Friday, July 27, 2012

Good Bye to My Friend the Road Map

For most of my life, maps have held a fascination for me.  If I happen to see one, regardless of the context, I'm instantly drawn to it, nearly to the point of distraction.  There is something about them that makes me want to study, understand, and learn. 

It's weird.  I think it is a quirk I picked up from my Mom, as she behaves similarly. 

Given my fascination, I always kept two maps in my car.  The first was a US road atlas, so regardless of where I traveled I'd be armed with a reference to guide me.  The other was a detailed map of Minnesota roads, spread across 96 full pages, which showed every little dirt road in the state.  For someone as much into hunting as I am this manual was like gold in finding new places to go and investigate.  Likewise, in traffic jams coming back from the cabin it was used by my wife and me to move cross-country and avoid the back-up.  It was an invaluable resource. 

These two maps always were tucked in the pocked on the passenger side seat, and based on the number of times I referred to them, they paid for themselves years ago. 

I bumped into them while cleaning out my vehicle last week, and surprised myself in realizing just how little I now used these two once-critical references. Between the iPhone and Google Maps, I now never have to look beyond my phone to understand where I am and which is the best route for me to take. 

As such, for the first time ever in my life, I pulled all of the maps out of my vehicle.  My wife logically expressed the desire to throw these two books into the trash, and for any straight thinking man, that would be the appropriate end.  But I just can't do it.  So instead of sitting in the back of my rig, going unused, they will now sit on a bookshelf and will gather dust. 

For a guy for a quirky thing about maps, that's OK with me.

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