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?
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.