Eyes Turning South

Now that ‘little problems’ are off my mind I’m starting to actually think about our trip South.  I think I shared our route already, if not here it is again.

octoberrouteHowever, just because there’s a blue line on the map that doesn’t mean that’s the way we’re going to travel.  I’m starting to look at some of the smaller routes at least for the distance between Elkhart and Hot Springs.

The way we’ve laid out our trip we’ve given ourselves slap on 14 days to make the 1700 mile trip.   That’s not terrible fast.  For a North / South migration it’s quicker than we normally would travel.  Heck — we’ve been known to stop for a month in just one spot along the way!  But this year I think 2 weeks will be about right.

“Like all great travellers,
I have seen more than I remember,
and remember more than I have seen.”
– Benjamin Disraeli

I’m absolutely unsure about any stop between Elkhart and Hot Springs AR.  We’ll probably do that as walk-ins even though I have potential stopping points on the map.  As it is now there’s a long distance of +/- 450 miles between Gun Creek and Arlie Moore and I’m not likely to actually do that in one day.  I’m sure we could if we stayed on the interstate but I’m not all that inclined to stay on the interstate at this point.

All of which relates to that Disraeli quotation in an odd sort of way…

Do you ever have that problem of seeing more than you remember and remembering more than you see? Our brains knowingly take liberties with the truth.  Memory is a strange animal and we remember things differently than they occur.  There are myriad stories about the unreliablity of “eyewitnesses”  and I have read studies that indicate our memories of events long ago are not memories of the original event but rather are memories of the way we last remembered them — which is significantly different.  That means that if we accentuate one aspect of a memory because of something that’s going on in our lives at the moment that we accordingly record that old memory with an updated take on what happened — not on what originally occurred.

With over a million driving miles on the clock I have been on a lot of roads. Sometimes I find myself confusing towns that have a Washington Street — I might remember the buildings on one Washington Street as if they were in another community.  Or I remember the right route, but before it was repaved, or re-routed.  More than once we’ve been driving down a highway that recently had been re-routed and our GPS got confused — showing us as driving down the middle of a field as the map database had not yet been updated from the old route — well, sometimes I’ve felt that way in my own memory.  I know where I am, just one iteration earlier. urban-paris-metro

When it comes to route planning I know places will have changed from the last time I visited them.  By this time, some of those places have not been seen for 30, 40, 0r nearly 50 years.  I know better than to expect them to be the ‘same’ — but who can help but expect things to be as you remember them?  It’s really a conundrum, don’t you think?

I wonder, too, how much of memory is affected by our conversations?  There are times I’m not sure if I’m remembering something, or actually remembering someone else’s recollection heard during conversation.  There are times when the details of a supposed memory seem lacking and yet I think I should remember being there even if I can’t put a date or season to the memory.

Oh well…  Maybe I’ll just look at the map, and take a stab at a route!

Thanks for stopping by; I’ll be here tomorrow, why not stop by and say hi!




3 thoughts on “Eyes Turning South

  1. This post sparked a longing for paper road maps.Before GPS I was the navigator, I took it seriously. Only once did I run afoul of outdated resources. It was 25 years ago, wish I could remember the dam responsible for hours of back tracking. The map clearly indicated an accessible road over the dam – nope! It was the middle of the night, we were tired and traveling with our then infant daughter. In a nutshell, it meant hours of additional driving to make our way back to a bridge. Sigh.


    1. It’s peculiar, the relationship I have with my GPS. At times I, like you, long for paper. For something to hold!!!! For the tactile feel of knowledge and ink and all that I had associated with the idea the info had been PRINTED. After all, that MUST make it right, eh?

      But if I remember to hook up, my GPS is updated much more frequently than any paper maps; I can usually be pretty sure that construction zones will be accounted for on my GPS routing, and only a few times have I been taken very far afield.

      Not true of every GPS though.

      At Highland Ridge — all summer long — we heard stories of people using GARMIN devices that had been delivered 10 miles away, on the other side of the lake, to the Ranger Station, instead of the campground! Evidently Rand McNally is a little more on-the-ball than Garmin in one regard anyway.

      As for research… well, that’s another story. On our first ever vacation, 2 weeks in a VW beetle with tent, single burner propane stove, etc., etc., we drove around Lake Superior. Near Thunder Bay I had read about the landform Nanabijou (SP?) and began looking for it. I swear, I saw 25 different Nanabijou’s along the way, each looking as I thought the real one was supposed to look like. And when we finally found the RIGHT one — it didn’t look like I’d expected at all. Go Figure!

      At this point, the biggest reason I crave the GPS is weight limits and height limits. Our Rand McNally has a database of roads we need to stay off of and that is worth it’s weight in gold. With my truck— all those years ago — I only ever got messed up by one low height bridge, but backing up in traffic convinced me it wasn’t a good thing to do ever again. 🙂



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