Tuesday, May 8, 2012

OTBR: Hopetoun Falls in the Otways

Latitude 38.6094° S
Longitude 143.3802° 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".

  • along a very muddy track in dense forest near Victoria, Australia's Cape Otway along the Great Ocean Road
  • in Estonia, in nice forest, with remnants of winter's snow here and there, some fallen trees, an animal trail, stones covered with thick green moss and near a low old stone-fence
  • near Tucson, Arizona, by a brick house guarded by a fake owl, in a neighborhood with street names Castor, Capella and Betelgeux
  • in "Old Chicago," former site of the first fully enclosed domed shopping center and indoor amusement park, now home to a company specializing in custom packing and folding cartons
  • in Victoria, Australia, in a vast paddock containing only the dry stalks of some crop that had been harvested a while back
  • in a paddock behind Australia's Yarra Valley Dairy where wine, cheese and coffee were on offer ("The Pinot Noir and the Goat Cheese won out on the day.")
  • in southern California, on the east "bank" of Wilbur Creek, which is a concrete-lined drainage channel that feeds the Los Angeles River
  • deep in the Czech forest of the area called "Czech Canada", near a house for hunters
  • in the woods behind the Montgomery Chapel Cemetery in Maryland
  • under a pile of old roofing shingles in undeveloped land between the President George Bush Tollway and a nature preserve along Duck Creek in Garland, Texas
  • in a residential neighborhood in Westminster, Colorado, just a few blocks from WaterWorld, one of the great water parks in the US
  • in Phoenix, outside a playground with Little Tikes equipment owned by the Upward Foundation, which provides for special needs children
  • in a plowed field in Nebraska ("We couldn't tell if anything had been planted.") within site of an old WWII munitions plant
  • in a freshly turned field in Oxnard, California ("It's too late for strawberries, so I suspect that the next crop in here will be cilantro, unless they decide to go for peppers.")
  • in one of several close VERY LARGE sod farms in Virginia
  • in a housing development in Maryland ("Growing up, we visited the cliffs here looking for fossil shark and whale teeth. Now, it's all suburbia.")
  • at the intersection of Par Place and Bunker Drive northeast of Sacramento ("Not too surprisingly, there's a golf course two blocks to the north")
  • and in Missouri's Hawn State Park, a short walk into the pine woods ("This part of the park is managed to encourage the growth of the shortleaf pine tree, the only pine native to Missouri.")

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