Planning

The only thing that makes me happier than making lists of things that need to be done, purchased, taken care of, etc., is poring over maps and planning routes. I’ve done both today.

The lists are for various iterations of camping trips – depending on where we go and for how long, and who we go with. There is a possibility Steve and Meg can go with us – the time is running short for when Megan can comfortably do the camping thing (she is due around the 1st of September). If they go they will bring their truck camper/cabover on my truck, which will give me an idea of how they work, fit into the bed of the pickup, etc. Steve and I were talking about it – we can let the dogs – Lady and Rocco – ride in the camper, and we will use the back seats of the truck so all four of us can travel together. We’ll carry the tent and sleeping bags in the camper. I’m getting psyched!

Then the maps. I’ve been considering possible routes to NY in September (and back to CA), taking in the places I have always wanted to see. Now I’m looking at actual routes and a mix of interstate plus mostly US highways with a few state routes thrown in as shortcuts. I’m certain the route will expand and contract as reality sets in, both as to time and money. I plan to mapquest it for the most elaborate, possible routing – just to see how many miles it would involve, plus estimated time. Then I will refine it to my own reality and send it to AAA in Sioux Falls, where they will do the classic manual triptik I’ve always used and loved. I might check with AAA Sacramento to see if they still do the classic maps, but I will have my potential route already on paper or in an email so there isn’t any confusion about what I want. I don’t mind if they suggest changing a portion due to construction or whatever. I no longer have to worry about overhead clearances though, as I will definitely not be getting an RV or camper that will tower over my truck and be a problem.

I know I will get comments about how wonderful Microsoft Streets and Trips can be, or other online tools for planning and routing. I love paper maps. I love unfolding them, and my heart always skips a beat when I see the familiar routes emerge before my eyes, as well as those I didn’t realize existed. I love to look at the United States map, giving perspective to size, distance, and direction, and bringing back memories of so many previous trips, weather encountered, detours required, and above all, the scenery. There isn’t a state in this country that isn’t absolutely beautiful, albeit in its own way, and there is no reason to compare the majesty of snow capped mountains, to coastal marshes or fields of grain waving as far as the eye can see.

From the broad picture of the US map, I then go to regional maps and get a closer-up view of my options, and then, glory be, to the state maps that show those hidden little towns and byways. God, how I love this country, and I’m going to have to work hard at seeing all I can in whatever time I have left. God bless America!

(And then, I will plan my Canada trip!)

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6 Responses to Planning

  1. smdrm says:

    Hi Gypsy,The last time I "ordered" a triptik from AAA I was very disappointed. They no longer had the informative, descriptive pages of the past. The "ordered" version isn't much better than the one you can do yourself online through their website.I, too, prefer handling maps so I understand your position on that matter.Safe travels to you no matter what mode you choose!Selene, NC

  2. I am a paper map person as well & always enjoy hauling out our big Atlas's & spending a long time looking at old & familiar routes & memories. Always exciting to plot out upcoming trips & search out new & better routes. Geography was one of my favorite subjects in school & that interest still continues to this day. I have a return email for you which I'll get into the mail today regarding our….weather in the fall:))

  3. Gypsy – I so agree with you about this great country of ours. People ask me where I've liked the best and I really can't tell them. Every where is beautiful in its own way. And I love exploring all the small towns. You just never know what treasure you're going to find.

  4. I seldom, if ever, use paper maps anymore. They tend to get in the way of my windshield while I'm driving! Instead, I'm a MS Streets & Trips fan as I like the automatic mileage calculations and the way it figures out the best way to get from point A to point B. Once in my vehicle though, I pretty much rely on my GPS to get me where I'm going. I still remember the old TripTiks though and can appreciate why many still like them and prefer the old paper maps too. Everyone has their own approach to these things and as long as it works, that's great!

  5. Jim and Dee says:

    Great news to hear you're going on the road again! I know it will boost your spirits, and not to be alone will be excellent.

  6. Roadrunner says:

    Glad to see you are planning a trip. I use Streets and Trips, I print out one day's drive, along with the stops I plan to make, and exits for the RV parks. Then I put on my clip board,layered each day as I would use it. Just put that map on the bottom of the stack, ready for the next. Works good for me, easy to read as I print them LARGE.

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