Thursday, July 14, 2011

OTBR: On a Qatar Sand Dune (Again)

Latitude: 24.6790 N
Longitude: 51.3246 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".

  • a drive-over in Qatar, beyond the last dunes but still on the sabka ("it didn't offer any real resistance to our group of 4x4's whatsoever. The dunes en route were great fun!")
  • in dry rolling hills north of Melbourne ("There was a flock of white cockatoos rummaging around searching for food, scattered old eucalypts, interesting rock formations, plenty of new green grass from recent rains and bleached trunks of fallen trees. It was an idyllic Australian bush scene.")
  • in Missouri, near the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers, in a large, frequently flooded conservation area
  • 300 meters from the highway in Finland in a marsh that makes zeroing out this point impossible
  • in a small forest in Paimio, Finland ("I saw the birds from afar. And ants too close :) ")
  • near an ant hill and an old tree stump in the hills of Warburton outside of Melbourne ("we were surprised by the existence of some large ferns almost at the top of the mountain.")
  • 500 meters down a footpath near Coventry, England, past a couple of pools, one with a family of ducks and the other with bright blue dragonflies above it
  • off a wet/clayey road in thick lantana in a forest in northern New South Wales
  • in a wild grassy field in the undeveloped outer Melbourne suburban area of Truganina, next to the entrance to the Boral Quarry
  • a little over 100 meters up a private drived in the hilly land, windy roads and horse farms west of St. Louis
  • north of St. Paul, Minnesota, within scoring range of the right field line of a rural baseball field
  • beyond a tennis court on private property off Australia's Great Ocean Road behind the surf coast townships of Torquay and Jan Juc
  • in Oregon, on a 40-acre parcel zoned for exclusive farm use where there is a million dollar, 7800-sq-ft "farm dwelling"
  • in Estonia, 50 meters from the road in somebody's field near a house
  • in a forest in Finland, near a place you can wash your rugs in summertime ("Water, steel sinks and mangle are offered by Salo town for free.")
  • in a citrus orchard outside Dixon, California (gold kiwifruit? green kumquat? guava?)
  • in a soybean field in Maryland, a field with many large rocks (probably granite) liberally sprinkled over the entire field
  • alongside a soybean field in Ohio, near a tree house in the nearby woods
  • and on a hill outside Chicago, near the interchange of I-80 and I-57, on a visit reported by Markwell on the tenth anniversary of the first Geodashing report on June 29, 2001, also by Markwell

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