Print Out a Map, if Not for You, For Someone Else

On Sunday I drove a little bit of the Lake Mead Recreation Area, aided in part by a map created by Jim Boone, the producer of BirdandHike.com. His site is the ultimate resource for exploring the natural world around Las Vegas, Clark County, and Southern Nevada.

Although it is a non-collecting area, I was there to take a mental health break and to bring back photographs of different volcanic features.

As I made my way back to Highway 93 on the Kingman Wash Access Road, I was stopped by a couple driving a low slung Subaru. The driver asked, in an excited and somewhat nervous sounding voice, “Do you know where this road goes? Are you from around here?” Hmm, I thought, traveling off-pavement with no map and no idea about what lies ahead. Not my style but certainly adventurous.

I handed him the map I printed out from Jim’s site. The driver grabbed it eagerly, clutching it with both hands. The couple stared at it intensely while I described the main road as fairly decent but not the side roads, which could turn into Jeep trails. They nodded and continued to look at the map. Jim had outlined the area, not in fantastic detail, but enough to get one in and out and to show some points of interests. Just right.

As they continued staring, I asked if I had written anything on the map. They turned it over and said no. I said, “Keep it, I know my way out.” They were very pleased with that and had big smiles on their faces as they drove off into the previously unknown wilderness.

This reminded me of hikers I have encountered who have run out of water and have eagerly welcomed a refill. We’re all out there together and we need to watch out for each other.

In my truck are three different navigation devices and four to communicate with. Certainly not everyone should be expected to carry all that equipment. But it is equally certain that we should be ready to share the wealth with any decent person who needs it. Now that I think about it, when you print out a map, make two copies!

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