"Beauty confronts us with the requirement that we place ourselves among...the redeemers, the leaders in the protection of life. Once you have seen the bush on fire, you are not going to get out of the assignment unless you close your eyes to the beauty.... [You] either have to close your eyes or go back to Egypt and set the people free." - Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parker, "Rising to the Challenge of Our Times"

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

lost in mapland

I may have mentioned this before...but I love maps. I LOVE them. I have spent the last two hours or so researching the Bartlett Springs road. I am fascinated by the Mendocino National Forest because rumor has it that there are no paved roads that cross it; our camping excursion to Anthony Peak in October 2004 supported that theory. I was hoping maybe Bartlett Springs Rd was paved because the squiggly red line was slightly darker than some of the other squiggly red lines on one of my maps. However you can see in this quadrangle (click on it and it will be easier to see) that the road (roughly in the center) looks suspiciously rustic. I couldn't find the legend to go with these maps on the website but I think it's just slightly better than a ========= jeep trail. The reason for the interest in Bartlett Springs is that it looked like it might be a way to avoid the scarier, fast-cars-no-shoulder stretches of Hwy 20. You ride from Colusa through Williams, see, and then just before 20 heads into the hills, you branch off to the right and head for Indian Valley Reservoir (reputed as a bass fishing paradise). Eventually you're on Bartlett Springs Rd and it lands you in Lucerne, aka the "Switzerland of America." I wonder if Lucerne has copyrighted that nickname, or if I could start randomly applying it to other places that bear equally no resemblance whatsoever to Switzerland.

When my touring bike is built, it will not require pavement due to its suitably fat tires. I will ride it to the Switzerland of America and beyond.

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