“Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves.” (Henry David Thoreau)
I’m still not sure I understand myself yet, even with all the times I’ve been lost. I know that I live for getting off the main roads and discovering a new pond or town common that I haven’t seen before. To me, finding a new white church steeple surrounded by multi-hued sugar maples is the pinnacle of a great day.
When I talk about getting lost, I don’t mean to literally go out and get lost. I expect you to have a good idea of where you are! (This does not mean a state of confusion like me) What this means You should get off the main road (highways) and explore secondary or even dirt roads.
BUT! Do so with a good road map and I always suggest the gazetteer’s from Delorme which are my favorites.
I also travel with a GPS and you might be tempted to ask isn’t this redundant? Or even necessary? (the map and the GPS)?? Map and a GPS! Well, the reason I travel with both is quite simple.
I have found a map is great for planning on where to go and what to see. If you find yourself on a dirt road in Maine with no street signs it’s rough to figure out where on the map you are. So unless you have a background in Orienteering and a serious compass then a map by itself is lousy at telling you, where… you are.
A GPS on the other hand is wonderful for telling you where you are but it’s horrible for planning a New England fall foliage trip. Do you need both? No and in that case I would do it with the gazetteer map book. (I did it for years this way)
The reason I stand by Gazetteers is they show terrain and most roads and items of interest. Below is a short list of things a gazetteer contains:
- » Back roads, dirt roads and trails
- » Elevation contours
- » Remote lakes and streams
- » Boat Ramps
- » Public lands for recreation
- » Land use / land cover – forests, wetlands, agriculture
- » Trailheads
- » Campgrounds
- » Prime hunting and fishing spots
And don’t forget they list all the covered bridges also!
Well if you want to see some of my scenic foliage routes follow this link and you can review the location in your own gazetteer and if I caught a shot that you want to find then you can locate that image on your own map book.
If you have questions regarding this “Art of getting lost”, then drop a note below and I’ll post a reply as soon as I can. You can also visit my New England Fall Foliage page on Facebook. I’ll be posting updated pictures there come this fall.Jeff "Foliage" Folger
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