Tuesday, January 4, 2011

OTBR: A Sparse Pine Forest in Estonia

Latitude: 58.5969 N
Longitude: 22.6021 E

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".

  • in a sparse pine forest in Estonia
  • in Virginia, at the base of the earthen dam that creates Birch Pond, showing a thin film of ice at the far end of the pond
  • on a loose gravel road in Illinois ("Loose gravel with frozen snow that melts and has a thin layer of slush on top becomes VERY slippery, and any ruts in the gravel turn to mushy mud")
  • about 300 meters from the road, "as usually in northern Finland, the point situated in the forest"
  • in a ploughed muddy field in Italy, surrounded by olive trees and, on the hilltop in the distance, the village of Monte San Vito
  • in a large expanse of Russian Thistle, AKA tumbleweeds, the major plant in this area of southern California
  • in sagebrush-covered land near to the eastern shore of the Rocky Ford Reservoir near Sigurd, Utah
  • in the sagebrush terrain of the Uintah Basin of Utah, near a paved road that more or less goes nowhere
  • in the hills of the Kinglake State Forest in Australia, devastated by the Victorian bushfires early last year which claimed 173 lives
  • behind several small horse corrals with white panel fences in the far western part of St. Louis County where the suburbs haven’t arrived yet
  • in a wooded area downhill from the Monastery of Byzantine Nuns in Ohio
  • just north of a police firing range in Ontario ("we saw and heard them shooting")
  • on top of a row of garages in a gated apartment complex in southern California
  • in an older trailer park in Missouri
  • and across the road from a vineyard in beautiful green rolling hills south of Napa, California

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