Why MapQuest Sucks

Why MapQuest Sucks

Saturday night Erica and I set the alarm for 4:30 AM so we could get up and go to Adamstown Pennsylvania to the Renninger’s and Shupp’s Grove flea markets. I didn’t sleep as well as I should have and overslept, but we finally got onto the road by 6:25 the next morning. This was my third time to Adamstown and I was looking forward to this one because we always arrived late the other times. It’s supposed to be a 2 hour and 45 minute drive – at least according to MapQuest.

There was no traffic that early in the morning and I scooted along in the truck at 80mph most of the way. We crossed the Delaware water gap on I-78 and zoomed into PA without looking at the map.

MapQuest told us to look for exit 21b and Easton PA. I did not realize that 21b was the I-287 to I-78 exit way back in New Jersey and had nothing to do with Easton. Exit 21b on I-78 is 35 miles beyond where were supposed to get off for route 222 to head south towards Adamstown.

We back tracked when we discovered that there is no 21b exit on I-78 – lost time: about an hour.

We made it back to route 61 south which seemed like a good shortcut down to 222. We were lost for a while, but got straightened out and hit 222.

Now MapQuest had us getting off and on route 222 bypassing construction, not knowing that the road is no longer under construction and you can go directly to Adamstown.

The worst mistake is that MapQuest had us get off at Sinking Springs, and drive to 422, but rather than head us back to 222, it says take 422 west towards Lebanon – the wrong direction. I followed this a while longer than the 5 miles that I was supposed to, and wound up nearly an hour off course before I found 222 again.

We arrived at Adamstown around 11:15 (nearly 5 hours) and 75% of the dealers had packed up and left already.

I didn’t find anything. There were no old Science Fiction Magazines and the only microphones that I found were very high priced. There were no vacuum tubes and nothing but chipped little doodads and knick-knacks on every table.

It took me only 2 hours and 30 minutes to get home. We went up 222 straight to I-78 and stopped for ice cream on the way out, gas near the top of 222 and coffee in a truck stop in Jersey. My right leg has cramps from holding it on the gas and the truck has 420 new miles on it when it should haven been less than 300.

A 1954 tweed Fender Champ amplifier worth around $1500 went for $20 at a garage sale in Nyack. If I had stayed home, that would have been mine!

I hate Mapquest.


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I started reading Science Fiction in the 1950s. I started Writing SF in the 1960s. Then, I had a life. Now I am retired, raising chickens and keeping bees. I am still an avid reader and I have sold about 70 stories in the last 20 years.
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