets direction to another bridge. Our GPS showed the car "swimming" in the lake. Was really funny.
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Realityhack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 03:04 PM
Response to Reply #80
93. Frozen lakes are fun.
I remember someone bringing a Zip Car ice racing. They are GPS logged so if anyone ever pulled the logs it would be driving in circles in a lake all day.
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mwb970 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 05:33 PM
Response to Reply #80
102. I love Door County! /nt
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Mojorabbit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 10:23 PM
Response to Reply #30
117. We did have a regular map
but we were in a foreign country and even with both the map and gps we somehow spent almost a whole day lost on winding roads in the black forest. I love getting lost and finding new and out of the way places. Obviously I was not responsible for any children nor in a desert and I always travel with water and snacks just in case. We were surprised that the gps that got us through city after city without fail in Europe had this very very out of the way miss in Germany. It happens.
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Regret My New Name Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 10:30 PM
Response to Reply #30
118. I'm guilty of relying on GPS waaaaay more than I should.
I'm pretty much screwed when I'm without one. That makes me very very disappointed with myself.
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grace0418 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-09-09 11:00 AM
Response to Reply #118
134. I feel like that would happen with me if I got one, that's why I've been avoiding it.
I'm a really good navigator. When I study my route on a map before I leave the house, I can picture it in my head as I go. And once I've studied the map carefully *and* driven the route, I've usually got it down. I'm very visual, and don't do well with verbal directions. So I think it would take me much longer to memorize a route if I get the directions off gps.

I feel like navigating is a skilled that must be honed and I don't want it to atrophy.
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Regret My New Name Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-09-09 04:46 PM
Response to Reply #134
147. Even before I got my GPS, I relied on mapquest...
before that I didn't drive... I would hate to see what would happen if I only had a map to go off of. heh, if technology dies, then I think you'll have a marketable skill with your map reading abilities.
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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-10-09 10:36 PM
Response to Reply #147
160. About the third time I ever used mapquest, the directions at one point told me "turn right"
where they should have said "turn left" -- and I spent fifteen minutes lost and cussing because the directions stopped making any sense. I finally got back to the "last known good point" and turned opposite what mapquest told me there, after which point the directions began making sense again

A good tool -- but not a substitute for brains
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midnight Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 03:49 PM
Response to Reply #6
98. Somehow I can beleive that too.
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DesertDiamond Donating Member (838 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 02:37 AM
Response to Reply #1
16. The way the headline is phrased seems to be out of sequence, rather than the mom's priorities.
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Tangerine LaBamba Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 01:19 AM
Response to Original message
2. Camping in Death Valley,
and she left a dirt road. Bet she has a four-wheel drive vehicle and decided to use it.

People without a clue going camping in a place like that, with horrendous results.

What a fucking stupid tragedy. What a heartbreak. That poor little boy...............................
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Fumesucker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 10:44 AM
Response to Reply #2
51. It's been my experience that four wheel drive just lets you get further away from civilization..
Before you get stuck..

People get their ideas from the media and movies, you can drive through anything in a four wheel drive..

It's really hard to blame it entirely on the moron in question, the media paints such an unrealistic picture and almost all of us buy into it to a greater or lesser extent.

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quakerboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 03:10 PM
Response to Reply #51
95. Yup
4 wheel just means people get stupider using them, and get them stuck that much more often. I cant vouch for the veracity, but one ol tow guy told me there was a good stretch of years where the jeep Cherokee was the most towed car in America.
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brendan120678 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-10-09 10:42 AM
Response to Reply #95
155. I recall one time driving on an Interstate in a heavy snowstorm...
There was an accident 5+ miles ahead and traffic was all backed up.

A number of people in SUVs decided it was best to try and cut through the grassy median and head back in the opposite direction. Of course, more than half of the SUVs attempting to do this ended up stuck there in the median - they made it down the slight embankment, but couldn't make it back up to the other side of the highway.

What is even funnier is that other SUVs kept trying to do the same thing, while there were still people stuck in the middle! They obviously thought that they were superior 4-Wheel-Drive drivers, and wouldn't get stuck like those that tried before them.
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Xithras Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-10-09 11:31 AM
Response to Reply #51
156. I used to do a lot of off-road driving in my old 4WD's.
Even with 10 inches of ground clearance, we kept comealongs and ropes in the back, and had a 3 ton winch on the front bumper with pulleys and straps. They were ALL used QUITE often. The idea that a 4WD can blow through the roughest of terrain at 45MPH with a nice latte in the cup holder and the AC blowing is completely laughable to anyone who has actually TRIED driving unmaintained high clearance roads and trails. The real deal is a lot of work, requires a lot of equipment, and is STILL unwise to attempt alone. Over the years there were several slips where I became so badly stuck that I was only able to get the truck free with a LOT of help from OTHER trucks.

I remember seeing and Offroading For Dummies mini-book years ago that wen't over all this stuff, and had two more important trminders in it. First, know your trail traffic. If the trail you're driving sees one vehicle a week on average, you'd better have a week of supplies onboard to survive if you get stuck. A related suggestion was that you always have an alternate egress route. If your trail is really remote and sees one car a month, you'd better have a topo map, a backpack, and some supplies in your pack so you can hike out. I've always thought that handbook should be standard issue for anyone with a 4WD vehicle.

Nowadays I prefer to traverse the backcountry on foot, but I'm not as anti-4WD as some others here.
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strategery blunder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 01:24 AM
Response to Original message
3. RIP
:(
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crim son Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 01:26 AM
Response to Original message
4. Fuck.
A dead 11-year-old boy? No words.
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NWHarkness Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 01:28 AM
Response to Original message
5. Who writes these headlines?
Did they take high school grammar?

The boy died AFTER his Mom talked to the AP?
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DesertDiamond Donating Member (838 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 02:35 AM
Response to Reply #5
15. I hear you! The use of the English language seems to become more and more appalling...
I used to transcribe medical reports, and routinely typed phrases like, "the patient's arm was broken after an accident." AFTER?? No, it was broken DURING the accident. Unless someone came along, saw the accident, and decided to break the patient's arm.

Now, a boy dies "after" the mother speaks with the press. Sheesh!
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mwb970 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 10:57 AM
Response to Reply #15
55. My favorite is
"the man died after police said he fell from a building."
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Retrograde Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 01:45 PM
Response to Reply #55
88. just needs some punctuation
"The man died after, police said, he fell from a building."

