Miscellaneous map-related mutterings.

The map of Pennsylvania I ordered last month showed up a few days ago, but I just got around to looking at it. This is the first map I've ordered in months that describes a state I've never been to, so it's probably more important that this one be informative. And boy, is it informative. The road map takes up an entire side of the map (I suppose it helps that Pennsylania is basically one big rectangle, so it fits a rectangular map well.) and shows an impressive amount of detail. It's the reverse side of the map that really informs; there are charts listing every state park (with contact information and available facilities), every state forest (ditto), and all the important websites (does Pennsylvania think I have a web browser installed in my Dodge Neon?) This map contains so much information (that I'll never use) that it's almost funny.

Even funnier ("strange", not "ha ha") is the fact that I received a packet of tourism information from New Mexico today. I didn't order anything from New Mexico because they didn't offer road maps. What's going on here? Did one of the other states tip them off that I'm collecting maps? Have the various state transportation departments decided to teach me a lesson and bombard me with unsolicited information? Is somebody in New Mexico trying just a little too hard to encourage visitors? Did I black out and order a tourism packet from New Mexico without realizing it? Why does this stuff only happen to me?

As it turns out, the official Guide to New Mexico does include a tear-out map, but it's small, and it's on that annoying glossy magazine stock that just doesn't have the cool roadtrip ambiance of real fold-out road map. All in all, the map's appearance is as disappointing as its delivery is mysterious.

Next map? I was going to try New Jersey, where my brother lives, but they don't seem to have free maps, either. Damn cheap states don't want to give me my useless free maps anymore. So I ordered a map of New York. It's close to New Jersey, right?

Posted at 11:41:11 PM EDT on 17 June 2004 from Trenton, MI