Road Trip Technology

We were midway on the second day of our 4-day road trip from Colorado to Florida, successfully navigating the Dallas, Fort Worth interstate wormhole when the GPS in the car and the GPS on my iPhone seemed to be duking it out like two hussies at a backwoods bar.

It all began with my search for a bar-b-que restaurant near me as we headed south on I-45 toward Houston. As luck would have it, there was a restaurant coming up just south of Ennis, Texas that had a high customer rating. It sounded like a local hole-in-the-wall, which suited my husband, Wayne, and I just fine. I directed him to leave the interstate at the next exit. That’s when the problems began.

The car GPS immediately started her protest that we were off course while my iPhone Google Map tried to talk louder in an attempt to direct us to the restaurant, “Turn right on Main Street…”. The rest was unclear as I started the process to turn off the routing on the car GPS.

It seemed my iPhone wanted us to take a left, but I didn’t see the little local street we had already past. My attention was elsewhere. Google Maps seemed quite content for us to continue on FM 1183, as we drove past pastures and the occasional farmhouse. This didn’t seem right. I could have sworn the original search indicated it was right off I-45. There wasn’t an easy place to turn around, so we continued on FM 1183 as Google Maps directed. By the way, FM in Texas refers to “Farm to Market”. In times past, rural farmers taking their crops to town used these local roads roads. Sure enough, my phone directed us to make a left.

“This looks promising”, I said, thinking we were at least heading back the way we had come.

The paved apron quickly turned into a white clay road riddled with potholes. Wayne deftly avoided most of them while we waited for the next directions emanating from my phone. The scenery was enjoyable, mostly residential on 2-5 acres, well-maintained yards and the occasional cow grazing in a pasture. As we made the third and final turn, I saw FM 1183 coming up. It looked very familiar. We could see the I-45 overpass over to the right as we turned onto the blacktop.

Now we were both curious where this restaurant was! Sure enough, we turned onto the North Freeway Frontage Road, drove past the convenience store where we made our first erroneous turn and saw our destination just beyond, “Alma Smokehouse BBQ”. We both laughed at the absurdity of modern technology. If we had just followed our instinct, we would have found it 20 minutes earlier!

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