You may now resume the regularly scheduled rant...
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immoderate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 05:41 PM
Response to Reply #88
103. Oh yeah! It's perfectly clear now.
--imm
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MADem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 04:02 AM
Response to Reply #5
26. We're going through one of those "language shifts" I fear.
I can't understand half of the shit kids say or mean. It's become less important, now, the ability to put a sentence together!
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patrice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 10:45 AM
Response to Reply #26
53. Thank goodnes, I guess, I'm glad to hear others are having this problem.
It's a little scarey how often people don't make sense and don't seem to know it and don't try to provide the missing assumptions or information in order to be more clear.
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mwb970 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 10:58 AM
Response to Reply #53
56. They just get mad at you for not "getting it". /nt
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MADem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 11:51 AM
Response to Reply #53
65. I still cannot relate to "That's sick!"
Apparently, it means good, cool, neat, or something along those lines. To me, if you say "Oh, my, that dog is sick!" I'm thinking about a trip to the vet, not a swell-looking pooch!

I usually just say "You're going to have to speak standard English if you want to get through to me," if I can't "get" the meanings.
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Tunkamerica Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 10:37 PM
Response to Reply #65
120. And if you say swell I think swollen
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MADem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 11:10 PM
Response to Reply #120
128. ... ............. ....................... .................
:rofl:
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sofa king Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-11-09 01:22 AM
Response to Reply #128
166. TunkAmerica has a point there.
I happen to think that the Internet has created a literary renaissance. I think if we could go back to 1978 and do some comparisons between then and now we would find that Americans especially are far more literate today than they were then. I'll bet some of the Welcome Back, Kotter crowd never even tried to write a complete sentence until the late 1990s.

The fact that the kids of today actually prefer to spend more time punching out an incomplete sentence over just saying it over the phone suggests to me that the written word has made a big comeback.

What annoys us is that so many of those doofuses (and their offspring) from 1978 are now writing, calling us "bias morans" and dangling from the participles. They may hate gay marriage, but Freepers get caught in bed with homophones at least once a thread. And we have plenty of our own, including people who start sentences with conjunctions. As a result, we get to see lots and lots of bad English, but it is a helluva lot more English than Americans cared to write thirty years ago.
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TankLV Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-09-09 01:14 PM
Response to Reply #26
139. we have the past eight years to thank for this partly...
what a fucking nightmare...

did a lot for the stock of the word "fuck" and all it's derrivatives, tho...
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JayMusgrove Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 01:47 PM
Response to Reply #5
89. You DID SEE that the source is from FOX!!!!!!!!!!! That means,to me, that
we don't expect accuracy in journalism, nor clarity of writing.
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ManiacJoe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 07:46 PM
Response to Reply #89
115. Actually the source is the Associated Press.
Fox News is just one of the many distributors.
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TommyPaine Donating Member (300 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-09-09 10:07 PM
Response to Reply #5
152. And it's getting worse.
its only a matter of time b4 sentences like this w/o capitalization or punctuation will be considered acceptable thx to txt msging and short attn spans
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Libertas1776 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 01:40 AM
Response to Original message
7. Very sad and tragic
but a mother and son should be nowhere near friggin Death Valley without appropriate supplies, and more appropriately an experienced guide or professional. People put way too much faith in technology like GPS. Just another reason for me to never go near a place named Death Valley
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tomreedtoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 01:53 AM
Response to Reply #7
9. Not good enough, Libertas1776. NEVER go to Death Valley.
There is a reason it got that name, and it isn't because it's the home of the Death Candy Company.

There is nothing there but death. It's like a trip inside Glenn Beck's mind. There is no reason EVER to go there. If a plane is trying to fly over it and it crashes, there's no point in trying to rescue them; they're already dead, and you'd die trying to get there to reclaim their disintegrating bodies.

This may shock some nature freaks here, but there are some places that are pure evil and anti-life. Death Valley is one of the most important ones in our continent. A lesson this woman learned at the cost of her son's life.
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JI7 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 02:06 AM
Response to Reply #9
12. people visit death valley every year and they don't die, old people were dying in cities
during the heat wave. little babies die in cars when parents forget about them and leave them in there.

if you are prepared you can easily survive a trip to death valley.
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left coaster Donating Member (938 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 10:34 AM
Response to Reply #12
49. Indeed..
My family and I have visited Death Valley five times in the past 25 years.. each hiking/camping trip has been well planned for, and common sense was always employed..

This tragic accident is a result of ignorance and lack of respect for the environment this woman and her son were in.. I can't imagine the grief and regret mom must feel.. and that poor child.. what a loss.. Again, a real tragic story.
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Realityhack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 03:11 PM
Response to Reply #49
96. Very well put.
And I think you emphasized the right point. It was a matter of ignorance and lack of respect for the environment. The same attitude and ignorance could easily lead to similar results regardless of what technology or environment was involved.
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quakerboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 03:14 PM
Response to Reply #12
97. Can you really?
I submit that if nothing else, it would leave you dead on the inside. Its frickin hot there. Hot enough to kill the soul, no matter how austerely beautiful it may be when approached in properly prepared. My dad went camping in that area as a kid, and we have good evidence his soul is dead. Might have been more merciful if someone had just had him drink an alkali pool or something.
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Igel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 04:30 PM
Response to Reply #97
99. Years ago my wife's Russian penpal visited.
We lived in Los Angeles, and he wanted to see Death Valley.

Off to Death Valley we went. It was a bit chilly, but compared to his part of Kazakhstan, it was warm enough.

Did I mention that we were there on Xmas? Christmas in Death Valley. Now there's something I don't recall travel adverts for. Then again, we did avoid the crowds. As though there are ever crowds in Death Valley.

Almost hit a burro outside of Panamint.
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tomreedtoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 11:01 PM
Response to Reply #12
126. But why would you?
Why would you go into a place famous for death? Funny that people didn't want to go to Vietnam, another kill floor, but they're clamoring to go into a place where God and nature conspire to kill you, not other human beings.
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grace0418 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-09-09 11:09 AM
Response to Reply #126
135. I'd love to go to Vietnam. It looks absolutely beautiful and I love the food and culture.
You do realize Death Valley was not named by "God and nature conspiring" right? Death Valley was named by a person, maybe someone as ill-prepared as the woman in the OP article. Death Valley is a harsh place for sure, but there are many harsh places on earth where people not only visit but live. There are many harsh places that have beautiful plants, wildlife and natural wonders for those who appreciate all the different ecosystems on this planet. And those who are well-prepared and use common sense can enjoy them without adverse effects.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-09-09 12:31 PM
Response to Reply #135
137. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
grace0418 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-09-09 02:32 PM
Response to Reply #137
144. Wow, did you *really* make that last comment? That does not belong on DU, IMHO.
I eat in Vietnamese restaurants often. I live in Chicago, where just about every cuisine on earth is represented. But eating at a Vietnamese restaurant is not the same as visiting the place. Seeing the "Eiffel Tower" at Epcot or in Las Vegas is not the same thing as visiting Paris. You learn a lot about a place by visiting it and immersing yourself in it. If you understood that a little better, you might not be so prone to making comments like "You get your meal half-price if you bring your own dog."

