M is for MAPS

                                                                   A – Z

I’m proud to be a part of a wonderful organization called the Writers of Kern. They are having a “Blog Challenge” and I’m participating. I’m writing my normal two blogs per week but challenging myself to be prompted by the alphabet. Hope you can read all twenty six from A-Z. For more good reading check out the Writers of Kern’s Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/groups/95572300558/


M is for MAPS

I’ve always loved maps. I’ve loved and used three different kinds of maps in my life.

Map #1
Triple A
I stated using AAA maps when I was seven years old. True.

Grandma Anna loved to travel. She didn’t have anyone to travel with. Occasionally one of her old maid friends (true) would accompany us, but I always was the navigator. The September before my 8th birthday Grandma brought a box of Triple A maps and guide books to my house. We sat at the kitchen table and planned the next summer’s vacation. She made me her navigator. Our first summer vacation (from my Indiana home) was two weeks in Florida. I devoured the travel guide books searching for sight-seeing opportunities, lodging and routing.

We did this every year (fall map & guide planning for the next summer’s trip) for the next nine years. The trips, after the first one, became three weeks every July. We drove through every state in the Union except California (Probably why I moved there…to see it). We saw the Mardi Gras (a rare February trip in my eighth grade year), the World’s Fair in Seattle, three weeks in Yellowstone, Niagara Falls, and everything in between.

I loved the Triple A maps and guide books.
Triple A map


Map #2
Thomas Brothers
I moved to California in 1981 and was a traveling salesman. I needed to know every street in California, Nevada and Hawaii. Thomas Brothers Guides were my best friends. I had a huge box of Thomas Guides in my van and I would pull out the county and/or city map of the locations I would be traveling for that particular week. At night, in my motel, I would study the streets and exits for my next day’s travels. I would write in my notebook, just like I did with Grandma Anna, every step, every street and every freeway exit. The passenger seat held my Thomas Guide, open to pages needed.

I loved my Thomas Guides.


Thomas Guide2 Thomas Guide

Map #3
Yep, I am a WAZER. If you aren’t one, get with it.

Now this is map fun I would have never fantasized when I was eight years old. Actually I wouldn’t have dreamed I’d be using a GPS system called Waze two years ago.

But…it’s so much fun!  I use it when I’m going to the grocery store. I use it when I’m going to my favorite restaurant. After all I have Morgan Freeman telling me when to turn and when I’ve reached my destination. It’s like “Driving Miss Daisy” and I’m Daisy!

I got rid of Arnold Schwarzenegger. Every time he would say “Turn Right” he added “I insist” in his belligerent tone. Got tired of him.  I then switched to a wonderful English nanny, Kate, and she was very proper with my instructions. So was the English gentleman named Simon.

If you’re puzzled by my GPS voice folks, let me explain. When you use WAZE (owned by google so it’s google maps they are using) you have a variety of voices to choose from.
On our last trip to the Bay area, Amy and I chose a “Boy Band” to give us directions…what a hoot!

It’s a great way to learn foreign languages. I’ve used Sofia speaking Italiano, Penelope speaking Spanish, and Mica speaking Deutsch.

I love my WAZE!
Waze Logo

The greatest thing about Waze is the warnings of policemen up ahead, road hazards, cars pulled to the side of the road, etc. And it is free.

They don’t call them Smartphones for nothing.

Whoops…excuse me, gotta go…Penelope just told me, “Dobla a la derecha.”

About bakoheat

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6 Responses to M is for MAPS

  1. Robert D. Levinson says:

    I loved my Thomas Guides too, especially when I was a field tech in the Tri-county area (Ventura, Santa Barbara, L.A.) Ventura’s beach faces south but our mind tells us west so we must adapt. You were a true “road warrior” covering the western region (Hawaii, really?) Loved those mileage checks.

  2. fiddlrts says:

    I grew up with a Thomas Guide. I studied it so long I can pretty much draw the Los Angeles freeway system from memory. (I don’t think my wife believed me until we started driving down there together) I also can draw the major grid streets from my native San Fernando Valley pretty well, 24 years after I left.

    Ditto for the AAA maps. I too navigated soon after I learned to read. I have had more difficulty embracing the GPS revolution. What I *really* want is an electronic map that I can manipulate with my mind. 🙂 Don’t give me directions, just show me the map and I’ll take it from there.

  3. heyannis says:

    Great post, Dan! I’m the navigator, too. But, I didn’t start early. In fact, my principal, when going over my test scores with my mom said, “You must never take her anywhere. She did terrible on map reading.”

    For years I’ve planned all road trips, in-state and cross-country, by car or on Big Red, my beloved motorcycle. Maps became my friend.

    Now I use WAZE, too. But I didn’t know about the voice changing. I’m going to get Morgan Freeman talking to me! Thanks! xoA

    • bakoheat says:

      Thanks for writing, Annis. Go into “My navigator” and click on “sound.” There are dozens of voices and dozens of languages. Morgan is acting the role in his new movie just released. He is the VP of the USA. He’ll let you know that, too.

  4. Jenny Estes says:

    My car doors are still full of AAA street maps, “just in case” my GPS craps out (which it does every couple of years). I live by GPS. Love it. Especially when working out of town. But I still have a hard time with Google Maps on my phone because every time I figure out how to use it, they change it.

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