Thursday, March 09, 2006

Yet Another Reason I am a Geek.


While traveling this past weekend I was reminded of something.

I love maps.

I love to study maps, look at the names of towns and counties, and see how many different ways there are to get from Point A to Point B. I love to check the map for the next town while en route somewhere, and to look for each sign. Yep, there it is, just like the map says.

When I was a kid I used to love to play with the family Atlas. I would find the biggest city in each state, and see where each major outbound highway would lead. I would pick random interstates and see just how far they went in either direction. I would look up the cities where friends, pen pals and relatives lived, and I would look up the population of each place in the back, making comparisons to my own town. I would see how many states had cities with a common name. Spring names are very popular. Springdale, Springville, Springfield, Springtown. It must have sounded inviting to the founders. I would turn to the odometer graph in the back and figure out how many places I could go if I drove a specific distance from anywhere (Pittsburgh to Las Vegas and Portland to Little Rock are the exact same distance, did you know that? That's Portland, Oregon - not Portland, Maine. However, you could go from Portland, Maine to San Antonio in almost the same miles as the other two. A little bit less in case you're curious.)

The Hub and I have taken several extensive road trips. He drives, and I play with the map. I say play because we love to sniff out interesting routes and points of interest off the beaten path, a method which is very much like play. We love the road less traveled, and it's really quite fun to have a piece of paper in front of you which gives just enough rudimentary hints about your journey ahead that you don't get distractingly lost. We love to fly by the seat of our pants, choosing our route at the spur of the moment. This method of travel has taken us to very exciting and unexpected destinations. Places that have enriched and even changed our lives, stumbled upon simply by tweaking a route at the last minute via an interesting looking little side road spotted in a good atlas.

Sometimes being a geek really pays off.

18 comments:

martie said...

Funny Clew, we have done this in the past too....I never even knew we were geeks! Thanks for pointing it out! LOL

bigwhitehat said...

Hmmm...Geeky.

Nelly said...

Maybe I should start playing with maps! If I am driving somewhere I haven't driven very often and I'm by myself, I completely freak out. I hate driving different routes. Just give me the straight through and no detours PLEZ! I have absolutely no sense of direction! LOL! ;)

It sounds like you and hub have a wonderful time when you get on the road!

Bainwen Gilrana said...

I do the same thing with maps. I never considered it a hallmark of geekiness, though. It just means I have Super Navigational Powers. ;-)

clew said...

Ha ha, Bainwen ~ I merely proclaim myself a geek so I beat anyone else to the punch. We know we're really cool though. ;)

clew said...

Oh, and Nelly, my love for maps has NO correlation with my sense of direction - which is horrible! I can navigate for the Hub, when I can devote full attention to the task, but for myself? Forget it! :D (When I left for Naive's, I got lost before I got out of my own county while trying to be slick and take a back road shortcut to the highway. Don't tell anyone).

Kodijack said...

Being a geek pays off every day. From being a weather geek to paying attention to the electric meter, to just googling correctly. I love being a geek.

Clew, do you have one of those little rollers that you can trace your route on the map and it tells how far it is? They have one of those online, its very cool.

jencb said...

Clew, I can't find your number! I want to try to get together if you can after work today. I leave town tomorrow morning! E-mail if you can, or drop a line at LJ.

Unacknowledged Genius said...

I can't read a map for the life of me and I have no sense of direction. I've lived here for 3 years and I couldn't tell you what direction you're pointing in. I can tell east and west while I am at home because of the way the sun shines on the house in the morning and evening. I'm a dork and I'd rather be a geek.

Ocean said...

I am quite the adverterous person also. On trips I always have my orange highlighter tracing the route on my map, just fun to do and look back at later to see where you have been. I even do this in new towns. Quick way to scout out the town and see where all the major roads lead.
Found this link, thought you might enjoy. Weird town names....http://www.itsallgood.itgo.com/photo4.html

McSwain said...

How bout the google satellite maps? I LOVE those. Even though it's a little bit scary that I can look right into my back yard on the internet... I like being able to look down into everyone else's.

Ruben said...

At least the reasons you are a geek are useful. The reasons I'm a geek just get me made fun of.

joy said...

I like geeks. :)

The Editor said...

Well, I've been called a geek but for different reasons. :)

Mike said...

I'm the say way...I mean I'm not obsessed with maps or nothing but I love to take a different "path" myself, just to enjoy the scenery.

theresa said...

Did you know the International dateline is crooked? I probably knew it at one point in time but that bit of information got pushed out of my head by new stuff along the way. I rediscovered this amazing, and logical fact when I was gifted with a beautiful globe a couple years ago.

Lori said...

Geek my big toe! ;-)

I've been an absentee blogger in both reading and writing lately, and thought I better say 'heya' before you forgot who I was! hehe

Hope you had a great weekend!

naive-no-more said...

With this love of maps, you'd think you wouldn't get turned around as often as you do. LOL