Originally Answered: Would you let your 17 year old child go on a road trip by their self to meet someone that they met online?
At 21, you are not a child and you do not need your mother's permission to visit a friend. My boyfriend is 20 and has already traveled around the world with Semester at Sea; you can certainly drive yourself to see a friend. At any age you want to keep the peace with your mom and show her respect, but at 21 it's time to cut the apron strings and go your own way. Find a way to diplomatically do so.
Are there extenuating circumstances you haven't mentioned here such as you needing to borrow her car or something? Is the friend someone who has been in trouble with the law or given your mom some other reason for her to be concerned about you spending time with him? I don't know how far away Apple Valley is from where you live; perhaps she's worried about you driving a long distance by yourself? Whatever the circumstance, sit down and calmly discuss this with her and assuage any fears she may have. If you don't have your own car or are on her insurance policy and she feels it is too risky for you to go that far on your own, then get your own car and policy or take the bus. If she's worried about his reputation, give her some assurances. If she doesn't want you to drive a long distance because she's afraid you'll fall asleep at the wheel, say that you'll stay in a hotel overnight so you won't be driving tired. If the problem isn't one I've already mentioned, then whatever it is, find a solution.
As far as your brother goes, he and your mom need to exercise more caution. I have met people from online before - two girls from this site, actually, but that was only after talking with them on webcam first to make sure they were also teenage girls and not pervy old dudes, and both times we met at my church's coffee shop before a service and their moms came with them. I'm 17 and there's no way my parents would let me road trip to meet someone from online. There are just too many risks involved. If your brother wants to meet the guy you or your mom should come with him, and they should all meet up somewhere public. You should express your concerns about his safety, but then bow out of the discussion because it's really one that is between him and your mom and is separate from your own situation.
Stay calm and mature but resolved, and just handle it like the adult that you are. I hope you go and have a safe journey there and back and an awesome reunion with your friend. By the way, do you live in Georgia? I'm trying to figure out where I've heard the names of those cites before.
Oh, and in reference to your user name: I love the big JC too. : )
~ Pax / Peace
Oh wow. Okay, I feel like a dunce now. No wonder the names sounded familiar. I live in SoCal too. I just never go to Riverside or SBC, and had mistaken Murietta for Marietta, Georgia. Okay, so since the distance isn't even that great I'm really perplexed about why your mom is making such a big to-do over you going to see this girl. Hello, I'm 17 and drive by myself from Santa Monica to San Diego once a month and my dad is not exactly what you'd describe as being a laid-back parent. But anyhoo, back to you. Were you planning on spending the night with the girl or something? I mean, since you have such a religious user name I'm wondering if your mom is also a Christian, and is worried about you getting into ahem, *sin*, with the girl by spending the night with her. Honestly, your plans with the girl are totally up to the two of you since you are both adults, but I'm just trying to figure out why your mom would object. Since she's fine with your brother road tripping, clearly the distance isn't bothering her, so the only claw in her paw I can see for you is that you're meeting up with a girl and he's meeting up with another boy. I don't know.
Seriously, though, to reiterate what I wrote above, if you have your own car and insurance policy just drive yourself and have a good trip. If she is paying for the car and policy she has the right to tell you not to go on the trip, and even though it's totally illogical and unjust that she would let your brother go if he is also on her policy or driving a car she is paying for, there's only so much you can do if you are dependent on her for financial support. She is obligated to still take care of your brother because he is a minor, but she is not required to do so for you anymore, so don't bite the hand that feeds you. Take the bus.