And Onto the Maps!

Google MyMaps map of RoadTrip 2014 so far

Google My Places map of RoadTrip 2014 so far

God, I love maps. I always have. When I was little, I would make maps of our property, the back pastures and the ponds and the woods. I wanted to be a cartographer when I grew up.

I like Pinterest’s new map feature, but I can’t believe you still can’t reorder the pins on a board. How are you supposed to use it as a trip planner when you can’t put the locations in the order you are going to them? And they’re going to have to add some sort of distance measurement.

New York City -- 2010

New York City -- 2010

So, when Terry says he wants to go to Maine, Benjamin and I immediately think New York City because it is on the way to Maine. So, we can go ahead and mark some places on the maps like The Build-A-Bear Workshop (because it has one of the few Build-A-Dinos in it) and the 9-11 Memorial (Benjamin is really wanting to see it) and the Central Park Zoo. We also think of Washington DC, and we get several of the Smithsonians and some of the war memorials marked.

How am I “marking” them on the map? Two ways, on a Google My Places map and on a Pinterest board map. I also use Evernote’s Web Clipper to make note cards for each place. Evernote is also good for Web pages that have lists of places, like the page with all the waterfalls of the Finger Lakes. I have a travel notebook in there, and I tag each one with the Roadtrip 2014 tag, the state, and the type of place. The Evernote notebook can be easily accessed on a smart phone while on vacation.

Google Maps has proven itself to be the best way for me to plan a road trip; I can’t find anything that will let me place dozens of places on the map just to try them out, and nothing can find as many places as Google can. Although, I have been having some problems with Google Maps finding parks in towns where they have farmer’s markets.

While searching and marking all the natural history museums and science centers from here to Maine, Benjamin discovers the Cryptozoology Museum. He just has to go there. It’s probably full of bigfoots or bigfeet or whatever you call plural bigfooted monsters. While on the subject of cryptids, I remembered Champ. I find Lake Champlain on the map, there at the top of Vermont and mark it. We have to go look for Champ. He’s America’s Loch Ness monster.

I especially mark all the dinosaur museums that I think ought to be good ones, like the Field Museum in Chicago, the Carnegie Museum, the ones at Harvard and Yale, and the one at Amherst. Museums at colleges usually aren’t so touristy, so they’re often better.

Then I’m watching the Today show, and think, we should go to Rockefeller Center, maybe get to watch the show through the window. I find there’s other stuff there, too, like a Lego Store.

While zoomed down on the satellite map, just scrolling around New York City, I find Bowling Green. There’s a subway station out there looking like some sort of portal. I want to take the subway there. So, I mark Bowling Green.

I find a dinosaur trackway in Connecticut and look into some others. I mark the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Colonial Williamsburg, and Coney Island.

Then, and here’s where I was dumb, I thought Maine was the most northern state in the continental United States. Well, it’s not. It’s Minnesota. When I realized that, I was disappointed. I wanted to go to the most northern point, and we really don’t have time to go to Minnesota just for that. But, while I’m looking into that, I find out that the easternmost town in the United States IS in Maine! That’s just as good! There’s a tiny little town called Lubec on a peninsula, and it all looks very interesting. And, of course, there’s a lighthouse, the easternmost one, on a little peninsula just south of Lubec’s peninsula.

Then I discovered the Finger Lakes….

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