While I agree with you that many Americans don't have much common sense, that's not the fault of places like Death Valley or Vietnam or anywhere else for that matter. That's no one's fault but the folks visiting. Plenty of other people travel just fine without any problems because they do their research, are prepared, use common sense, and try to be sensitive to their surroundings.

And by the way, my husband is Asian and most Asians I know do not appreciate snarky comments about eating dogs and cats. Yes, cultures around the world eat all kinds of things that you or I might find distasteful, but you and I eat things that other cultures find just as disgusting. When you make comments like that, it comes off sounding like you think Vietnamese people are barbaric or inferior because of cultural dietary differences, whether or not that is your intention.
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AngryAmish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-09-09 12:44 PM
Response to Reply #126
138. I went to Vietnam. Fantastic place.
Food is wonderful, people are really nice and the women are gorgeous. What is not to like?
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TankLV Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-09-09 01:23 PM
Response to Reply #126
141. OK - I was being charitable to you, but you are being fucking ignorant now...
and clueless...
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-09-09 02:01 PM
Response to Reply #141
143. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
grace0418 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-09-09 02:41 PM
Response to Reply #143
145. "Deserts are evil places that kill people. Vietnam is a place that kills Americans."
You think an ecosystem and a country are sentient beings capable of thought, evil intentions and murder, and you call the rest of us "Robitussin-heads"?

I was going to tell you to get out and experience the world a bit more because your proximity to Disney world is rotting your brain. But on second thought, stay where you are. People like you ruin it for the rest of us who know how to travel and have authentic, wonderful experiences. Nothing I hate more than being in a distant land having a thoroughly enjoyable time only to hear someone start complaining that the food at their local "ethnic" chain restaurant at home is better or asking why everyone does everything so differently (and therefore stupidly) around here. *shudder*
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Lucky Luciano Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 07:41 AM
Response to Reply #9
35. I should have known this response was from you!
Do you lock yourself in your basement?
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tomreedtoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 10:59 PM
Response to Reply #35
125. No, but I don't jump into alligator's mouths, either.
How stupid do you have to be go to into a desert? Didn't the late, tragically slain Sam Kinison teach you anything?

"You live in a DESERT! You live in a F***ING DESERT! You see what this is? That's right, it's sand. You know what it's gonna be a hundred years from now? IT'S GONNA BE SAND!...We have deserts in America, BUT WE DON'T LIVE IN THEM, A******!"

There. That's your weekly dose of wisdom, Lucky Luciano.
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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 09:59 AM
Response to Reply #9
45. "It's like a trip inside Glenn Beck's mind." LOL!
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tomreedtoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 11:08 PM
Response to Reply #45
127. Yes, and Beck's mind has all of Death Valley's wildlife there too.
Scorpions, rats, coyotes, wolves, werewolves, chupacabras, all the wonderful life of the Southeast.
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XemaSab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-09-09 09:33 PM
Response to Reply #127
149. You forgot rattlesnakes and spiders
:scared:
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rd_kent Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 11:12 AM
Response to Reply #9
58. Actually, you are completely wrong.
Death Valley is full of life. Ever actually been there? I have. Several times. There is an entire ecosystem that has adapted to living in that inhospitibale environment. There are springs that have created beutiful oasis', mountains, wildlife, flora, etc.....

Death Valley is nothing like Becks mind, actually the opposite, full of great and wonderous stuff.
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marybourg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 01:03 PM
Response to Reply #58
81. Yes! A gorgeous place. But not in August!!. nt.
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rd_kent Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 07:01 PM
Response to Reply #81
109. Definitely not in August!
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tomreedtoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 10:57 PM
Response to Reply #58
124. My parents drove me through in the late 1950's. Damn near died.
It is a hellish place. Even more hellish in an old GMC Suburban truck in the decades before air conditioning and car radios. All we had to do was try to sleep, or look out in the blinding sunlight to see the corpses of the people who didn't make it.

Why do you think they test atom bombs there? Because there is nothing worthwile there, and any humans who are there when the bomb goes off will be grateful for death anyway.
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Retrograde Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-09-09 11:48 AM
Response to Reply #124
136. Oh, the CHP and Park Service are pretty good about the corpses these days
They hardly ever let them lie by the side of the road for more than a day or two. Let me guess - you're from east of the Mississippi?

There are several different deserts in the western US, all with different vegetation and other characteristics. There are major roads across the deserts connecting fair-sized towns, like Los Angeles and Las Vegas: traveling on these is as safe as traveling the YS Thruway - probably safer since you don't have the snow hazards. But there are also miles and miles of nothing but miles and miles. This woman's problem was that she got off a major road and headed off cross-country without adequate supplies or preparation.

What's there that's worthwhile, besides several unique ecosystems? Minerals, all kinds of them, from copper to trona.
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TankLV Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-09-09 01:27 PM
Response to Reply #124
142. You're ignorance is simple astounding and on full display for everyone here...
THEY DO NOT NOR HAVE THEY EVER TESTED ATOM BOMBS IN DEATH VALLEY!!!

just go back to your mommy's basement...and watch some TV...
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tomreedtoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-10-09 01:48 AM
Response to Reply #142
153. And "you're" grammar needs some work, TankLV.
I'm surprised you weren't holding a "moran" sign.

You refuse to admit that there are deadly, evil places on Earth. In America, even. And you want people to go into them and lose their lives for spurious reasons.

YOUR ignorance (copy that down, that is grammatically correct) is that you reject an observation based on observance of facts. I'd bet you believe the sun revolves around the Earth.
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wordpix Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-10-09 11:26 PM
Response to Reply #153
163. lol
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Realityhack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-11-09 05:19 AM
Response to Reply #153
168. Wow...
you really came back there. A grammar mistake is right up there with your factually inaccurate statements and ignorant refusal to accept that some people like wilderness spaces.

Did you know people jump out of perfectly good airplanes too? And some of us camp in the winter, rock climb, drive and even race cars. Gasp. We must all have a death wish!
All of these are activities that when perused with appropriate respect for the dangers and reasonable caution can be quite enjoyable.

I don't know what issue you have with people camping in death valley but you should probably get over it. The issue isn't death valley in particular, it is heading into a desert to camp with 3 gallons of water and no emergency plans or supplies. The same would happen if you were watching wildlife in Africa.

Seems like you live a very sheltered life. Maybe you should stick to talking to others in your gated community.
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Retrograde Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 11:42 AM
Response to Reply #9
64. It's eerily beautiful and awesome
And, being the lowest spot around, surprisingly lush for the desert, especially after a wet winter. In the past people have lived there and actually farmed - there are still remnants of orchards in the park.

