“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 routes 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
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 Fall Foliage Facebook page. I’ll be posting updated pictures there come this fall.
Jeff “Foliage” Folger
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