On Vehicle Electronic Navigation

Our car club has had some pretty good drives. Today, we started from Davis, CA and went down what was old US 40 to the farmland, where after a few turns we were on CA 128. That too is a beautiful road, winding through the Coast Ranges, past Lake Berryessa and Monticello Dam down into the Napa wine country.

All in less than 100 miles.

We had lunch at a local St Helena Favorite, Gotts, which I’d call a “high end” hamburger stand. And because of all this COVID-19 stuff, they have a picnic area in the back with nice tables, shade, and grass.

Plus a full complement of wines to choose from with your cheeseburger.

Anyway when it came time to leave, all I wanted to do is catch CA 29, which is the main highway connecting so many of these Napa towns you see on your wine labels.

Only I just told Siri to “take me home”.

Well, when she told me to turn left, on Zinfandel Rd (this is the wine country!), I knew that wasn’t the direction of 29, but hey, this is Siri.

She knows what she is doing.

She (I like Australian female Siri)  pretty much took me back the same way we came with a few added 30 mile out-of-the-way turns. Which, along the way, I stopped at the Turtle Rock Cafe, where there were dollar bills all over the ceiling. You had to see it to believe it.

Normally I don’t mind taking a few roads “less taken” – I figure I’ll get there sooner or later. But Siri took me within 200 yards of the freeway onramp and took me through turns and turns of farmland.

And I dutifully followed.

It certainly wasn’t the most efficient way to get home. I probably went 50 miles out of the way.

I remember during my last Shakespeare’s get-together I wanted to stop at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley.

And Siri had me driving through 30 minutes of Simi Valley residential areas, only to learn at the end there was a nice straight boulevard that would have taken me to the road straight up the hill to the Library.

Seems like we blindly follow these things.

Here’s a guy who took his Jeep Compass (!?) straight into an icy lake, because he was dutifully following his GPS.

Years ago, when I would drive east and west from Virginia, I would take maps but only under advisement. When I would arrive in West Virginia, my late uncle would introduce me saying “He only hit the Canadian border once, and the Mexican border twice“. He also referred to me as “Wild Bill”, probably because of this incident.

But I knew I’d get there sooner or later. And each trip, I’d pick a different cross country route.

But I think in the future, I’d better take Siri’s advice with a grain of salt.


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