Maps. Yep, they are part of that random stuff we like. For as long as I can remember, I have enjoyed maps. We took many cross country road trips as a family, and my parents always encouraged us kids to help with the maps and navigation. As a gangly, awkward kid on the open roads headed to the Midwest, I learned about east, west, north and south; I learned about looking ahead on the map, counting the miles between towns; I learned about how to approximate how much time it would take to get to the next town; I learned how what I saw out my window corresponded to what I saw on paper; I learned there was more than one way to get to our destination.
Now, as an awkward adult, I yearn for that open road, a good old-fashioned map (sorry Tom Tom) and the opportunities to learn from the journey. Now, as we travel thousands of miles across a dozen states, through the middle of the country and back, I yearn to share the adventures a map can bring with my kids, even if they are too young.
This road trip has reminded me how fun it is to use a map, searching for the name of the mountains to our right, finding the name of the highest peak. These miles have avowed the love of maps fostered in me as a child. If I hadn’t been studying the map in Wyoming, I wouldn’t have asked to stop at the Wyoming Territorial Prison where Butch Cassidy was an inmate so long ago. And that unplanned stop was one of the highlights of our trip.
So grab a friend…grab a map…grab a car…get on the road…and see what you can find!