IMO, most "questions" of the type the OP wonders about are due primarily to two causes: the questioners either have no clue *how* to do the research and find the information on their own, or they're too lazy to take the time and make the effort to do it. Plenty of people apparently think it's a lot easier just to shoot from the hip and post their question than to do any "homework".
I can see the value of posting a request for "personal experience" opinions and/or information on *specific* roads, travel issues, or any number of things, but *after* doing some basic research, not as the first (and from some posts I've read, the *only*) step!
That was the point I was trying to make and may have not stated it well. I have now issues with more scenic alternatives or how to avoid toll roads or getting about major metro areas, but 90% or better of the HOW TO don't have any qualifiers to the original question and some don't even say what they will be traveling in.
Even alternatives say as avoiding NYC and the Balt/Wash DC area have been beat to death and a simple search would answer 90% of a person's question on even that subject.
A map is using a resource, the same as using a GPS. If you are serious about self reliance, just navigate by the stars. Personally, I like my GPS figuring how far it is to where I am going, how long it will take, and where to turn. I haven't had to pull over on the side of the road in years, to pull out a map and figure out where I went wrong. My maps never showed where the Micky D's were along the way, and they couldn't tell me how to get to the nearest Home Depot in Timbucktu. For the record, I also like my computer and Quick Books over Journal Ledgers, I prefer a calculator to a slide rule, and a photocopier is much easier than carbon paper. Paper money and credit cards are also easier to use than bartering cows and sacks of corn.
If a route request appears overly naive, I check the posting history/ member status. A new member is more likely to ask a question without much context, and without evidence of searching.
I try to point them to online resources, such as previous threads, tricks to using a map programs (e.g. Google maps), search hints. It is difficult to search RV.net for specific routes (e.g. by number). Instead I suggest searching on a distinctive town name.
Many of the route questions in the West have to do with passes, either weather conditions, or scary grades, curves, or dropoffs. Often the poster is new to RVs (especially the large ones), or comes from the flatlands.
Yes it is possible to travel with just gas station maps. OK, gas companies no longer give those out as promo items, but state DOTs still do.
I first crossed the Canadian Rockies in the 1980s with only a NA atlas. The only backroad it showed was the Forestry Trunk road. Contrast that with my last trip, with Musio Backroads Mapbooks, GPS, and lots of online research. Plus a geology guide book I bought along the way. I saw so much more with more information (and time).
But even in the days of paper maps one could collect more information than provided by gas station maps. On a family cross country trip at the end of highschool, I asked to stop by the USGS map store in Denver to pick up topo maps of various scales.
Self reliance: Reliance on one's own capabilities, judgment, or resources; independence.
After many years on this earth, I've concluded that the two fears we have coming into this world are loud noises and falling. Basically, all other behavior is learned. Whether you are standing beside the road with your thumb stuck out or driving to a new locale for the first time, you're dependent upon the knowledge base established by others who have successfully gone before and lived to report it.
I've lived through the times when the house had no phone service, no indoor plumbing. Dinner was prepared on a Ben Franklin, and a couple of drop cords and oil based lamps provided lights. I've been through the four party lines and paper maps. Today I appreciate the judicious use of GPS, 4G cell service... 4G Internet. I think technology has enhanced my "self reliance".
I have my own capabilities, be they what they are, and I have reasonably good judgement. But the older I get, the more I realize how little I actually know. Technology provides me with the "resources" I use to enhance self reliance, not denigrate it.
* This post was
edited 04/15/12 11:15am by Eycom *
Using the forum to get the benefit of the experience of others about roads and routes is helpful to me. Maybe not so much to the OP.
What I don't get are the questions like "I am going to the state or province of (fill in the blank). What should I do or see?" Some things that are "must see" to some are incredibly boring to me and vice verse.
"I used to think I was indecisive, but now I'm not so sure."
I find this thread very valuable information in the planning stages and even at the last minute if you have specific questions. This type of information can of vital interest if your responsible for several tons in a unfamiliar environment.
If one fails to see the value of the roads & routes forum I would think that you need to expand your travel parameters to the more unfamilar to enjoy the RV experience...just say'n!
Joan and Bruce
05 Excursion 39L
powered by 350 KittyCATS on a Spartan
2010 Traverse LT toad (Blue Ox & Breakbuddy)
...and a "road dog" named Max and his gabby sister, Abby.
"May the wind be always at your back and your destination the one you chose"