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map reading...

Tuesday, June 13, 2017
...when I was traveling yesterday. I might/might not have lost my way, though I am so adept at making efficient U-turns within a remarkably narrow radius in the little Toyota, you would barely notice my change of direction. I might pull in a curb store parking lot and run in for a drink, make it look like that was part of the plan. Or stop at the corner Rite-Aid to use the facilities, and give the appearance of needing to shop for x-y-z. Have you think that was a planned stop on my route. Ha!

I have always had a fascination with maps, and enjoy looking at them even when I have no plans, there is no destination to search out. After a recent stop at the GA welcome center to acquire the most recent edition of the Official state road map I made an interesting discovery. No, nothing has been added, we have not annexed the Florida panhandle with beautiful white beaches and crystal clear Gulf waters. Nice thought, though.

When I opened up the multi-folded paper picture of all the towns, roads and scenic wonders to be found in the state, I discovered nothing at all outside the borders. That is quite unusual. Most state maps will let the map run all the way to the edge of the paper. So you see the state you are in, but also neighbors as well. You can see the highways and towns that will be in adjacent states when you continue to drive past the state line, often only noticed by signs posted to notify you are in a different jurisdiction.

Now would be a good time to insert how amazing that fact is: You do not need travel papers to cross over, there is no armed guard demanding to know why and where you might be going? Living in America: it's all good! Yay for the Constitution. No Other Where in the world can you travel when you take a notion without checking your pockets at hundred times to be sure  you have your permit/papers in order.

As I unfolded the map to see where to turn after I crossed out of GA, there was nothing there?!?! I knew I would need a map for another state, but have never opened on to see a complete lack of information about any thing in bordering states. Almost like the cartographers of old, when the Age of Exploration was in full swing. European monarchs were funding ocean travel to parts unknown, supplying fleets of tall ships, captains destined to bring deadly diseases to the natives and return as 'conquering heroes'. When the map makers with pen in hand, wrote 'there be dragons here' on the edge of the parchment. In fine calligraphy script got to the edge of the known world, and had no idea what happens next...

Even though I had a pretty good idea the highway did not drop off into an abyss when I would cross over into another state, it was disconcerting to see on the map. When you know where you want to go, but not sure how to get there, it can certainly take longer than expected to arrive. This might be a uncharted area of Murphy's Law to pursue...

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