Damn You, Google Maps!

August 19, 2008

Sure, it's true. Google Maps is a miraculous technological development, but be honest with me here--have you ever tried to use this cutting edge tool in an underdeveloped, rural, and thickly wooded state like Maine?

Well don't.

Rednecks in this region scoff at the idea of printed map, never mind some fandangled eeelectronic map. If you ask for directions to the nearest grocery store, they're all, "You wanna get to sto-ah, now do ya? Well follow this he-yah road a mile eh so, take a shahp tuhn at the fallen' down house, keep goin', and the sto-ah will be in the next town."

So just imagine what they think of Google Maps..."I don't need some computah to tell me how to get to the sto-ah to buy bananers! I'll just ask m'neighbah!"

That's what they think.

Yesterday afternoon, Jared and I packed up the station wagon and headed for a family barbecue at his Aunt and Uncle's house way out in Western Maine. Seeing as we've lived in Texas for the past four years, we've never been to their new house. So naturally, without skipping a beat, we downloaded directions from Google.

Well, we followed those directions to a tee. We took Rt 117, to Rt 52, took a right onto the McCall Road, and followed it for several miles. As we drove along, checking out the four-wheelers, we laughed and argued and barely paid attention.

My attention was snapped back to my driving, the moment the road changed from pavement to dirt. Dust was flying, rocks were pinging off the body of our car, and Jared said, "Do you think we're going the right way?"

And I was all, "Oh yeah. I guess they live at the end of a remote dirt road, all by themselves."

"Yeah, I've heard that too...but this is pretty rugged," Jared replied.

"I know J, but we're in Maine. Let's just follow the directions," I retorted.

As we drove further and further into the woods, James started to get nervous. I could clearly hear this babbling about "broken cars" and "flat tires" and "very scared of monsters," but it didn't sway me one bit, after all, I was just FOLLOWING THE DAMN MAP!

With every yard we drove, the road seemed to narrow until eventually the pine branches were screeching down the sides of our car on both sides. We were feeling claustrophobic, yet focused, until a pine branch came in through the barely open window and slapped Jared in the face.

He was all, "Darn it, Amy! TURN THE CAR AROUND!"

To which, I replied, "I seriously don't understand why your Aunt and Uncle drive a convertible Saab. One of their kids is gonna lose an eye out here!" And I kept on driving.

And I kept on driving until we hit a small river. Running across the road. Only then did I apply the brakes and throw her into neutral. "If we get good cell phone reception and have some extra food in here, then I'll try and cross this thing," I said as I shifted into first gear.

Jared applied the emergency break (against my will), and said "NO."

A few minutes later we had reversed of off the dirt road, and called his Aunt and Uncle. His Aunt was all, "You're where?! That road's been close since the storm of '86. I think it was washed out." Jared confirmed her suspicion--the road had indeed washed away. Twenty-two years ago.

Twenty minutes later, when we arrived at his Aunt's house she pointed to a sign next to her driveway. It read FOOT TRAFFIC ONLY, and was situated next to a heavily overgrown walking trail.

"That's where the McCall road comes out," she said. "That's what you tried to drive down!"

I turned my nostril up at Jared, let out a huff and said, "We totally could have made it ya wuss." And I meant it.

So damn you, Google Maps! Damn you straight to hell for almost giving me the adventure of a lifetime.


Lindsey said...

You are too funny, I would have been the same way! I love google maps, but we have totally lived in the country of N. Idaho where dem don't believe in dat dern computer neither!

chattypatra said...

...and that's why you need a Hummer! I would have followed the dirt road too. How exciting! Hee.

Yeah, Google Maps, Yahoo Maps, and Mapquest are run by naughty little leprechauns. They probably have magical monitors and sit in front of them to watch people get lost. I'm sure that's how they get their kicks!

Love how your man asserted himself. Go, Dr., go! Show her who's the boss! :)

Anonymous said...

I had the same thing happen to me using Mapquest. There must be map gremlins!

Kadi, John and girls said...

Glad you guys made it safe and sound- we had so much fun with you! Google Maps just doesn't work in Rural Maine, guess you gotta do it the old fashioned way (ha,ha,ha).

Grandma said...

Jared, thanks for stopping her..Amy I know you...you would've arrived wearing a pine tree I am sure!

Anonymous said...

Allan and I had a similar experience this weekend in that neck of the woods, too...

Mz. Cat said...

I stumpled up on your blog on evening while I was bored to tears. I have to admit what I read made me laugh so hard I nearly peed myself. I was hooked. Keep those witty insights coming!

V and Co. said...

yeah i was in the middle of a cornfield till my husband finally took the wheel away from me..stupid mapquest

sarahbobeara said...

the road we lived on in NH was like that. 'longmarsh road' traveled for about 200 feet under a marshy pond, then rose and carried on another mile or 2 to come out to a paved road. google maps always tried to take us through that pond...mapquest too, actually! glad jared was there to talk some sense into you ;)

congrats on your pregnancy btw. i've been busy & haven't been reading you daily but i guess you've been busy too! best baby wishes for you guys :)

Our Little World said...

Oh my gosh that is hilarious! Reminds me of driving w/you in Texas!!!