Mon, 12 Aug 2002 22:56:35 EDT
all map readers...
i love studying maps. i can spend a long time hunched over one. i have to
have glasses now and they are part of my travel kit these days. here in
chattanooga tva has a map office where i can purchase quads and old aireal
photos. great for old homesites. quad maps are hard to travel with tbecause
of rolling them out and up... and also really tough if your up in a corner...
but my the detail! you can see a big fish in a little creek if you look close
i didnt like the gazateers when i first saw one but now i have tn, al, ga and
fl. my standard wandering zones. the tn even gives me a good chunk of nc
which i do appreciate. tho the detail is not near as tight as a quad just
about everything is there... springs, creeks and crossing. railroads,
powerlines and contours. caves. excellent.
as for mistakes... often when i frustrated and turned all willy nilly and
begin blaming a "bad" map i find out im to blame. it is an ART to read,
follow and find a location. i love to do it but one can burn up a lot of time
and gas. i drive my wife crazy with all the u-turns, backtracks and full
stops in the middle of bridges :) that is why i scout on my own. or with
someone who does not complain :)
but still i do think there are errors as i experienced last weekend. but dots
are always renaming roads and such to.
you know... many, many springs and some quite big are not marked on the
gazateers nor even on quads. that is why i like to stop and chat w/ locals if
i have the time. last weekend when i was trying to find guthies spring i made
the mistake of asking this woman where it was. whew. we were all turned
around. i had to keep interupting her cause i was way out there man. BUT i
did get to watch her feed her catfish in a little farm pond. so always a
benefit lays for you in a quest. it is the journey not the destination. which
reminds me of a element of my little girls and myselfs trip last weekend.
when we were leaving robbinsville for andrews nc we were following a river
upstream out of the valley stopping at various sites for quick peeks. as we
rounded a bend a sign beckoned camp grounds and trout pond turn here. i did
one of those u turn things and rolled across a bridge. clear water. then a
ornamental pond, then another pond and then the BIG pond. we got out and
strolled along its edge peering in at massive trout and all kinds of shiners.
i could make out some goldens and what she later called knobby heads. the
water was clear, deep and fed from a mountain stream several hundred yards
away. an older woman made her way to us caring a glass of ice tea. thus the
conversations began. she had established the campground and trout ponds in
her youth. they were well manicured w/ flowers, plantings and structures
nestled in a hilly cove. several springs flowed into the pool but most the
water came from the piping system which welled up geyser like from two pipes
at one end of the main pond. she gave cerulean a handful of feed and had her
throw it way out as far as she could... ! what a ruckus, man those beasts
were everywhere! massive water churns. she gave cerulean an old pole and i
stuck some canned corn kernals on a little hook and pulled in 3 before i
could yell "thats enough!" 3 trout, 2 pounds, 6 bucks, dinner tuesday night :)
we had some more fun and then i asked the inevitable... " would you mind if i
got in there and snorkled with those trout and tried to figure out what all
those creek minnows are?" she looked at me kinda funny and said " why those
fish would eat you alive!" she went on to tell me a ladies little dog fell in
there and they liked to never get little frida out of there. i must have been
a big panicky event the way she went on. some of the trout were at least 2
foot and were way to smart for a hook. now that would be a story to tell from
the hospital bed all covered in bandages. "what happened to you?" "why i fell
in old lady miller's trout pond".
she told me about poachers, nc regulations, picnics and pond repairs. a very
nice little side trip between point g and h.
anyway, i love maps and mr gazateer even if i do get confused and frustrated
cause i cant figure out how to get from there to here.
one thing w/ maps... to know how to get somewhere you have to know WHERE YOU
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