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    Re: An essay about maps
    From: John Huth
    Date: 2010 Nov 13, 17:33 -0500
    Peter - 

    What's the "Big Smoke"?

    When I'm backpacking in remote areas, such "stop and chat" sessions are a given - the same thing is true when I kayak in remote areas.   

    I had a hard as hell time convincing my brother-in-law to abandon his plan to hike through rattle-snake infested region of box canyons where the trails were all grown over and temperatures were in the 110's (F) after a local's warning. The maps all indicated trails in this area.   In fact more than half the trails on the map couldn't be found.  This was the high desert of Washington State. My brother-in-law was bound and determined to hike through this particular area where three locals warned us off.   I finally had to put my foot down and convinced my brother-in-law to take the more sensible route they all suggested.  Even then it was a battle to get him to pay more attention to the surroundings and be less glued to the map which had many errors on it.  There were trails on the map that didn't exist and there were real trails that weren't on the map.   Some springs indicated were completely dried up.   My son had to reel him back while he was chasing a dried up spring in 100 degree heat.   I'd found a nice spring in a cool wooded glade and he was out on an exposed ridge chasing that very spring, convinced it was further down the trail.  He was close to heat exhaustion - dizzy and all that.   It took him three hours to finally acknowledge that we were at a spring described to us by the locals.  

    A navigational linkage - in a number of transatlantic crossings in small boats during the 19th century, sailors often didn't bring navigational equipment.   Instead they relied on passing boats to give them their location.

    John H. 


    On Sat, Nov 13, 2010 at 4:43 PM, Peter Fogg <piterr11---.com> wrote:
    An essay for those interested in maps:
     
    You can tell the good lady is from the Big Smoke.  If she'd spent more time in remote places she'd have known that when you get to a place like Hungerford you don't just drive through it.  You stop and, first of all, take on fuel.  Even if your tanks are near-full - whether you'll find any more further on is never guaranteed, and the person selling fuel is potentially a good source of information about what lies ahead.  Then you visit the pub.  If the place is a stepping-off point to really remote places you're also expected to register with the cops.  Its just common sense really, but you can expect to be quizzed about how well-prepared you might be for the next leg, including your mapping resources.
     
    As you drive out from the relatively well-populated coast into the relatively bereft-of-people interior, you go from ignoring other motorists to acknowledging them.  Then when you get further out, if another vehicle approaches from the direction you're going then you both stop - blocking the road, but that's rarely a problem - so the drivers can have a leisurely chat, driver's window to driver's window, elbow to elbow, about the weather and the price of ewes and, what interests you most, what's ahead.
     
    In two words: local knowledge.  The good lady is dreaming with her whimsical insistence on mapping accuracy.  As if there was such a thing.



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    Keeping up with the grind
       
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