Monday, September 6, 2021

No wonder they didn’t know where they were going

I hadn’t seen the BLM road I was looking for until it was too late. I continued about a half mile to a historic marker pullout. There, a woman in an RV with a couple of cars in her convoy waved me down.

She gestured to the stack of papers she was holding and said, “I don’t know whether I’m lost.” The papers were a printout of MapQuest directions. Ah. Well there was her problem.

I’m not a big brand loyalty guy, but there are brands I’m avidly disloyal to. MapQuest is one of them.

“Where are you trying to get?”

“Oklahoma City.”

“Hmmm, there are several ways to get there.”

“I know, but I need to follow these directions.”

I tried to make sense of MapQuest’s overly complicated instructions. I cross-referenced with Google Maps on my phone. While MapQuest had included the somewhat unnecessary information that US-50 is known as the Loneliest Road in America, it failed to mention that this section between Ely NV and Delta UT is also US-6. Besides, the Loneliest Road is generally considered to start or end (depending upon your direction of travel) at Ely, with Carson City as the other terminus.

I assured the woman she was on the right road (so far). I made my U-turn thinking, “Good luck with the rest of the directions, particularly getting through Las Vegas to US-93. At least it’s just I-40 all the way to Oklahoma City once she gets to Kingman AZ. But even then MapQuest might find a way to confuse her. And good luck with the jumble of interchanges in OK City where 40, 44 and 35 collide. May you find yourself in the correct lane, Ma’am.”


  1. “I know, but I need to follow these directions.”

    That's her whole problem right there.

  2. Mapquest? Really? I sure hope this lady makes it to OK City.....