Wednesday, January 6, 2016

OTBR: Trail of the Tough in Estonia

Latitude: N 58° 28.584
Longitude: E 022° 12.060

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 middle of a swampy forest in Estonia, 1.45 km down a muddy road blocked with several fallen trees from a recent storm
  • outside of Knoxville, Tennessee, down a road that winds through wooded hills
  • on Arizona's State Trust Land east of the San Pedro River, along a narrow double track that goes down into a rock wash and then steeply up loose rock before it becomes a double track again and then onto a ridge and finally down the side of a ravine
  • in southern California, on a new dirt "road" which likely used to be a driveway for the older house on it and now provides access to several very new (and vacant) homes
  • in rural Alabama, down a series of narrow county roads, first steeply uphill to a ridgeline, then along the ridge, and finally back down, in dense woods about 98 meters from the edge of the tree line
  • out of reach beyond a checkpoint on a dirt road off Nevada's state route 375 (aka the "Extraterrestrial Highway") towards the top-secret Area 51 government base
  • in a privately owned paddock occupied by sheep on New Zealand's South Island
  • in Virginia's horse country, 107 meters off the road just past a house set just far enough back in the woods to be barely visible
  • in a peaceful hamlet overlooking the forests of Mount Macedon in Victoria, Australia, behind a chain across the driveway of a residence nestling in the bush
  • in a very bland harvested soybean field in the very flat floodplain of the Missouri River in Nebraska
  • in the woods at the edge of a water treatment plant in Columbus, Georgia
  • in the road in front of a CVS pharmacy outside Orlando International Airport
  • in the Florida panhandle, out of reach in the gulf off private beaches with no access road
  • in the back lot of the Gilroy Chevrolet-Cadillac dealership on Hwy 101 south of San Jose
  • in the economically depressed and highly industrialized little town of Dupo, Illinois, east of St. Louis, near a house with a wooden structure that looked like an outhouse in the side yard, decorated with Christmas lights ("an odd looking sight")
  • southwest of Chicago, near a "polyhedron house", that is, one with no flat walls except the garage doors, and instead is shaped from pentagon sections, hexagon sections, parallelograms, octagons, etc.
  • in western Illinois, in a large upward slopping farm field mostly covered in snow with a lone tree near the top of the hill
  • and in suburban Atlanta, on the lawn of a house with a plywood cutout of Santa and his sleigh, the sleigh pulled by a flock of eight flamingos!

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