This question is for Tom Carnegie, Steve Hughes, Dean Yoder, and anybody else who does or has done long trips.
Sitting here in my living room I can Google a satellite view of any potential route and zoom in for details. But I don't yet have the portable equipment do do that when I'm rolling down the road out in the wilds of Baca County. What kind of navigation tools have you found most satisfactory for finding your way in unfamiliar territory?
I've used Google Street view when choosing roads in FL. Some state highways are wonderful and some are surprisingly urban in areas that you'd not suspect. It's very useful to look around at an intersection to see landmarks so that when instructions are written, the landmarks are there to help. I've done several cross-Florida trips this way and found some wonderful roads as well as avoiding some awful ones.
A Florida (or any state) gazatter (SP?) magazine is almost priceless for locating and considering minor roads for a trip, too. We buy one for the state that we're touring in and if we see something interesting that's not on the route, we can take the road, knowing where it will "pop out" at.
I do not carry a GPS.
Many of the quiet 2 lane country roads, become busy during rush hours and may become more dangerous than the faster, multi-lane highways, as the cars build up behind you and are unable to pass if the oncoming traffic is heavy too, which can contribute to impatience, chance taking and road rage.
A slower multi-lane highway like many of the state highways can be safer with multi-lanes which allow the cars to safely pass you, but try to stay off of any road or highway during rush hours.
When on long drives it is always a good idea to affix flashers and a slow vehicle triangle, to the rear of your T that is easily visible by upcoming traffic so they are made aware of your presence in plenty of time to take precautionary action before running up your tailpipe.
With all the distractions modern day drivers have at their disposal such as cell phones, texting, surfing the web, console movies, adjusting the radio, choosing a CD to listen to, reading, applying makeup, eating breakfast, etc. a car going at 70mph can travel 1,027 feet (1/5 of a mile) in just 10 seconds of lost concentration and slam into you before they are aware of your presence, so you need as many visible warnings as possible that might catch their attention long before they get to you. Jim Patrick
I found the web page for the Gazetteer but not a place to buy one. Can you put in a link so I might get one.
or, Amazon with the State you want.
Talk to the guys at Texas A and T's. They went to Alaska in their T's. I will bet they used more of the farm to market roads went they left Texas.
I know what kind of roads I want, and what kind of safety measures and equipment are advisable. What I'm asking about is the best way of finding the kind of roads I want. The atlas & gazetteer is one method. Any other suggestions for methods and resources that can be taken in the car?
AAA Trip Tix, that is
Steve, Garmin has a downloadable program called "Basecamp" that you can run on your computer. that might be what your looking for. Here is what they say:
Use BaseCamp to plan your next hiking, biking, motorcycling, driving or off-roading trip. You can view maps, plan routes, and mark waypoints and tracks from your computer and then transfer them to your device.
Track Draw feature lets you trace your planned route and view elevation changes, helping you estimate the difficulty of a hike or bike ride.
Plan the perfect scenic route for your next road trip, making sure your navigator takes you through certain waypoints.
Play back your routes and tracks over time and save and share your adventure.
I have not tried it yet.. Fred
Steve, I used a program from Microsoft called "Streets Plus" that came with Office 97. I had all of my routes on secondary roads planned before I left. There were a few hitches. Near Scipio, UT, the road that was running parallel to I-15 just quit. I drove through cow pastures and farmer's fields until I found another road. Another time near Greensboro, NC, I think it was highway 29 dumped right onto I-15 into the left hand lane. I'll tell you, getting dumped into the "hammer" lane in 5 o'clock Greensboro rush hour traffic is not that much fun in a Model T.
Up to date maps is a crucial necessity; However, I don't know of any that include speed limit data for roads. Most of the state highways and farm roads in Texas are 60mph and up! Forget rural Interstates, they're 75-80mph. Or the recent nationally publicized state route 130 which has an 85mph speed limit.
Steve, I drove from Central Oregon to the Centennial Celebration and back in 08 and I used maps, and web sites and books for bicycling to get a general idea of a route and then I would stop and talk to the locals about the local roads. I usually tried to take their advice, also from where you are go west, to the east is where most of the people hang out. I was also surprised at how little public land there is east of the Rockies.
I don't have or use any of those new fangled gadgets. I carry good old road maps in my car. Not only in my T but my every day work car.
Steve you might want to try a STATE road atlas instead of a large national road atlas.
The state road atlas's are more detailed as far as the local farm to market roads and the detail is larger.
This is what we did a few years ago without the GPS or any floppy paper maps.
Believe it or not some of the 'roads less traveled' show up on the state road atlas's that were not on the national road atlases.
You have to be ready for anything travelling through new to you country. Garmen and VZ Navigator have run me up private lanes and to dead end roads that once were, and the Delorme books often have errors in the very rural roads. You need to be ready to back track and try it again with anything but a knowledgeable local guide.
Garmin has a download called Base Camp that lets you map your route with closeups of roads, i plotted a trip from E TN to lakewood,Wa. You can print it out or store it on an SD card in you GPS unit, and then there is AAA and trip-Tiks which you can do yourself online.
The biggest problem I have with non-highway boulevards is yellow traffic lights. In well over a century of automotive endeavor, we still don't know what to do when when the light turns yellow. C'mon, you know it's true.
