Thursday, October 5, 2017

OTBR: Rock Lake, Minnesota

Latitude: N 46° 10.482
Longitude: W 093° 53.832

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".

  • at a DNR boat launch on Rock Lake in Minnesota ("The trees are beginning their fall color change with birch and ash trending yellow and some maples red.")
  • in Virginia, along a path with waist-high weeds, but with an animal path through them, that runs between the C&O canal and a cornfield
  • in a residential area of Healdsburg, a hundred miles north of San Francisco on US 101
  • in the middle of a tasseled field of corn in the wild prairie farmland of northern Illinois near a farmhouse with a huge John Deere combine waiting for the right season
  • in central Illinois, in pasture with a creek just to the east of the spot ("We were there hunting doves that were coming in over the pasture to water and roost trees.")
  • north of Minneapolis deep in a corn field on the east side of of a gravel road
  • in Fort Collins, Colorado, on the median separating the parking lot for Four Seasons Veterinary Specialists from the lot for Macdonald Financial Services
  • inaccessible on the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge in Denver
  • inaccessible inside Letterkenny Army Depot in Pennsylvania, where they store "live munitions and other noxious things"
  • in the campground of England's Wozwolf Rally, a club that shares a love of bikes and rallies ("The story that we all share a common love of alcohol is just a rumour, which we all try to reinforce as often as possible.")
  • in a soybean field across the railroad tracks in the tiny town of Wooldridge, Missouri (pop. 61)
  • down a dirt driveway of a private home in Tennessee, along Bull Run (not that Bull Run) across the road from a pole with numerous gourd birdhouses
  • in Victoria, Australia, up a grassy hill amidst some shorn sheep standing on guard near the summit of Mount William
  • inside a Leslie's Pool Supplies store in a strip mall in Maryland, with a display of hot tubs outside the door
  • near an intersection in northwestern Iowa ("big surprise, cornfields in all four quadrants of the intersection")
  • in a weedy field down a dirt road in Missouri, with an old wooden fence with an iron cable stretched across to block the road and a sign that said "30 Acres for sale shown by appointment only"
  • in southern Illinois, in a field of yellow ripening soybeans crossed by a small trench made by a backhoe of the Harrison Telephone Company
  • in Iowa in a wooded area near a large pumpkin patch
  • in Maryland, in mature old forest along the remains of an old overgrown road running along Mattawoman Creek, probably an old wood road
  • and in Palo Alto, California, in front of a town home with a banner hung in its window reading "Jesus is the reason for the season" ("Neighborhood rents will run you $3,800 to $4,400 dollar a month. Yeah, it's nice here.")

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