Monday, March 5, 2012

OTBR: A Rare View of Hoover Dam

Latitude: 35.9853° N
Longitude: 114.7721° 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".

  • down a wash and a cliff off a shelf road in the Nevada desert, with great views of Hoover Dam and the new suspension bridge over the Colorado River,
  • in Bend, Oregon, in the middle of a road that's a major access to the forests, lakes and ski areas, scored at midnight on February 1
  • in Missouri, just off Old Lemay Ferry Road ("it’s the road that is old, not the ferry, when in actual fact the ferry is really old and no longer exists")
  • in the holiday village of Holz (wood), Germany, with many similar wooden huts, built in a funny shape. ("It's not allowed to drive through this village for non residents, so I had to walk, which was kind of OK as you see much more than by only driving by.")
  • just reachable (with perseverance and a second attempt) on the campus of one of the many USDA facilities in the Beltsville, Maryland, area
  • about halfway up a narrow dirt driveway to a brick farmhouse on the Geelong-Ballan Road of Victoria, Australia
  • in the Arizona desert, along a faint double track and next to a barrel cactus pointing south by a palo verde tree
  • inside a locked garage behind an eight story apartment building on Olimpou Street in the municipality of Chalandri in Athens, Greece
  • in a nice neighborhood about two kilometers from Disney's "Magic Kingdom" in southern California, near a one-story white house with a small Coleman camping trailer in the driveway
  • in a harvested cornfield just north of the tiny town of Ricketts, Iowa ("two stop signs")
  • off a gravel road in Iowa, just east of a big wind farm
  • off a powerline road in Nevada, just east of large solar power plants
  • near a dead tree in a pine forest near Boecillo, Spain, about 200 m from a gas pipeline and 1 km from the Duero River
  • and on a stretch of the Pacific Crest Trail in southern California, with nice views of CaƱon Escondido and the San Gabriel Mountains beyond with a light dusting of snow

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