To fulfill the final request of the Burton’s in the “You Asked For It” series we will be looking at another method to use Google Earth to enhance your travels and trip planning.
For starters let’s review:
For those that want to find a convenient place to boondock, check out this previous entry:
For finding things to see along the way, check out this entry:
If you have mastered Google Earth using the above two applications, it is time to learn how to use it for navigating back roads to unique sites. For years I have been chasing old mines, ghost towns and other forgotten places. Road signs rarely exist to these places (with either arrows directing you or signing the road name/number), that is why they are forgotten. Prior to modern conveniences like GPS, online mapping software and especially Google Earth, many forgotten places stayed that way when I tried to visit them. Through the years, roads are forgotten, become overgrown, are rerouted, washout, etc. Unfortunately, most topographic maps were created in the 1950’s and 1960’s and have seen very little in the way of updates. Many adventures in my pre-Google Earth days ended in disappointment as the road I had planned to travel no longer existed, now led somewhere else or was in such poor condition it wasn’t suitable for vehicle travel. Other times there were so many roads that didn’t show on the map that you had no idea where you were. What used to be the third road leading to the left was now the seventh road leading to the left. Thankfully, Google Earth solves all of these problems. Now all I do is find the place I want to visit on Google Earth and scroll backwards from the site following the best traveled route to the nearest paved highway. I can then compare what Google Earth shows as the best route against the roads my Gazetteer or topographical map depict, plotting junction coordinates obtained via Google Earth on my map. It is then just a matter of entering the coordinates on my GPS receiver and following the waypoints. Google Earth route planning, just one more way to enjoy the adventure!
The maps and pictures below show two examples:
(Note: North is the top of each picture)
Notice multiple roads leading to Burro Schmidt’s Tunnel
Only one well traveled road shows heading northwest from the tunnel
Three roads are shown approaching the OK mine from the north
Only the road to the west is well traveled.
Also note all the roads from the showing to the northwest of the mine that aren’t shown on the topo map.