Saturday, June 25, 2016

Going old school

I wasn't very familiar with Colorado until this month. I'd blasted through on I-70 a couple of times in years past. I'd been in and out of the southwest corner as a van dweller. That was about it. I knew I'd need cartographic assistance. Since the mountains don't lend themselves to handy net access, Google Maps would have limited usefulness. So I got out my Benchmark Atlas for Colorado. Now it rides shotgun.

The atlas provides more information than online maps. Paved or unpaved, elevation, what sort of public land there might be, and so forth. Then I can mark where I've been with pink highlighter, circle places I'd like to go in the future, make notes.

GPS works in the mountains, and it's useful when I want to get from A to B, but it doesn't know what to do when I want to explore. What's up that road? Will it eventually get me where I think I want to go? Is there something more interesting than Garmin's idea of the best route? GPS is for efficiency, not informed wandering. I haven't found the edge of the Earth in the atlas yet, unless that's everything east of Denver.

Tomorrow I head out to somewhere else I've never been. I might not have considered it if I hadn't seen it in the atlas.


  1. "informed wandering" --- perfect phrase for what we do

  2. KISS Keep it simple son,sweetheart etc. Pragmatism is where it's at.

  3. We've always used De Lorme Atlases and have one for Colorado but it's several years old. We'll be buying a Benchmark before we strike out for there. Have you used both?

    1. I have Benchmark and DeLorme atlases for most of the western states. They didn't have a DeLorme for Colorado when I went to buy them. I've fpound that Benchmark suits my purposes most often.

  4. I have only used GPS once whilst driving for a delivery company and it almost always sent me the longest route to my destination! I wonder if they are in cahoots with the oil companies?