Wednesday, January 4, 2017

OTBR: Along the Similkameen River

Latitude: N 49° 15.402
Longitude: W 120° 00.810

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".

  • close to picturesque Highway 3 along the Similkameen River in British Columbia ("50 meters over a flat meadow and I am standing on the dashpoint. Another 500 meters and it would mountain climbing. Beautiful spot.")
  • east of Melbourne, in a new housing estate in the centre of a block yet to see any building work
  • in Nebraska, in a muddy field in very flat Missouri River floodplain with cornfields but few houses
  • in Nebraska, off of a minimum maintenance road, down a tractor road, in a harvested cornfield ("Still snowing.")
  • near a high voltage power substation next to the parking lot of the Carrollton, Texas, Police department
  • in Deerwood, Minnesota, off Business MN-371 just about where the Buffalo River flows under the highway on its way to join the Mississippi River
  • in Caulfield, Victoria, Australia, in an upmarket neighborhood where two men, mobile car detailers, were polishing a white Porsche Cayenne in a driveway
  • north of San Fernando, California, near railroad tracks, the Calex Engineering Co. (a mass excavation and landslide shoring specialist), and some trees with acorn woodpeckers
  • in the desert north of California's San Gabriel Mountains, in a dying creosote bush a couple of hundred meters from a long-abandoned house
  • in a farm field in Iowa just north of the Missouri state line, near a small, old cemetery with some really old stones
  • in Washington, DC, near the entrance to the embassy of Taiwan (or what would be the embassy if Taiwan were recognized as a separate nation), scorable from the nearby grounds of the Washington International School
  • in Switzerland, up a dirt path, along the base of a sheer rock face, in woods high above the highway
  • in Estonia's Puhatu swamp ("There was a lot of water everywhere, but as we'd had a lot of days with minus temperature beforehand, the soil was frozen from underneath and it was quite easy to walk around.")
  • in Pennsylvania, in trees opposite Conewago Creek from an overgrown car track and a foot trail
  • on IH-64 outside St. Louis, near a billboard that was being worked on by men with a truck with a large boom that can be extended to reach up high
  • near a gas station in the center of Tehran, visited on a cold winter day with some snow
  • outside Chicago, in stubbled corn fields populated with Canadian geese gleaning the fields for any scraps, close enough to Lincolnway West High School that you can read the logo of the "Warriors" on the building
  • east of Baltimore in the parking lot of the AMF Dundalk Lanes bowling alley
  • in a rural area, wooded and hilly, of Maryland, in a field across the road from the Watters Meeting House, a historic old Quaker building
  • in the Grampians National Park in Victoria, Australia, down an extremely rugged fire-trail called Lynch's Track ("the last 8.5 km took an hour to traverse")
  • behind a residence in a rundown suburb of Houston ("Disappointingly uninteresting. Not much else to say.")
  • out of reach down a steep and grassy hill along Achistaca Trail in Long Ridge Open Space Preserve, west of Cupertino, California
  • beside a corrugated iron shed, near Mondrook Hall, in rural New South Wales
  • and in Estonia, in forest near the Maardu Southern open-pit mining area of limestone and phosphorite ("Due to the recent warm weeks, catkins were ALREADY blooming on willows. Come on, it's not even the end of December yet and such things should actually not happen before spring!!!")

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