"Map out your future - but do it in pencil. The road ahead is as long as you make it. Make it worth the trip." ~ Jon Bon Jovi
I woke up thinking about maps this morning. I don't know why. Just did. And, I got to thinking that before I met Gene, I really had never given maps much of a thought. I certainly did not know how to read a map.
When you live in Alaska most of your life, there is hardly need for a map. There are very few highways in Alaska. You cannot get lost there. Well, that may be an exaggeration, but not hardly. I hope my Alaskan friends reading this will vouch for me.
I lived in many places in Alaska and I do not recall my parents ever owning a map. When I met Gene, he came to me with stacks of maps. He wears them out from looking at them constantly. He can tell you accurately which highways and back roads he's traveled. I think his secret goal is to roll down every road he's never been on. It's a good goal. I'm with him on that. Why go down the same road when you can travel one you haven't seen? Rhetorical question.
When Gene and I first got together, we took a very long road trip across Oregon and back (not on the same road). I had a map on my lap most of that trip but I'm not sure if he knew how map-illiterate I was. Perhaps he was so in love with me he didn't notice. That's what I like to think. But it wasn't long before I could no longer fake it. I had to admit that looking at a map was like reading Greek. So, he showed me how to use it. I'm better than I used to be but still struggle a bit with the little numbers and exits. At least I know east from west, north from south.
I've learned that it's a lot more fun to take the smaller highways and back roads. People are usually a lot friendlier off the main grid and usually food and gas are less spendy. The other day, we made the mistake of passing up gas for $3.68 in the small town of Hood River and the next gas station was out on the highway for $3.91. Ouch.
Today we are headed to Ellensburg, Washington on our motorcycles with some friends ... about 6 of us altogether. The leader of our pack says we're taking an old highway out of Vantage to get to Ellensburg and then we'll be returning on one of my very favorite roads, Canyon Road, which goes along the Yakima river. We'll eat lunch in Ellensburg and catch up with the happenings with our friends. I'm not sure I'll have time to take many photos but the last time we were in Ellensburg I didn't take pics so I'm glad I may an opportunity today.
Do you like to look at maps?