14 June 2006: Into NevadaFirst, before the photography, a little commentary; this last weekend I picked up a GPS for the trip. Although I've played with other peoples', including the in-dash variety, I've never owned one of my own (not even for the US 395 trip, which probably could have used it).
Eventually I settled on a Magellan RoadMate 360. The high-end Garmins, especially the nuvi and the 2720, were overall stellar units but their prices were pretty ghastly; the nuvi, nice as it was, started at around $750 street, and the beautiful, speedy high-end ones clocked in at over a grand (!). The 360, on the other hand, offered street-level navigation, voice prompts, instant compass/coordinates/speeds, and did not require those grotty map downloaders you find on others in its price range for $499 list, which I'll get for $430 when the mail-in rebate comes back.
Things I like about it: the GPS tracking is very solid and fast -- once it gets a lock it holds on to it, and it usually acquires one in no more than 30 seconds most of the time; map updating on the road is quick; pretty detailed and current maps (most of the complaints you will find on Web reviews about its map data not finding certain streets are pretty specious; I tried a few of their test cases and they simply turned out to be typos on the part of the whiner, not the unit), and no need to use a map downloader utility because USA (plus Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico) and Canada maps are built-in; instant coordinates, speed and heading information is a cool feature.
Things I don't like about it: windshield suction cup can be rickety on rough roads (I guess it's a good thing they're illegal in California anyway); can't just put the map at an arbitrary place, you have to pan to it; no Mac support! ... not a big deal now since the maps are current but this will stink later when I need to update them; has glitches with detecting transition roads; does not properly indicate co-signed routes.
On the whole, so far it's done very well here in Southern California. I'm going to give it a couple more days, and if it doesn't screw up or blow up, I'll probably keep it. I don't think I'm going to find a unit much better in this price range; I looked at the Lowrance line but they seemed to have quality issues with a lot of units exhibiting strange power-up instability, and while I considered the Tomtom, people have reported it gives bizarre directions and the one in the shop didn't have its card so I couldn't try it out. (I have also read that it doesn't report L&L, which seems bizarre. Why compute it and then hide it?) We'll see how it goes.
On with the photographs.
Inspection station as we near the Nevada state line. Note the closures this late into the season; pretty much all the passes were impassable (yuk yuk yuk). Only Mono Mills Rd/CA 120 -- see last log entry for its history -- was still open.
US 6 also passes by Nevada's second highest point, Wheeler Peak. We'll get to that when I actually hit the road.
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