Thursday, July 15, 2010

OTBR: A Different Kind of Statue

Latitude: 35.617900° N
Longitude: 117.665300° W

A child on a road trip with his family asks, "Where are we?" and the father answers, "Let's check the map. We're off the blue roads [the Interstate Highways marked in blue on the road atlas]. We're off the red roads [the US and state highways]. We're off the black roads [the county highways]. I think we're off the map altogether." It was always my dream to be off the map altogether.

After the jump, a few of the random places (and I mean random literally) that I visited vicariously last month that are "off the blue roads".


  • on Interstate 5 in central California, with a field of alfalfa in the foreground and the snow-capped peaks of the Sierra Nevada in the far distance
  • at the entrance to the training ground of the old Joliet Arsenal in Illinois, now converted to an army training facility, the Midewin Tall Grass Prairie and a military cemetery
  • eighty-three meters from a small country road in Estonia ("I went there through the forest, crossing a ditch and eating some delicious fresh ends of spruce branches on the way, full of vitamins.")
  • along a graded road on Arizona State Trust Land near a blooming saguaro
  • in an empty stretch of desert south of Edwards Air Force Base in California, where Joshua Trees were found at the unusually low altitude of 2380 feet
  • along a horse and hiking trail in Maryland's Northwest Branch Park, where except for the abundance of mud puddles, the one mile round trip hike is quite pleasant
  • in the San Rafael neighborhood west of the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, where a million dollars might buy you a starter house
  • between two cul-de-sacs of large houses on small blocks in a Melbourne housing estate
  • near a concrete sheep trough along a fenceline of the Nannawarra woolshed in Victoria, Australia
  • along a deep cut in Interstate 240 in Asheville, North Carolina, where the exposed rock has amazing large swirls in it ("That's some severely tortured rock.")
  • in the Mississippi River in Minnesota, scorable from the east bank
  • near a semi-hidden glen populated by grazing sheep ("We don't see lots of sheep in Nebraska, so it's always fun to spot them.")
  • near a high mountain pass in Utah, above the timberline, with elevation about 2,950 meters or 9,700 feet, but there was lots of green grass around
  • in a stand of tall birch trees on the Willard Munger trail in Minnesota
  • on a gravel path in a forest patch of spruce and birch in Finland ... near a Cambodian restaurant
  • in the gentle hills of southern Tuscany, with a lush growth of wildflowers on both sides of the road and many plant nurseries specialising in the famous Tuscan pencil pines in the area
  • just off the road near Nelson, Nevada, a little old mining town south of Las Vegas, mostly abandoned now
  • in an Indiana cornfield, with the closest access from a LARGE windmills in a soy bean field next to it
  • in a private garden with a trampoline in it in Norway
  • near √úlemiste Lake in Estonia ("It was kinda jungle out there, really tall grass/hay and lot of mosquitoes.")
  • and in Oregon, at the junction of the Waldo Lake Trail and the access road to Islet Campground ("I had the place to myself. There were not even many mosquitoes which can be awful here in summer.")

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