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I have generally found the AC routes to be so easy to follow that I leave my dedicated GPS home. I do sometimes use my smart phone for directions to a particular stop, service, or attraction.
I have used an etrex for an on/off road tour and it worked out well. Personally though I found it a lot more trouble to program in the route, deal with batteries, and so on than it is worth on most routes especially if you will be on the road only.
When we got to Oakland CA for a ride down the coast I decided we needed a chain long enough to lock both our bikes up. I went into a bike shop on the waterfront and found a Kryptonite chain for $62. So I bought one and well it served. After I got back I went to my LBS, Burien Bikes,
Just follow the coast highway. I did it with roadmaps and DOT maps. DOT will send maps for free, or they did in 1993, anyway.