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Adventures in Upstate Ohio with Apple Maps as Your Guide

Suppose that you're travelling with four kids in the car. It's getting to be time for lunch and you want to exercise the kids a bit. Ohio has very nice rest areas, but you think a mall would be a better fit. So, you search Apple Maps for a mall.

You've just passed the I-90/I-75 interchange. You don't want to go back for all of the malls on the west side of Toledo, so you settle on the Woodville Mall.

You get there to discover that the Woodville Mall is all but condemned.

Fortunately, the babies have dozed off again. You need gas, but the gas stations near the mall are $.15/gallon more than the ones just off the highway were. So, you figure there will be some gas stations near the Sandusky Mall. You head out.

You get to point B and haven't seen a gas station. You search Apple Maps. It says that Coles Energy, Inc. is at around point D and Shumaker Gary BP is at point C. You decide that Coles Energy is probably a gas company rather than a gas station. You head back to Shumaker's. You find that Shumaker's is a BP distribution station. There are six tanker trucks and zero pumps.

You stop at a nearby restaurant. You explain to the lady behind the counter that you're just passing through looking to get to the Sandusky Mall and are in dire need of gasoline. She says, Hmmm... and freezes up. You're thinking, Fabulous. The nearest gas is going to be 30 miles back toward Toledo.

Finally, someone else jumps in and points you back toward point D. There are three gas stations right near there which did not show up on Apple Maps. Coles Energy was right across from the one you stopped at. Coles, indeed, could provide for you if you had needed propane, but not petrol. You got gas. Now, off to the mall.

Now, you are flipping back and forth between Apple Maps and Google Maps to compare. Google Maps had Shumaker's on it. It also had one of the three gas stations that had been right on your path. Of course, somewhere in here, Apple Maps quit giving you spoken directions. So, you missed the turn at point B in the previous map. You kick Apple Maps back into action and it leads you through the path shown to point C.

Point C is not anywhere near the actual Sandusky Mall. It is out in the sticks. You passed through a closed campground and past a few farms and through some sparse neighborhoods to get to point C. There is no mall there at all. There are dirt roads. There is a bay.

Of course, you're way far away from decent cell reception now. Neither Apple Maps or Google Maps can properly locate you. You track down an intersection that's big enough to register on Google Maps and start heading to what you hope is the real mall with Google Maps now.

Now, there is a gorgeous rainbow over the road and an Ohio trooper that just pulled over to start clocking cars. You were also expecting the exit to be labelled Milan Road. You miss the turn at point B and turn around at point C.

You make it almost to point D and fear that what was labelled Sandusky Mall on Google Maps and the exit you took off of Ohio-2 is really just a Meijers store. Thankfully, you just gave up a few hundred feet too early. The mall does exist, is open, does sell food, and does have a children's play area. Now, it's dinner time.

Having been awake for 34hrs now, you send your spouse in with the kids while you take a somewhat cramped nap on the floor of the van. The nap is surprisingly pleasant until your boss calls to remind you that you need to turn in your timecard sometime in the next 18hrs.