“I would rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than in any city on earth.” – Steve McQueen
I’ve said it before. A lot of planning went in to this trip on all fronts. One of the things I really pride myself on is the ability to find a picture on the Internet of some scenic place that makes you say “wouldn’t it be awesome to go there?” Then I find out where that is, and to put it simply, I go there. I want to live in that picture. The picture above was taken from a cliff above Lake Powell in southern Utah. The tricky part of this image is that there are no roads around here. I asked myself, “how on earth am I going to get here?” That’s when it hit me; use what you know, use the technology you’ve been using in your career for the past 12 years to find this place.
Using my book on back country trails, I found the Alstrom Point Trail, a “3” difficulty rating (high clearance 4WDs preferred, 6 inch rocks and moderate water crossings) and a scenic rating of 10/10. Then I searched for a few of the named trails and found this wonderful page where someone has uploaded a KMZ file of all of the back country trails to be used in Google Earth. Sparing you all the techno babble, ultimately I get detailed 3D maps of my off road trails that look like this:
It’s not rocket science, it’s just modern technology. And not to blow smoke up my own ass, but I was doing this before there even was a Google Earth. 🙂 Hell, perhaps even before there was a “Google”. Yes, I’m old.
Knowledge is power and knowing what to expect allows me to make the most of my time out here. I can see where one trail will intersect with another one, or how one can be used as a short cut to get back to a gas station. I can even tell when I might have to drive through a river, as in the trail pictured below. And believe me, I’m very much looking forward to that.