I've done offroad driving and desert camping in that part of California fairly often. But before we go we check the 4-wheel drive, make sure we have a 2-3 day supply of water even if we're only going for one, get road maps and topo maps (and these days check Google Earth before we leave home). If we're going someplace that requires 4-wheel drive, like Racetrack in Death Valley, we check with the park rangers about road conditions.

The desert can be treacherous. One of the biggest hazards is flash floods: there's a popular hiking trail in Death Valley that ends at the remnants of a parking lot, now inaccessible by vehicle, that washed away in one: there are huge chunks of concrete lying around to remind you how powerful natural forces can be. And the desert's not a place to be running around on a summer's day if you don't know what you're doing.

BTW, the valley got its name from a party of Gold Rush emigrants who had a hard time crossing it, resulting in the death of one of their members. A low mortality rate for the time: by that standard most of the Sierras and Nevada would be Death This or That.
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tomreedtoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 10:55 PM
Response to Reply #64
123. They are as deadly as you describe.
To quote your post, "...by that standard most of the Sierras and Nevada would be Death This or That."

They are. My family barely survived the drive from California to St. Louis. Fortunately the tires on our old GMC Suburban Truck held out; if they blew, we'd all be bones charring in the sun.

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Realityhack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-11-09 05:23 AM
Response to Reply #123
169. WTF
"My family barely survived the drive from California to St. Louis."

Sounds like you did something very very wrong.
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mike_c Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 12:06 PM
Response to Reply #9
68. do WHAT!?
Edited on Sat Aug-08-09 12:20 PM by mike_c
"Pure evil and anti-life." :rofl:

Death Valley and the surrounding desert mountains are among the most beautiful, serene, and wonderful places on Earth. My family and friends spend time camping there every year. It's remote. That's the point.

Does this look like "pure evil" to you:

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uppityperson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 12:52 PM
Response to Reply #68
76. crap, look at all those evil plants!
beautiful picture, thank you. Even if it is of an evil and anti-life place like Death Valley.
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tomreedtoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 10:52 PM
Response to Reply #68
122. Yes! Pure evil! Where's the freaking DRINKING WATER?
Where's the shelter from the blistering sun that will be up shortly to kill you? Where's the protection from the lizards, snakes and scorpions that want to kill every human they see?

The "beauty" is just there to lure gullible folks like you to come out there and end up dead and eaten. Sucker!
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Realityhack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-11-09 05:25 AM
Response to Reply #122
170. "snakes and scorpions that want to kill every human they see?"
From your responses on this thread you sound like an agoraphobic.
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Regret My New Name Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 10:34 PM
Response to Reply #9
119.  <3
Edited on Sat Aug-08-09 10:34 PM by Regret My New Name
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TankLV Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-09-09 01:19 PM
Response to Reply #9
140. Death Valley is quite beautiful, actually. Been there many times..
Lots of great hiking opportunities, too...

A couple years ago, the whole valley was a LAKE - a once in a hundred year phenomenon - beautiful flowers bluming as far as the whole eye could see - fields of purple and gold and yellow - quite breathtaking...

But that does not mean you turn off your BRAIN to some fucking GADGET!!!

A LITTLE common sense would help, too...
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iverglas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-09-09 04:55 PM
Response to Reply #9
148. I've been to Death Valley

There's a road. It has people driving on it. Halfway through the valley going northish to southish, when I drove it 20 or so years ago, there was a campsite and gas station. I didn't notice much else because it was dark and pleasingly eery.

Strikes me it's wise to stay on the road. I have no idea what anyone would need GPS for. It's a tragic incident, but I really don't understand it.

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Liberal_in_LA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 02:35 AM
Response to Reply #7
14. They had 24 bottles of water (16 ounces) for a planned overnight camping trip
Lesson, when going anywhere NEAR death valley, plan for 5 days, with respect to water. The boy would have lived if they had a bit more water.
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OnyxCollie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 02:50 AM
Response to Reply #14
21. The boy would have lived
Edited on Sat Aug-08-09 02:51 AM by OnyxCollie
if the mother had told somebody where she was going and bothered to take a map.
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Liberal_in_LA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 02:54 AM
Response to Reply #21
22. True. She's lived only because a ranger saw her tire tracks.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 02:57 AM
Response to Reply #21
23. I try to get my mom and my son to check in with me when they travel alone
but they never do. They don't get it.
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stray cat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 07:05 PM
Response to Reply #21
110. only if she was delayed in her stated return date and you can get lost in DV with a map
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Realityhack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-11-09 05:29 AM
Response to Reply #110
171. Yeah I don't get the GPS angle.
Seems like you could get your 4wd stuck just as well using a map.

If she had stated her return date as X and brought enough water to last through X+2-3 days she would have had a much better shot at everyone surviving. Being in a truck that would not have been hard.
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izquierdista Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 10:45 AM
Response to Reply #14
52. That was enough to last until morning
Early morning. Maybe. If the high temperatures were only in the 110s.
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robinlynne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 11:12 AM
Response to Reply #14
59. or a cell phone.
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Realityhack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 11:27 AM
Response to Reply #59
63. Cell phones only work within coverage areas.
Edited on Sat Aug-08-09 11:29 AM by Realityhack
It is entirely possible that they had one.

There is absolutely no replacement for knowing what you are doing.

EDIT TO CORRECT
They DID have a cell phone. Teaches me not to read the full story.
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jody Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 12:37 PM
Response to Reply #63
71. I don't believe there are any cell phone towers in Death Valley and other National Parks. My
information is from December 2007 when I last visited Death Valley, a memorable experience each time I visit it.
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Realityhack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 12:45 PM
Response to Reply #71
72. Coverage is very spotty according to the rangers...
but the mother did get a text message out that she was changing a tire.

I would never rely on a cell phone for emergencies in a wilderness area. Especially one that large. Just pointing out that they did have a phone for the person who thought they should have brought one.
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MichaelHarris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 01:48 AM
Response to Original message
8. I'm confused
11-Year-Old Boy Dies After Mom Says GPS Left Them Stranded in Death Valley

Was the GPS stuck in the sand or the Jeep? Which one left them stranded? Headline writers suck.
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junior college Donating Member (290 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 01:59 AM
Response to Reply #8
10. I wouldn't nit pick the headline too much
It's clear what it means. I used to be a reporter for AP (mostley obits and blotter stuff before I left) and most of the headlines I submitted were not tampered with
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MichaelHarris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 02:07 AM
Response to Reply #10
13. something left
them stranded in the desert but it sure wasn't a GPS, stupidity played some part.
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DesertDiamond Donating Member (838 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 02:48 AM
Response to Reply #13
20. In my brief experience with GPS, it has already messed up several times,
telling me I've arrived when I haven't; telling me to turn right when it was supposed to be a left turn; telling me to turn onto a street I have already been on for three miles; telling me to turn onto a street I have already turned onto, and have subsequently turned off of onto the next street on my trip; telling me turn onto a street that doesn't exist... I think this tragedy should serve as a warning of what the GPS manufacturers don't tell you: it's not yet a truly reliable tool, so don't bet the farm on it. Or your life. If I went on a trip in a national park now, I would have a google map and a compass, at the very least, and not rely on GPS. I think people need to be made aware.
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Robb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 09:00 AM
Response to Reply #20
43. GPS devices for cars, like those for boats, are behind the curve.
Eight years ago I had a $80 (which was absurdly cheap back then) GPS receiver device that plugged into my Mac laptop and software put a red dot on a fucking map on the screen to show me exactly where I was. This was not complicated, and the software was freeware (GPSy).

