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.