Thursday, July 5, 2012

OTBR: Desolate Flats of Bessemer Bend

Latitude: N 42° 50.058
Longitude: W 106° 38.922

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 the desolate flats of Bessemer Bend, Wyoming, where you just might have to butt a cow with your car to get it out of the road
  • an easy drive in a quite suburban street, reached on a cold, early-winter morning on June 1 outside Geelong, Victoria, Australia
  • in northern California's Santa Cruz mountains surrounded by deep redwood forest, near a colorful banner with the Hindu God Ganesh marking the location of "The Universal Church of Baba's Kitchen"
  • in an 8-foot diameter rock-rimmed fire pit behind a really REALLY cool four-story old Victorian apartment building in Maryland
  • in Virginia, in a lightly wooded area just beyond the end of a common drive for several McMansions, near the vineyard of an attractive nearby winery
  • in a Maryland orchard, were many clusters of green apples already at least two inches in diameter were ripening
  • on the south slope of Utah's Uinta Mountains, a beautiful area with lots of aspens and pines along with sagebrush in the open areas
  • in sparse mesquite and other bushes on slightly rolling desert terrain up close to the slopes of Nevada's Black Mountain
  • just outside southern California's Chatsworth Oaks Park, which is mostly undeveloped inland scrub ("saw a male Bullock's Oriole while I was walking through")
  • on a narrow gravel road in beautiful lush green bushland and hillsides in the delightful small town of Tinonee, New South Wales
  • in a wheat field in Kansas ("I began to think that all of Kansas was wheat fields, wind farms with hundreds of windmills -- and, of course, cows.")
  • in an unfenced cornfield in the dead flat, almost entirely treeless, Missouri River floodplain of Iowa
  • beyond a strip of alfalfa in a cornfield in Wisconsin
  • along a two-track dirt road in Missouri, in a fallow field west of a field full of new hay bales
  • in some brambles, over a fence and along a pathway east of London
  • on a golf course surrounded by a chain link fence in Sugar House, Utah, a suburb of Salt Lake City
  • on Juniper Terrace, a winding street in Sloatsburg, New York, with impressive rock walled terraces along the side of the road
  • in the Pacific Ocean just off the beach in Santa Barbara, California ("This point could certainly be reachable by boat, kayak or other water-going vessel, but we have none of those.")
  • in the grass-covered open area east of a newly constructed storm water detention pond in Minnesota (as if Minnesota doesn't have enough bodies of water already, they're constructing new ones).
  • and in Victoria, Australia, in a paddock with a little flock of woolly sheep and lambs being well-guarded by a black llama

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