I have seen little to improve on this save a few hiking-oriented GPS devices. Talking GPS is nice, but that dot on a map is the key to all this that no one uses.
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hugo_from_TN Donating Member (895 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 06:13 PM
Response to Reply #20
106. I hate to tell you this, but Google Maps and GPS use the same digital source for maps.
Get a real map from the National Park service.
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kentauros Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 07:05 PM
Response to Reply #106
111. If you're staying in a park and know all the roads leading to it
that's a good idea. If you are going to drive on unfamiliar roads, "backroads" and so forth, go to the US Geological Survey site and buy some topo quads :)

Here are some other useful sites, including one that gives an excellend description of GPS and its weaknesses:

National Digital Orthophoto Programs
Imagery: Free Sources and Directories
An Overview of GPS Technology

I would also add that though many of us probably do know what to do with a compass, I think you'd get a lot of blank stares from a majority of Americans if you handed them one. Thanks to years of being a member of that evil boys' organization (Boy Scouts of America) as a teen, I learned how to read a map and find my way out of an area if I got lost. I might be hard-pressed to recall the skills of triangulation exactly today, but I would certainly refresh myself and buy one of those nice sighting-compasses before I ventured off into unfamiliar territory.

Always be prepared.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 05:25 AM
Response to Reply #10
28. Nit pick? The headlime is a semi-libelous sentence from someone who actually gets paid to write.
Not sure what your headlines not getting "tampered with" have to do with the price of tea, either.
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uppityperson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 12:54 PM
Response to Reply #10
77. Why not criticize it since it isn't clear what it means. Sounds like the poor kid died after
they were rescued, not before.
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LisaL Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 01:32 PM
Response to Reply #77
86. No it doesn't sound like that.
Edited on Sat Aug-08-09 01:33 PM by LisaL
The article says she was found with her dog, and her dead son. So he was dead before they were found.
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uppityperson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 01:42 PM
Response to Reply #86
87. Because we are talking about the headline, not the article
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JayMusgrove Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 01:49 PM
Response to Reply #8
90. What do you expect? It's Fox News!!! n/t
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Regret My New Name Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 10:37 PM
Response to Reply #90
121. It's the AP. Now, if it said....
Edited on Sat Aug-08-09 10:39 PM by Regret My New Name
"11-Year-Old Boy Dies After Mom Says GPS(D) Left Them Stranded in Death Valley(D)", then we can be sure it was a fox news headline. :P
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OnyxCollie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 02:00 AM
Response to Original message
11. I've been to Death Valley six times
and consider it to be my most favorite place in the world. Having said that, if you don't treat the Valley with respect, it will fuck you up.

When we left to go exploring, we told the front desk where we were going and we made sure to bring over 10 gallons of water, food, maps, and flashlights.

Driving off-road requires caution, and signs that say "experienced four-wheel drive" are NOT to be taken lightly.

Too bad her kid died.
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Liberal_in_LA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 02:38 AM
Response to Reply #11
17. So you take 1280 ounces of water, mom and son had 384 ounces
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OnyxCollie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 02:40 AM
Response to Reply #17
18. Your point is?
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Liberal_in_LA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 02:45 AM
Response to Reply #18
19. More water is better in death valley
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PfcHammer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 09:00 AM
Response to Reply #17
44. Metric please
37.8 L v 11.3 L. Kthxbai.
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MilesColtrane Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 03:05 AM
Response to Original message
24. No map.
Edited on Sat Aug-08-09 03:05 AM by MilesColtrane
That's crazy.

Mom and Dad took maps along on every family vacation I can remember, even when we had no intention of leaving marked roads.

What's really unbelievable is that her family didn't call authorities for four days, especially considering that their last message was about being temporarily stranded in the desert.
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Liberal_in_LA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 03:09 AM
Response to Reply #24
25. Folks don't buy paper maps anymore...they depend on the technology
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MilesColtrane Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 04:54 AM
Response to Reply #25
27. I can understand depending on a GPS unit to get you to the store,...
...just not solely depending on it to find a way out of a place called "Death Valley".

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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 05:26 AM
Response to Reply #25
29. Maybe the moral of this story is that lives may depend upon not depending solely upon technology,
especially if you are heading into a desert.
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Chemisse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 08:28 AM
Response to Reply #29
39. That is exactly the moral
In adopting new technologies we are - in a sense - giving away our intelligence.

Calculators? no need to memorize multiplication tables (no joke, most of my chemistry students will whip out a calculator to do simple addition)

Google? why bother sorting through books in the library?

GPS? why learn to read a map?

Frankly, I embrace the technology as much as anybody (well, except I refuse to use GPS in a car), but we need to keep and use our skills too!
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stray cat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 07:05 PM
Response to Reply #29
112. Has anyone ever gotten lost in the wild with a map?
of course!
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kentauros Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 07:32 PM
Response to Reply #112
114. Of course
:)

But paper/plastic maps don't vocally instruct you on where to turn or give you a little animated graphic on what's supposedly happening on the digital mapping system, despite what your eyes are telling you is going on outside of the vehicle ;)

Using a map requires that you become engaged in where you are going beforehand, or where you have ended up if you determine you got lost.

In my experience with those that say they can't read a map is usually that they don't want to know if you're going to be there to read it for them. One person can miss an exit or mistake one road for another, but with two pairs of eyes, it's a bit harder to make the same mistake.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-09-09 09:46 AM
Response to Reply #112
133. Your point is? No one said "map and nothing but a map." The article lists
Edited on Sun Aug-09-09 09:54 AM by No Elephants
several things this woman should have had with her, including a map and a compass. Point you don't rely on GPS alone. You use everything reasonably available to you, including GPS, if you have it. And you tell people your plans. And, if you change your plans, you let people know.

And, maybe something bad still happens, even if you do everything the article says, but at least you took basic, common sense precautions.
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Realityhack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-11-09 05:35 AM
Response to Reply #133
172. I think the point is...
that if you don't bring enough water, leave the dirt road, and get your 4wd stuck... it doesn't mater if the map or GPS got you there.

