Archives for posts with tag: map
The Essential Geography USA, 2nd edition, David Imus, 2019

Cartographer David Imus has just released the 2nd edition of his map of the United States. In my view, it is the most beautiful, articulate map of this country ever made. The 1st edition of this map, called The Essential Geography USA, was awarded “Best of Show” in 2012 at a competition held by the Cartography and Geographic Information Society. The 2nd edition is even nicer in that the shading of the land forms is more delicate and interferes less with the place names. The image above is a sample from the 2nd edition. Below (Read more) is a sample of the 1st edition so you can see what I mean.

The clarity with which this map conveys information is stunning.

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We just finished reading We Took to the Woods, by Louise Dickinson Rich. She wrote it in the 1930s while living in the backwoods of western Maine with her husband, son, and a friend of theirs. It chronicles their day-to-day lives, on the shore of a river near Umbagog Lake, in a place so remote that there was no road out.

She tells stories about preparing for “freeze-up” in the fall, when the lakes (their route to the outside world) were too icy for boats but not icy enough to support vehicles, essentially cutting them off. She tells of coming across the odd bear while picking blueberries from an endless patch. She tells of log drives and hurricanes, and how to make the best baked beans. She tells of adopting a baby skunk, who made a very civilized house pet, until he grew up and took to the woods himself.

The writing is so fresh it could have been written yesterday, yet it’s so clearly a window into another time. We liked it so much we put off reading it, because we didn’t want it to end. Read the rest of this entry »


I just came across these amazing charts that show the undersea topography of various U.S. cruising grounds in gorgeous relief. Each chart, built from layers of laser-cut birch, comes framed and ready to hang.

This particular one, of the Salish Sea, east of Vancouver Island, measures 25″ x 31″ and can be had for $248. Very nice indeed.

Link: Below the Boat

CBDT 763
Photo: Gregory McDonald

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Our last morning out on the CBDT found us patting ourselves on the back for finding such a great campsite. I made us a special breakfast of fresh crepes and hot Masala chai, and we soaked up the sun and the view.

While we were eating we heard some yelling from the road but thought it was hunters. Then, a few moments later, we saw a man walking through the woods towards our camp. He was wearing jeans and a sweatshirt and, when he got closer, we could see he was Latino. We called out, “Hello? Hello?” and got no response. We were a little on edge when he walked out of the woods, into our small clearing and stopped. Read the rest of this entry »

If you don’t already have a similar app on your phone, this website might come in handy.

GasBuddy maps the price of gas in your local area (if you’re in the United States). Zoomed out it gives you average prices. Zoom in and get specific prices at specific locations. Pretty cool.

Click the image or this link to go to the live map.

Back on the CBDT on Forest Road 23. Photo: Nik Schulz

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After a little target shooting and a bit of breakfast we got back on Forest Road 23 and continued up the California Backcountry Discovery Trail. We weren’t sure where we would stop for the night but since we were passing by Ruth Lake again, only this time at much higher elevation on the ridge above the lake, we thought we’d find something there.

I don’t know if it had anything to do with my totem pants — a pair of white jeans I painted in the style of Pacific Northwest native art and which seem to convey good fortune on many a situation 🙂 — but we were blown away by the beautiful spot we found.

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I like a good map. And I especially like these two from the artist, Sandow Birk. They chart stereotypical liberal and conservative views of the world.

See “A Liberal Map of the World” after the jump. Read the rest of this entry »

CBDT 601
Ruth Lake: Photo: Gregory McDonald

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On this part of our trip up the California Backcountry Discovery Trail, we spent a couple of nights at Fir Cove Campground on Ruth Lake. After leaving there we found one of the nicest remote campsites of the trip. Read the rest of this entry »

The Bay of Fundy, on the inland side of Nova Scotia, has some of the highest tidal fluctuations in the world. Here’s an example from Halls Harbor, near the end of the bay.

You probably already know this, but spring tides don’t happen just in Spring. They occur about every two weeks, on the full and new moons, when the sun, earth and moon roughly align. The sun and moon’s combined gravitational forces make the tides higher than normal. When the moon is perpendicular to the alignment of the sun and the earth, the forces don’t line up and the tides are lower than normal. Those are called neap tides. They also happen every two weeks, between the new and full moons.

Since the moon doesn’t move that much in a day and the earth spins once in 24 hours, there are roughly two high tides and two low tides per day. Picture the earth spinning inside an ellipsoid bubble of water. The two longer ends of the ellipse are the high tides, the two narrower bits in the middle are the low tides.

Curious where all of the worlds highest tides happen? Check out this map.

CBDT 3 - 12
Our camp at Watts Lake. Photo: Gregory McDonald

Our fourth day on the California Backcountry Discovery Trail, found us waking at Watt’s Lake. Our goal for the day was to zig-zag east to Ruth Lake. Unlike Watts Lake, Ruth Lake was bigger than a swimming pool and actually had water in it. From what we’d heard, it was quite nice.

To get there we took 1S07 and 1S11 past the Lassics Botanical Area. One of the mountains looked like a little volcano but our Forest Service stated that this wasn’t the case.

CBDT 4:5 - 02
Photo: Gregory McDonald Read the rest of this entry »