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Small Talk: Map apps not exactly wizardry

As I dazedly wandered the backroads of northeastern San Diego County, I was amazed at the traffic and the mountainous landscape.

It appears I was map-spoofed. I had heard others tell of directional apps taking them round the mulberry bush, but now I am one of those feeling like an idiot.

I was heading for a 5 p.m. wedding in Temecula Friday afternoon. I knew there might be traffic, so at least I left early. But then I trusted my map app and the nightmare began.

Instead of taking me straight up CA-15 to a single turn-off, it sent me off at 76 east through endless winding mountain roads, in and out of business parks and neighborhoods before finally spitting me out where I needed to go.

It took almost two hours. If it chose that route to avoid CA-15 traffic, it failed. There was steady traffic on every middle-of-nowhere-road it put me on. I spent a good deal of time pulling off the road (nearly got a flat) letting long strings of cars behind me go ahead at questionable speeds.

They apparently drive this maze regularly.

I was so disoriented by the time I arrived, I feared I might never get home, but being the trusting soul I am, I still didn’t question my app.

I just wondered how on earth the couple had found this wedding venue.

The truth came out when I asked the app to take me home.

Fortunately, the final destination was beautiful, in the horse country of Temecula, and the wedding was an absolute “hyacinth to feed my soul.”

Being around my son, and all the adorable not-kids-anymore he grew up with, was the perfect post-pandemic medicine. It has been too long since I laughed like that and I was tempted to hang out ’til the wee hours just to continue absorbing as much of their youthful exuberance as possible.

However, contrary to my normal instincts, I behaved with a smooch of decorum and headed out when the dancing started.

I had hugged everyone at least three times and caught up on their lives. And I couldn’t just sit there and enjoy champagne, fearing those mountain roads I had come in on.

When I asked the app for the route home, it sent me straight up one road, directly to CA-15, which took me straight to 78 and home. I was equal parts mortified and astounded.

I took far too much joy in deleting that app this morning.

Jean Gillette is a freelance writer who is looking for her old Thomas Guide. Contact her at [email protected].

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