The story title frames this as a GPS issue. I think it is much more an issue of being completely unprepared. Stupid vs. nature never goes well for stupid.
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sofa king Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-11-09 02:00 AM
Response to Reply #25
167. Ain't that the truth.
Edited on Tue Aug-11-09 02:08 AM by sofa king
Paper maps are prohibitively expensive, too, even if they can be found.

As an inexpensive form of amusement I've been drawing my own maps and going on epic scooter rides. It's a heck of a way to learn, because I get really pissed off when I make mistakes, and so I usually don't make the same one twice.

Now my biggest problem is that unless I've been there before, I always wind up copying the errors contained in the online maps. After most rides I go back and angrily scratch notes in red pencil with notations like "wrong name" and "road closed."

One particular problem I have is that those Bush assholes cut so much funding to the National Park Service that they were forced to close off almost all of the connecting roads that reach the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Skyline Drive. Google seems not to be aware of it. So, for example, one can putter all the way up Route 682, only to be stopped by a gate and "no parking" signs about two miles short of the Skyline Drive and just shy of Big Meadows. Learning that the hard way was, well, a little frightening, as I had to hurtle down miles of 11% grade with fading brakes and big-ass bears wandering across the road.
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XemaSab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 06:19 AM
Response to Original message
31. How depressing
She didn't get a map from the ranger station, and it killed her son. :(
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 06:48 AM
Response to Original message
32. Am I the only one wondering how the dog survived?
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Chemisse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 08:22 AM
Response to Reply #32
38. LOL - that stood out for me too, wonder how much of the water went to the dog
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UpInArms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 11:23 AM
Response to Reply #38
62. years ago,
I was told (whether this is true or not, I don't really know) that it took 28 days for a dog to starve and 6 days for it to die of thirst.

:shrug:
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Chemisse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 06:00 PM
Response to Reply #62
104. I have always heard something similar for humans
Although I think it may have been 3 days to die of thirst. Maybe the dog had an edge on the humans in surviving without water?
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uppityperson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 12:55 PM
Response to Reply #32
78. I think dogs can go longer without water than people can.
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northzax Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-09-09 12:34 AM
Response to Reply #78
130. Yes
Dogs don't sweat.
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Xithras Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-10-09 11:44 AM
Response to Reply #32
157. I wouldn't have if it had been my dog and kid.
I love my dog dearly, but it dies before my kids do. It sounds disgusting, but if you kill the dog and eat the flesh, you'll get a lot of nutrients, and more importantly WATER, from the meat. Enough to keep you alive for a day or two in the desert if you stay in the shade and don't move much.

When the choice is you or the dog, only an idiot chooses the dog.
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JVS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 07:19 AM
Response to Original message
33. Should have gone to AAA and gotten a triptik
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greiner3 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 07:20 AM
Response to Original message
34. Since no one suggested another possibility;
11-Year-Old Boy Dies: GPS Left Them Stranded in Death Valley Says Mom
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mainer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 07:45 AM
Response to Original message
36. GPS has led us astray a number of times
It once sent us down dirt roads through cornfields. We did eventually get to where we needed to go. But still, sending us through cornfields?

Also, there's the question of operator error. I read a news report of a European trucker who forgot to input the COUNTRY of his destination and ended up in an English village instead of the town in France where he was supposed to go. The laughable part was that he was so fixed on following GPS instructions that he crossed the English Channel without ever questioning it.
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smokey nj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 08:57 AM
Response to Reply #36
41. Mr. smokey and I went to a wedding reception where he and I were among the few
people who didn't get lost because we were among the few who didn't use GPS. We just used the directions that came with the invitation. The place was pretty tricky to find though and if Mr. smokey hadn't been with me to navigate, I would have gotten horribly lost. I have a lousy sense of direction. :(
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Titanothere Donating Member (198 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 08:06 AM
Response to Original message
37. So does this mean Garmin is about to get sued for wrongfull death?
Don't be surprised when it happens.
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Hugin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 08:39 AM
Response to Original message
40. Um, maybe that's why it's called 'Death Valley'.
The failure in this sad story happened long before the GPS unit was even powered up.
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Haole Girl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 08:57 AM
Response to Original message
42. Nature v. technology....
never mess with nature. Nature will win.

It is a very sad but not uncommon story for that region. :-(
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Realityhack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 11:17 AM
Response to Reply #42
60. Not nature vs. tech. it was nature vs. stupid.
Technology used correctly can easily save lives in the wilderness and has many many times.

Not knowing WTF you are doing costs lives regardless of technology or lack there of.
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Haole Girl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 02:19 PM
Response to Reply #60
91. True enough, in itself
Guess I was trying to point out how one should respect the elements.
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Realityhack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 03:08 PM
Response to Reply #91
94. Absolutely.
And true regardless of what tech level you are using on your adventure.
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Deja Q Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 10:24 AM
Response to Original message
47. Too much faith and too little common sense...
Technology is a tool, but sometimes it's made BY tools.

I bet it ran Windows too... :evilgrin:
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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 10:26 AM
Response to Original message
48. Let's show some compassion for this poor woman who lost her son.
She desperately needs to blame it on something other than herself. It is very understandable. I can't imagine the grief I would feel if this had happened to me. The mistakes she made--and the physical/mental devastation of being lost in Death Valley (one of the harshest places on earth)--could drive you mad. Such terrible pain she must be feeling! That's probably the only coherent thought she had. (I'm surprised she could even speak.) She remembers that the GPS wasn't working....

It's not as if we all can't make mistakes, even stupid and lethal ones, or all the preparations we think we've made, for this or that contingency, fall apart. She had a jeep, she had GPS, she had food and water, and she wasn't going off alone. I may not have made her mistakes, but I surely don't feel smug about it. There are many mistakes that I could have made--or have made, just blessedly not lethal ones. It's good to inform each other about not relying on GPS, or the dangers of a place like Death Valley, or other cautions. But don't ever think that you are immune to making stupid mistakes. It's in the nature of being human. We are adventurous creatures. I may be fantasizing, but that's how I view her trip to Death Valley: a great adventure with her son! Oh, God! Poor woman!
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izquierdista Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 11:05 AM
Response to Reply #48
57. She reacted badly to the situation
Despite all the survival shows on cable, people still don't know what to do when they get in a bad situation, and often they make things worse. You are right that she got overwhelmed by the situation and is looking somewhere other than herself to place the blame.

I would say that advertising put her in this horrible situation. She had a Jeep, a GPS, bottled water, products all advertised to make you able to tackle the great outdoors -- but they don't. Jeep ads never tell you about hitting an animal den and getting stuck up to your axle. GPS ads don't tell you about lack of coverage once you get off the beaten trail. Bottled water ads don't tell you that you need one gallon per person per day in the Mojave desert (never mind more for the dog or the radiator). She relied on what advertising told her was adequate for her summer great adventure. Had she relied on survival manuals, she, the boy and the dog could have made it, even if they had to sacrifice the Jeep by setting it on fire to signal their distress.
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Realityhack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 11:22 AM
Response to Reply #48
61. I have compassion for her loss.
And I understand that we are all prone to mistakes. However...
that is absolutely no excuse for blaming your mistake on someone else. Plenty of people have come close to death or even had a friend/family member die because of a mistake they made and admit that it was their fault.

