Thursday, February 5, 2015

OTBR: A Multi-armed Saguaro in Arizona

Latitude: N 32° 20.196
Longitude: W 110° 24.588
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".

  • just beyond Milepost 27 on the dirt Cascabel Road off I-10 in Arizona, by a saguaro cactus with two small budding arms that resemble a female mannequin
  • along the edge of a meadow on the beautiful northern coastline of the island Muhu in Estonia
  • in New South Wales, through open coastal heath filled with banksia and 'iconic' Xanthorrhoea plants, in a boggy marsh area that would have required gum boots
  • on a dirt road along the Mississippi in Calhoun County, Illinois, reachable from three sides only by ferry, either across the Mississippi River or across the Illinois River
  • 35 meters off the Estonian coast in the Baltic Sea, where the wind was strong and the waves big and powerful
  • in perfect bushfire weather, 37 degree Celsius, and long, dry grass up to your knees in a paddock northwest of Melbourne, ready for the slightest spark to set off a conflagration
  • behind a gray, ranch-style home with what looked like a guest house 'round back in Gilroy, California, the self-proclaimed "Garlic Capital of the World"
  • in Oak Park, California, at the site of the stalled construction of a large home ("a large sign said that construction was starting in February of 2013 and would be finished in October")
  • in Maryland, in the woods behind a two-story split-level tan with white trim and a deep red door and just down the road from a bison farm
  • in a gated community in Las Vegas, Nevada (or Paradise, Nevada, if you want to get all geographically precise -- and who doesn't in this game)
  • in Hinsdale, Illinois, in Ty Warner park, a community park named for Ty Warner, a native of the area and creator of Beanie Babies
  • in a Midas Muffler shop in north Dallas
  • near a white farmhouse on a hill in Nebraska ("All around is unfenced harvested cornfields locked in winter gloom")
  • off Dish Lane, near Sutton on the Hill in England, looking over a newly cut hedge, near where farm vehicles were trying to back into a muddy field up a slight incline and kept having to cross the road to take a run at the hill
  • behind the bowling green of the Birregurra Bowling Club in Victoria, Australia
  • on the road in Nimbin, New South Wales (from Wikipedia: "It is as if a smoky avenue of Amsterdam has been placed in the middle of the mountains. ... Nimbin is a strange place indeed.")
  • in Thailand, near the town of Non Thai, 18 meters from a roadside vendor selling spicy and greasy pork sausages
  • just outside Bottomless Lakes State Park in New Mexico, on snow-covered ground with very scattered stubby grasses and almost no bushes
  • and out of reach in the fenced-off vineyards of the Domaine Chandon winery in Yarra Glen, Victoria, Australia ("We could see the zero point as we devoured a dozen oysters and two glasses of Domaine Chandon Blanc de Blanc")

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