So we’re getting to know gorgeous places in the name of Buying the Farm (we’re in escrow)…but often despite instructions issued via my printer and Google, Mapquest, a GPS system.

Amazing how terribly AWFUL electronic mapping can get! Count ’em – 4 times – I and/or family have been waylaid by Google, Mapquest, a GPS system named Lydia! Yet we continue learning the lovely country roads of Sonoma Cty and elsewhere.

Had a happy day (eventually) last weekend at Sally D’s retirement party for John D at Heart’s Desire Beach in Tomales State Park – after touring around the wrong side of Tomales Bay, turning back and following the Google map on the passenger seat until I understood 1) there is NO reason to turn RIGHT onto Camino Rel Mar and 2) No; Heart’s Desire Beach is NOT 144 feet along Camino Del Mar on the right – that’s a private driveway! Putting me roughly maybe 7 miles from Heart’s Desire Beach, which turned out to be worth it along with the friends and great food – and incredible views above Tomales Bay….I’ll go back soon. Chalk up one big zero for Google Maps. Should have printed the Tomales Bay State Park map! But that’ not the only electronic map failure in the life of this not frequently solo driver’s life!

Mapquest? Once sent me the wrong direction into outside the city of Sonoma, causing me to be one hour late for an appointment, and therefore wrongly accused of being – lazy? Slightly steaming, I vowed to check two maps before venturing to unknown addresses. But who does THAT? I’m usually in a hurry.

Then there was the wonderful new Global Positioning System (GPS), my Bro got for Xmas that took our family reunion car not to cousin Barbara’s house in downtown Chicago, but through twists and turns on the speedy Eisenhower Freeway directly the WRONG way into the poor, often angry Southside rather than downtown by Wrigley Field. Bad girl, Lydia; my sis-in-law, Margo, may rue the day she named this GPS system and came to believe in her map results! My sis, Meg, offered her iPhone view, a lot closer to reality and we got to our destination in about – yea, an hour late…sigh.

Last but not least was the time…oh, yea, I was going to the Sebastopol Veteran’s Building using a Mapquest map and it took me – 5 miles out on a country road away from downtown Sebastopol before I stopped and bought a Coke from a friendly gas station attendant who agreed I should have followed my nose and just gone downtown on Hwy 116.

As luck and a sense of direction would have it, partner, Wayne and I nevertheless found Osmosis Spa and Occidental Arts & Ecology Center, Harmony Farm Supply and downtown Occidental for a delicious dinner. Maps from websites plus our hard copy in the car…and those backroads are gorgeous! See pix of our excursions into places to learn about sustainable living – and just to relax.

BIG SERIOUS RELATED QUESTION: I ask myself, what will we do if we get an electronic Superhighway and some goofy terroristsor nerdy teenagers or nasty guys or gals decide to hack the thing and take it down and we’re without a grid for say 3-4 years? When batteries run out, we’ll do without the computers, hand helds and GPSs that we’ve come to rely on. Come to think of it, we’ll pretty much do without most of the things we do for fun and profit nowadays. ListenUp to Saul Griffith speaking to Long Now Foundation

and hear what he says could take place. Time to learn to be a lot more self-sufficient I do believe.