And I think the press viewing this as a story about a GPS is BS. It should be viewed and promoted as a cautionary tale about the dangers of doing something without knowing WTF you are getting into.
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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 11:53 AM
Response to Reply #61
66. Well, give her some time, as to admitting it was her fault--if she is able to.
This is a profound loss she has suffered. She may never recover from it, or be able to look at it realistically.

As for warnings about GPS, I don't mind people getting warned about that--though, you are right, it is a falsely construed story. GPS is a tool, like any other. You can get lost with a paper map! You can get stranded in lethal circumstances even if you have a compass and know how to use it. You can get lost even if you are a very experienced traveler, camper or hiker! So if the word gets spread around, don't rely on GPS, that's okay. And I just hope people grasp the other lessons of this story.

The commenter above you--izquierdista--has a really interesting analysis of how this poor woman may have gotten fooled into an illusion of safety by various kinds of advertising. That's another thing we should be warned of. Four-wheeled vehicles, off-road vehicles, GPS and other products that have ads showing people having fun in wilderness areas create the illusion that traveling in wilderness areas is easy--anyone can do it, who buys these products. We may scoff at this woman for believing them--for being sucked in--but, Lord, who among us has not been sucked in by advertising? It is a very seductive--and one might even say evil--brainwashing technique.

Anyway, my wish for her is that she fully recover, fully face the reality of what happened, gets past crippling guilt, and is able to do some good in the world, maybe become a "safe wilderness travel" activist, or create help groups for others who have lost their children through their own mistakes. Miracles like this can happen. I hope it happens for her.
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Realityhack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 12:49 PM
Response to Reply #66
74. I don't know how much I buy the advertising argument.
I may have to think about it some more. I don't tend to be as easily convinced of things like that as some people are so it can take me a while to process different perspectives on it.
I understand what is being said about falsely portraying camping or off roading as easy, but I also know that even when people are warned repeatedly about something they often ignore it so I am not sure how I feel about blaming this kind of thing on marketing.
Maybe more of a partial blame or something.
I will think about it.
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Chemisse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 06:16 PM
Response to Reply #48
107. You made some excellent points
I am not religious but I still love the expression, "There but for the grace of God go I."
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boobooday Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-09-09 09:09 AM
Response to Reply #48
132. well said!
:applause:
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zonkers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 11:55 AM
Response to Original message
67. Tragic. I got mapquest directions a week ago that unecessarily put me on a treacherous
and desolate mountain road in the heat that my car could barely handle. There was a much easier way to go -- the way most people go. Point being, relying on technology can be dangerous. I felt like calling mapquest.
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kentauros Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 07:25 PM
Response to Reply #67
113. You should call them.
And tell them to update their servers as well as detailing the predicament into which their (likely out of date) information put you. There's no excuse these days for digital map information (GIS) to be even as much as a year out of date.
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MapQuest Donating Member (1 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-10-09 05:52 PM
Response to Reply #67
158. Inaccurate MapQuest Directions
Sorry to hear you had a bad experience using our directions. We'd love to have the opportunity to fix the information in our data or report the problem to our data partner.

Please send us your starting and ending addresses along with which step(s) in the narrative were incorrect.

Safe travels,

-Your Friends at MapQuest
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hvn_nbr_2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 12:15 PM
Response to Original message
69. 24 16-ounce bottles of water for two people overnight in Death Valley?
The story says they started with 24 16-ounce bottles of water for an overnight camping trip. That's 12 quarts = 3 gallons. For two people for two days in Death Valley in August!?!? That's not enough even if nothing goes wrong. She didn't have a clue what she was getting into.
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Realityhack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 12:51 PM
Response to Reply #69
75. Absolutely (and it was 2 people and 1 dog).
Stupid has a tendency to catch up with people.
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jody Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 01:10 PM
Response to Reply #75
83. Agree, both individually and collectively as in We the People. n/t
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mike_c Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 12:17 PM
Response to Original message
70. it's tragic, but it happens....
It's a rugged, remote place and you have to respect it. Something similar happened to my GF and me two years ago, just a bit north of DV (and at higher elevation). Got stuck in volcanic ash MILES up into a desert canyon and we spent two and a half days trying to dig out. We had plenty of food and water though. But the point is that even experienced desert campers can get into trouble.

Oh, and here's me a year or two earlier trying to make it out of Saline Valley in March....

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jody Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 12:48 PM
Response to Original message
73. The real moral to this tragic story is "don't depend on technology in life and death matters".
I smile to myself when graduate students tell me they've searched the literature on a topic and explain to me how google or some other search engine made their job so easy.

That also applies to those who rely on internet forums for information now that the main stream media is a hollow shell of bygone days.

I love Death Valley and the mother made to many mistakes. Sadly she will have to live the rest of her life saying "If I had only . . . ".
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Realityhack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 12:56 PM
Response to Reply #73
79. Question.
Are you saying that is the moral of the story or it is the wrong moral?
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jody Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 01:08 PM
Response to Reply #79
82. Thanks, I meant "moral of the story". n/t
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Realityhack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 01:13 PM
Response to Reply #82
84. Hmm...
guess I wasn't clear. I was trying to ask if you thought "don't depend on technology" was the *correct* moral of the story. I am not sure it is.
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jody Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 01:27 PM
Response to Reply #84
85. Understand & "yes" "'don't depend on technology' was the *correct* moral of the story." If the lady
had followed the most basic outdoor rules for back country treks the tragedy almost certainly would not have happened.
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Realityhack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 03:03 PM
Response to Reply #85
92. I disagree.
If she had set out without the car or GPS with a map and compass she could easily have had the same result as she left without enough water or any backup plan.
I don't like viewing this as a 'technology vs. nature' thing but rather a 'stupid vs. nature' thing.

Even if you are not bringing a GPS or 4wd vehicle extra water, redundancy, making sure you have a check in scheduled, etc. are important. I agree that she did not follow the basic rules for back country trecks never mind high hazard ones, but I disagree that it was an issue of depending upon technology. A compass can drop over a cliff as easily as a GPS so redundancy is required even there, etc.
And technology can be a great backup plan. Plenty of hikers rely on a GPS turned off in their pack as a back up if they get disoriented on their map. Or a PLB if all else fails.

