Monday, July 8, 2013

OTBR: A Mill on a Pond in the Czech Republic

Latitude: N 49° 10.146
Longitude: E 015° 25.086

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".

  • by a mill on a pond in a village in the Czech Republic
  • in the northeast corner of Yellowstone Park ("I mean how many dashpoints come with herds of bison, pronghorn, deer and elk! And the scenery, unbelievably beautiful.")
  • on a ridge at 8,000 ft in Colorado's Pike National Forest
  • in the grass beside the road through the green rolling hills of South Dakota's Crow Creek Reservation ("just what you saw in Dances with Wolves")
  • in swampy forest near the village of Laugu, Estonia ("There were delicious young tips on the branches of spruces, of which I had nice fresh addition to my breakfast.")
  • in very featureless and flat South Dakota farm country, in a water-logged cornfield where the plants are just coming up
  • in western Wisconsin, in an area with more woods and swamps than farm fields, about half of which have corn plants up about 10 cm
  • in a field of ripening oilseed rape in the UK, scored from the 29A motorway slip road
  • in an absolutely flat area of Germany, in a field of sugar beets
  • in a corn field in Nebraska with what may be sugar beets to the north ("I didn't know they did sugar beets in Nebraska, but I passed a sugar processing plant leaving Scottsbluff so that's my guess."
  • in South Carolina, in a field with a shed and logging equipment and all kinds of other metal detritus
  • on the road through sagebrush country of Colorado's Dinosaur National Monument, with a good view of the Green River and Yampa River, with the river confluence blocked by Steamboat Rock, another breathtaking view
  • in picturesque country outside of Calgary, Alberta, off the long Gorge Creek Road, reachable only from the south as the road has been barricaded off halfway along for what looks like a couple of years
  • on the narrow ridge between Maxwell Bay and North Arm of Minnesota's Lake Minnetonka, home to many expensive lakeshore homes
  • in a wooded ravine in Duluth, Minnesota, with the impressive view of the chapel of St. Scholastica College in the distance
  • in Ste. Genevieve, Missouri, one of the oldest settlements west of the Mississippi River, in the middle of Industrial Drive, in front of some kind of agribusiness
  • on the Marin County Club's golf course in Novato, California, very near the 15th tee
  • in the Dandenong Police Paddocks Reserve outside Melbourne, with horse paddocks and bushland and a one time obstacle course either for the Girl Guides or for WW2 infantry training
  • out of reach behind the fence around the US Army's Tooele Depot in Utah
  • out of reach inside the lip of Kennecott's huge open pit mine, itself surrounded by rugged desert terrain in Utah
  • in an empty pasture in Utah, where the grass was tall and green and the sky was blue and cloudless ("It doesn't get any better than that!")
  • and only 500 feet from the fire line, in the evacuation area of Colorado's most destructive forest fire in history, the Black Forest Fire, inaccessible to the public a week earlier

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