Fun With GPS in Quebec – #LexGoFurther – A Ford Escape

I loved having the GPS as my navigator on this trip. Not only was it another voice in the car, it suits my adventuring approach to travel.  I could set my destinations without reviewing the route in detail, leaving the route and sights along the way as a bit of a surprise without risking not getting where I was going.

Leg 3 - Quebec to New Brunswick - #LexGoFurther - A Ford Escape

In fact, there was one point in this trip where I used GPS  instead of letting my passenger tell me how to drive her home.  The GPS is less likely to point out a cool cafe on the right when you should be focused on turning left and not hitting that pedestrian with the baby carriage.  We got where we were going, accident-free, and I got to hear about the cool cafe too.

So my plan for Leg 3 was to let the on-board GPS to guide me through multiple “must see” stops along my route from Quebec City to Southern New Brunswick.  I took advantage of Hotel Chateau Bellevue‘s breakfast and window seat to do a little planning for my stops along the route.

Hotel Chateau Bellevue - #LexGoFurther - A Ford Escape

I packed up, checked out, loaded the Escape and did a little Lex Go Further – the Ford Escape in Quebec City photo shoot.
Leg 3 - Quebec to New Brunswick - #LexGoFurther - A Ford EscapeLeg 3 - Quebec to New Brunswick - #LexGoFurther - A Ford Escape
Leg 3 - Quebec to New Brunswick - #LexGoFurther - A Ford EscapeLeg 3 - Quebec to New Brunswick - #LexGoFurther - A Ford Escape

Then I started programing all my way-points into the GPS to  bounce me from one destination to another following the “Fastest” route (as opposed to the “Shortest” or “Eco-friendly”, which all turned out to be pretty similar on this route anyway.)

I was programing in multiple stops in multiple provinces.  As you can see from the times in the photos above and below, it was taking some time to wade through all the hard to pronounce addresses and unusual destinations in tiny Quebec villages.

Leg 3 - Quebec to New Brunswick - #LexGoFurther - A Ford Escape

As I was finally adding my last way-point there was a little hiccup.

The GPS froze. Stopped. Froze.

Day 3 in the car and I’ve broken one of the features I’m using the most. Crap!!  The screen then told me to call my dealer. (And I’m pretty sure it didn’t mean the kind that would make things more mellow.)  I didn’t really have a dealer to call.  Thank god for the manual!

Flip, flip, flip – GPS, aka Navigation, pg 375.   “The navigation SD card must be in the SD card slot to operate the navigation system”.  I knew there was an SD card slot in media hub in the console.  (I was actually wondering if there was a way to use it for photos and other data collection on the route but that’s wish list stuff).  I did not know there was a nav card in it.  But there it was.

So I took it out.  It’s not an elegant solution, but it is a solution, maybe.  Removing the card should force a reload and might reset the system. The GPS was already screwed up, so this wasn’t going to make it worse.

Boom! The screen says the GPS is reloading.  Fantastic!  Then the GPS resets itself and all is good.  Well, I have to enter all my stops again, but that’s okay.

Luckily I had learned some tricks to speed the process up:

  • using the MyFord Touch screen to type in the French city and street names can be much faster than trying to speak them into SYNC® with MyFord Touch® because it’s setup to do some predictive typing. In fairness, the voice recognition did get many of them, it was just faster with to type them.
  • Remember to “Change Province” before trying to enter an address in a new province.
  • you can program the GPS to take you to the center of town if you don’t know where exactly you are going. Useful for things that are landmarks but don’t have addresses.
  • entering way-points won’t automatically have them added to your route, you have to recalculate. And if you don’t you might lose them.
  • It might be useful to add things as favourites if you’ll be back… so you don’t have to enter them all over again.

Once I finished all my programing, I was ready to start driving. And since this was an adventure, I’m was still happy to follow the GPS blindly and see what would happen.

What it did was lead me to my second (much more photo rich and text light) GPS adventure for the morning.

I followed the GPS’s instructions and drove down into Lower Quebec. Everything was going fine until I got distracted deciding if I should take the time to stop at my favourite bakery: Le Petit Cochon Dingue and cruised right by my turn.

Leg 3 - Quebec to New Brunswick - #LexGoFurther - A Ford Escape

“Oh well” I thought, the GPS should find an alternate route for me. and it did, sort of.  With a tour through a little residential neighbourhood below the Plains of Abraham.

Leg 3 - Quebec to New Brunswick - #LexGoFurther - A Ford Escape

But when I expected to turn right it told me to turn left, and I found myself backtracking through the lower city. A quick U-turn, and then I ended up in the little neighbourhood again.  What the hell?!?

Leg 3 - Quebec to New Brunswick - #LexGoFurther - A Ford Escape

At this point I’m sure either there’s a problem with the GPS reset or I’m doing something very simple very wrong. So I pull over into a little parking lot with a view of the river that was lovely!  So I took a few photos before figuring things out.

Leg 3 - Quebec to New Brunswick - #LexGoFurther - A Ford Escape
Leg 3 - Quebec to New Brunswick - #LexGoFurther - A Ford Escape

I realized it was User Error.  I missed my turn repeatedly because I was not listening to the GPS! I kept turning away from the river rather than towards it.  Turns out there is a little road squeezed in between the massive fenced in yard filled with  industrial-sized buoys and marine equipment,  and the brick building that looks like it’s right beside it.

If you turn down that little street, you end up at a toll gate toll gate with FERRY written over it.Traverse Quebec-Levis - #LexGoFurther - A Ford Escape

I can’t tell you how excited I was.  After the morning I had had, this was as treat!  How did the GSP know I love Ferries?!? Was this some sort of reward for the earlier GPS silliness?  If so, yay!
Ferry Ride - #LexGoFurther - A Ford Escape
Of course the guy taking the money for the ferry was outstandingly uninterested in my delightful story of the Ford Escape-that-just-knew-how-much-I-love-ferries.

So across the St. Lawrence I go to Levis. Jumping out of the car to take photos even though it’s bitterly cold, beaming at the Ferry workers and generally being a goof. I had the good sense to leave Bunny in the Escape or I think they might have asked me very slowly and politely to please get back in your car and stay there.

Yup, it was a busy morning.

Alexa Clark

Alexa is a digital marketer and author with over 20 years in digital & interactive communications in the food and tech industries. Alexa's CheapEats Restaurant Guides, for both Toronto & Ottawa, were Canadian best sellers. She is a recognized authority on social media and has been named one of Canada's 20 Leading Women in Social Media.

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