Just my 2 cents but I am not convinced that 'don't rely on technology' is better than 'plan ahead' 'know WTF you are doing' 'be prepared' etc. In fact I think it is inferior as I firmly believe she could easily have gotten her son killed without any modern technology to help.
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jody Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 04:44 PM
Response to Reply #92
101. Have a good day. n/t
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stray cat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 06:03 PM
Response to Reply #73
105. or Live happens even if you think you planned ahead and know what your are doing
and it can happen in a minute and be irreversible
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renate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 04:42 PM
Response to Original message
100. what if she thought she was being EXTRA careful by using the GPS?
I can't read a map. Well, I can, but I suck at it and if I were trying to be extra careful and responsible, I'd assume that buying a GPS system would be a Good Mom thing to do.

I hate to see all the "she was stupid" posts here. I mean, she knew how to fix a flat tire and she had what would seem like sufficient water for just an overnight trip; she wasn't an idiot. Presumably her GPS system had never malfunctioned before or she wouldn't have relied on it; why should she have anticipated this would happen? Poor woman; she must have envisioned this as being a fun mother-son trip. Heartbreaking. I can't imagine anything worse than seeing your child suffer like that.
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hugo_from_TN Donating Member (895 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 06:16 PM
Response to Reply #100
108. Extra careful would be a real map and a GPS.
A GPS is an electronic device. It can die at anytime. I've used a GPS to travel in the Cascades, but I also have a paper map.

I don't think she is stupid, she just didn't exercise enough caution and planning for travel to an extremely hostile and remote area. Most times you can learn your lesson without such a horrible loss.

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Divine Discontent Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-10-09 10:55 PM
Response to Reply #100
162. I thought the same.. there's a small segment of DUers who are very vicious & cynical about something
THEYYYYYY would never have happen to them - fine, they won't have this happen to them, but they could tragically die and some point of their ignorance could be pumped up to make them look dumb - and that'd be mean. She lost her son after all. I think she surely thought the GPS would guide them to safety, why else would they sell them, right?
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Realityhack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-11-09 05:51 AM
Response to Reply #100
173. It is tragic but she did make some serious mistakes.
And those should be pointed out so others can learn from them.

"why should she have anticipated this would happen?"
IMO it isn't a mater of anticipating a specific thing going wrong, but the possibility that *something* could go wrong. This is a dangerous area, and things go wrong, so you plan for emergencies.

For example if her car had died rather than getting stuck, her son would be just as dead. Fallen and broken a leg, quite possibly the same result.

One item from your post stands out too me:
"she had what would seem like sufficient water for just an overnight trip"
Perhaps borderline adequate, if everything went perfectly. But when entering a very hot desert, you take extra water. It isn't like she was hiking it in.
Not doing so is stupid. It means you are not leaving room for ANY contingency.

She didn't need to anticipate that the GPS would fail, or that the vehicle would get stuck, or any other specific issue. If she had let someone know she would be home at X time and to contact search and rescue if she didn't contact them by that time... and then brought enough food and water to make it though X time + 2 days her son would likely be alive.
Of course there are other things you should have with you for other emergencies that might come up but that is beside the point.
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haele Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 09:33 PM
Response to Original message
116. We were using a GPS on our trip to Albuquerque to visit the folks over the holidays -
Edited on Sat Aug-08-09 09:34 PM by haele
And for some reason, when going through Mesa Grande, it kept wanting to send us north into the desert instead of south to the hotel we could see on the other side of the freeway offramp.
It took us off the freeway at the proper offramp, it just wanted us to turn right and go for NW for 12 miles or so to the mountains instead of turning left to get to the hotel that had been at that exact same address since the late 60's...
We were using a Garmen. My brother's TomTom loses him in Albuquerque.
There are just seems to be some areas where the onboard "trip planner" or programming that the units use goes horribly wrong. I suspect this is what happened to that poor woman.

Haele
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mamaleah Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 11:45 PM
Response to Original message
129. Maps. Maps are good things.
Stop being lazy and relying on GPS. Maps, whether they be the good old Thomas Guides or maps for hikers/campers, will save your butt a million times. It's not that hard of a skill to learn either, this fancy map reading stuff.
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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-10-09 10:39 PM
Response to Reply #129
161. Talking beforehand to folk who know the area is a good thing, too.
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kestrel91316 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-09-09 03:03 PM
Response to Original message
146. If you need a GPS to find your way around the boonies, you are in WAAAYYY
over your head. This lady needed to be able to use a fucking MAP AND COMPASS.

Dumbass.

And for those who whine that they don't know how to read a map and compass (and are obviously too lazy to learn), STAY IN THE CITY.
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NashVegas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-09-09 10:06 PM
Response to Original message
151. GPS Is Information Without Knowledge or Wisdom
I was with a group of people, recently, and many individually missed an important turn because we all relied on GPS and Google maps to give us directions.

Finally I stopped at a gas station; no one at the counter could help. I asked if there was another gas station nearby where there'd be an old-timer.

And that's how we got where we were supposed to be.
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Locrian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-10-09 08:09 AM
Response to Original message
154. GPS and civilization
My view of GPS, cell phones, computers etc - is that they are best useful as part of our mechanized civilization. IE in cities, where there is dense populations, support structures etc. They help (sometimes hinder) with the massive amounts of information we process.

OUTSIDE of that, in "the wild" - you dont have support. No stores with batteries, tech support, etc. Redundancy, experience, knowledge, are more important. A simple thing like a map and compass are pretty fail-proof.


BTW - I certainly feel sorry for their family - I cant imagine what they must be going thru...
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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-10-09 10:28 PM
Response to Original message
159. I hiked part of Death Valley once. Early spring, not summer. Plan a route so you're
never more than a few hours from a drinkable spring: some springwater in that part of the world is poisonous. Make sure the springs are actually running: some of the reliable locals knew what water was where. Get a good topo map; plan your route using visible and clearly identifiable landmarks. I don't know what it's like today, but when I was walking, some of the roads were badly washed out and I wouldn't have considered trying to drive them


... Carlos Sanchez is thought to be the third person to die from heat-related causes in Death Valley this year ...
Danger lurks for visitors in Death Valley National Park
Temperatures often hit 120 in the summer, so pack lots of water and take necessary precautions
By HENRY BREAN
LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL
http://www.lvrj.com/news/52828382.html
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wordpix Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-10-09 11:27 PM
Response to Reply #159
164. seems like early spring is the best time to visit, right?
but you still have to be careful in a desert. or anywhere, really
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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-11-09 12:36 AM
Response to Reply #164
165. Early spring temperatures are much more tolerable. I also advise not hiking alone:
I went alone for about a week once, with nobody knowing my plans, and made a mistake that very nearly earned me a rattlesnake bite: I lucked out, but it's the wrong way to learn that lesson. Go with a friend, be careful, and make sure somebody else has a good idea where to look for you if you're not back when expected
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