Wednesday, June 7, 2017

OTBR: Blueberries and Stones in the Czech Republic

Latitude: N 49° 07.494
Longitude: E 015° 15.450

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 (not actually) last month that are "off the blue roads".

  • in the Czech Republic in a locality nicknamed Czech Canada, in a forest known for blueberries and interesting stones
  • just west of a four lane (each way) freeway near Woodside, California ("The nearby mansions are hidden behind low grassy hills and scattered oak trees")
  • in the front yard of a small one story gray clapboard house in St. Gabriel, Louisiana, down the street from a grocery store with an old sign that said "established in the 1800s"
  • in southeast Melbourne, in the back yard of a weatherboard house with an overgrown garden and a tumbling down wooden fence
  • outside St Louis, near a nice house with three vehicles parked in front of a large garage with four flags: Don’t Tread on Me, Confederate Flag, US Flag and a POW/MIA flag
  • in Windhaven Park in Plano, Texas, just off a paved paths, in a large bush near the fence surrounding the pool and water slide
  • in a beige-coloured, well-maintained California bungalow with a wire fence in a northern suburb of Melbourne (just a few blocks from where I once lived a long, long, time ago)
  • amidst purple clover, black eyed susans and some indian paintbrush growing along a highway outside Waco, Texas
  • in Virginia, on the road to Shenandoah Caverns, in a large field with a barn painted red, with the black silhouettes of two horses painted on the white doors
  • in a rough pasture that contains numerous wind turbines in flat Kansas farmland (unfortunately, none of the game's waypoints happen to lie in this pasture)
  • in extreme western Tennessee, down the remnants of an old road on top of a levee and totally covered in weeds almost waist high
  • in the small town of Lindsay, Nebraska, more prosperous than typical since it has a manufacturing plant (for farm equipment), not just the usual agricultural economy
  • in a band of cedars between the very sandy road and the rough pasture beyond in Nebraska's remote Sand Hills area
  • as usual in a recently planted cornfield in Nebraska, but near the site of one of three WWII POW Camps in the state
  • in rural Kentucky, in an uncultivated field across the road from a field with very small corn plants just peeking up out of the ground
  • in Minnesota, in a field with corn plants just protruding from the black soil, north of a deep drainage ditch called County Ditch 75
  • near the village of Lily Lake west of Chicago, with farmland on either side with tilled fields whose crops won't arrive for a month or so
  • north of Las Vegas, Nevada, about a kilometer from road out among scrubby bushes and uneven terrain ("the bushes are much greener this month")
  • at the end of the paved walkway along the narrow, gravelly beach of Pennsylvania's Gifford Pinchot State Park ("The scene here was very pretty, with reeds in the foreground, fishermen at the end of the peninsula, and the sailboats along the beach.")
  • in a field outside a cemetery in Montpelier, Louisiana
  • and at the very back of New Calvary Cemetery, near the infamous Flint, Michigan ("When I was there on Sunday there were lots of people working on gravesites for Memorial Day.")

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