Monday, November 7, 2011

OTBR: An Altar to the Goddess Blesta

Latitude 58.434500° N
Longitude 23.104200° 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 harvested field in Estonia, a kilometer from an altar raised for the goddess Blesta, who is believed to be the creator of the world civilization 30000 years ago
  • in a corn field in Minnesota, near sugar beet and soy bean fields ("The soybean harvest was underway with large combines working in clouds of dust and trucks and wagons hauling the beans.")
  • in a construction zone on I-70 in flat Illinois farm country ("Lots of harvesting going on today, grain trucks and farm machinery all over the roads.")
  • in a sugar beet field in Germany
  • in an alfalfa field in Colorado
  • in dense forest in Finland
  • along green country roads in Australia's Stanley State Forest, offering glorious views on a fine spring morning
  • in a cow pasture at the forest edge in the Bergisch Land in Nordrhein Westfalen
  • in California's Mojave desert surrounded by lots of creosote, the occasional small Joshua tree, and a deep blue sky pocked with the occasional cloud ... very quiet
  • in Prairie Park in Schaumberg, Illinois, with lots of green grass, pretty yellow-leafed trees, a whole bunch of tall reeds near a local wetland
  • in waist high tallgrass in Pingree Grove Forest Preserve in Illinois ("the frogs are really busy calling")
  • unreachable behind a locked gate in a private Skeet and Trap club in Iowa
  • on sprawling forest land in Oregon, through a maze of old logging roads ("I dislike hiking off-trail this time of year because the forest is crawling with hunters")
  • in Minnesota's Mille Lacs State Wildlife Management Area in a wooded area of birch and aspen ("I saw a hunter's campsite. He'd been there long enough that he had to wash clothes, as they were hanging on a rope between two trees.")
  • on the lower slopes of South Sister, the third-highest peak in Oregon ("The trail to the summit, described as 'exceedingly steep, long and rugged,' passes about 350 m from the point.")
  • off a valley road in New Hampshire, with ski trails going up both sides of the valley
  • in Germany near the Netherlands border, in a meadow near a greenhouse in which tomatoes are cultivated
  • along Maine's Ellis River, near Maine's shortest covered bridge
  • on a private dock in a planned community where every house has a water front that circuitously connects to the San Francisco Bay delta
  • in Illinois farm country, just south of a set of grid roads near a dome-like barn
  • on the edge of New Mexico's Carrizozo Lava Flow (2 miles wide, 44 miles long), at less than 5,000 years old, one of the youngest lava flows in the continental US
  • and in Columbus, Ohio, across the street from a house with several pumpkins, ghosts and other related Halloween decorations on display (along with the American flag)


Unknown said...

I love the idea of OTBR!

Mark Steger said...

Erik, thanks for the shout-out.