Monday, September 5, 2011

OTBR: A Wheat Field in Finland

Latitude 60.170800° N
Longitude 23.149300° 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 Finland, in a field of wheat (or rye?) ready for harvesting
  • in Idaho, in a recently harvested wheat field, along a narrow, one-lane canal road
  • in the forest in Estonia, along with orange, 2cm-long spiders, dewberries (Rubus caesisu), wild raspberries and an ant nest
  • at the entrance to the Firestone Winery in California's Santa Ynez Valley
  • near a large, ornate Buddhist temple in Melbourne, but actually beyond the locked gates of an aged care centre which were opened by the helpful and friendly manager
  • just south of the parking lot of the Poor Clare Monastery near Chicago
  • in second growth woods in Wisconsin, an area with low hills, swamps, rivers, and not much farm land
  • in the driveway of a house in Santa Clara, California, across the street from the skinny, block-long Lick Mill Park
  • near the Thames River beyond Kew Green, near The National Archives of the United Kingdom
  • on a slight sloped lawn next to the village of W├Ârth, Germany ("The lawn is quite popular in winter for the kids to go sledge riding.")
  • at the end of a road in California's Mojave desert, past a "drink-em-up, shoot-em-up" playground, then up a big rocky scramble
  • in a yard in Prior Lake, Minnesota, where a pony statue was set out as if to be discarded
  • in Victoria, along a long pebbled driveway leading up to a luxurious homestead of a stud farm for thoroughbred horses
  • on a tree-covered lot in Oregon, with a large, rusty sawmill blade with cutouts of an elk and the name of the homeowner
  • in a clump of eucalyptus trees at the far end of a marshy wet field in Victoria, land that had been badly burned in Australia's 2009 bushfires
  • in a recently mowed grass field near Denver's airport
  • in a beautiful anticline valley in Wyoming, a half mile along a BLM road
  • on the edge of a corn crop on top of a bramble covered embankment in Wisconsin ("corn crop is looking good this year - up to eight feet tall")
  • and 5.5km down a dirt track across BLM sage brush land in Idaho, then a 700m hike through the cheat grass, basalt rock, and sage brush in 100+ degree heat ("But I got it!")

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