The main drag in my neck of the woods is Jericho Turnpike which runs two lanes in both directions. That’s good, because I can use the “slow lane,” and for whomever my languid speed is insufficient, the passing lane is available. This works great right up to the point where the green traffic light turns yellow, at precisely the wrong moment. With insufficient power to accelerate and beat the red, and brakes that are barely adequate, there remains but a split-second interval in which to decide what to do—and hesitation will screw it up, but good.
Now, sometimes when the green light turns yellow, I make the wrong call and find myself committed to a screeching, rubber-peeling, panic stop, with the accompanying risk of getting rear-ended by an SUV driver possessed of the expectation that I’ll just kick in the afterburners and blast through the intersection like anyone else. Last time I employed that technique, my car came to rest with too much of its proboscis sticking out past the cross-walk and, courtesy of the texting, hat-backwards, amateur proctologist nuzzling at my oil-lamp, no room behind to back up.
I have Rocky Mountain brakes, and because they’re perfectly capable of locking up the rear wheels at any sane speed, they’re at least as powerful as the brakes on anybody else’s Model T Ford. So, if my braking capability diminishes sharply at speeds above 30 mph—which it does—that means 30 mph is the maximum speed ANY of us should be using when approaching a green traffic light (just my humble opinion). Even so, we all know that tooling along at perfectly legal 30 mph in a 40-mile zone, in a car that rides on wooden spokes and Schwinn-sized tires, and has negligible doors, no crumple zones, no collapsible steering column, no air-bags, shoulder harnesses or even bumpers, isn’t the safest possible thing we could be doing. The unavoidable truth is, there’s an element of danger associated with driving a car that was designed in the Brass-Era.
Back in the days when I could afford to fly airplanes, we dauntless knights of the wild blue would throw around the term, “risk management.” In those two simple words resided the acknowledgement that playing it 100% safe 100% of the time made for a life not worth living, and for a pilot to perish by means of slipping and falling in a bathtub would be ignominious in the extreme. The opinion of life-insurance companies notwithstanding, we intrepid airmen set about the business of setting down guidelines, official and otherwise, intended to allow us to slip the surly bonds with a reasonable expectation of reuniting, consciously, with loved ones that evening.
And so, in an effort to delude myself into believing that safety can be fun, I’ve made it part of the brass-motoring adventure to take out a Rand-McNally street map (which can be purchased at your local Staples) and pre-plan my excursions so as to make maximal use of back-roads. Stop signs, after all, are a good deal more friendly than traffic lights because following drivers know, more or less, what you’re going to do. When I occasionally pull over on these back-streets to let the guy behind pass by, he’ll likely as not also pull over so as to remain aft and, presumably, enjoy the view (I sure do wish there were more of this type on the big boulevards). Not surprisingly, I get lost a lot when taking the back-roads and that’s when 21st-Century, GPS technology proves to be quite compatible with Brass-Era motoring.
I suppose the best way to cover significant distances would be en masse, with an organized tour, but there’s not much of that going on in my immediate neck of the woods, so as a rule, I just grab a map, fire up the Garmin and strike out on my own.
When I travel around Minnesota in my modern car, I like to stop at the different county seats to find their official county map (free). The roads are easier to see and the tar roads are better marked. I also like to pick up their brochures to find out what I might be missing by just driving through.
Sometimes one county road can be accessed to another by just driving over a couple miles of gravel. I keep everything all together in one box.
Steve, your question to some extent is like asking how long is a piece of string.
There are so many different possible answers as it depends on where you are and where you are going.
As pointed out by those above a good map ( we use a Rand Mc Nally) and local knowledge are the main ones. If possible keep of interstates, but that being said often you have no choice but to use one.
Even a good road can be a problem. Especially in the summer as this is the time road work is done.
There can be a great two lane road with not much traffic and then you find one lane is blocked off for 10 miles and the other is still 55 MPH and you can't get off so in no time flat there is a line 2 miles long behind you with no way for you to let them pass.
Other times its a single lane road but there is double lines for miles so no one can get past and there is no way for you to get over to the right.
You just have to take it as it comes, depending on where you are you may or may not have any choice but to just drive the road.
A slow vehicle triangle is a great idea, and always ask the locals which may be the best alternative if more than one route is available, just remember they will have no idea that driving a Model T is "different" and may lead you up the garden path ( or up a steep mountain)
200 miles is an easy days run in most country, with daylight saving you could comfortably do 350 miles per day even with plenty of stops.
Obviously the weather can help or stop a good days run.
We always allow plenty of extra time to do a long trip so we have time to take it easy do detours and stop to check out things as we go.
If you are confident your car is in good shape just get in and go for it. You will be surprised how easily the T will get you there.
Peter. Everyone knows that the answer is Not long enough
Steve, I use the Maps app on my smart phone. I select bicycle route instead of car route and it usually uses the back roads. I have also done my trip at home on Google maps and then save it to "My Google Maps". It then becomes available to my smart phone while I drive.
Bob, I was taught to proceed through them until they turn pink. My mother's sense of humor at play here
There's only one true answer to your statement : "your question to some extent is like asking how long is a piece of string"
The answer : Twice the distance from the middle to the end !!
Ah Grasshopper, lesson for the day. ???? LOL
I think I know what your getting at and the only possible answer is local knowledge.
I have been on farm to market roads in Texas that you would think would be beautiful T roads, but turned out to have traffic that would scare a tank driver.
Yes, a tablet hooked to the cell network for internet access and google street view might give you what you want, but hard to use on the road and expensive for the connectivity.
If your going from a known point to a known point, a call to the local sheriffs office (cell phone if your on the road) might get you a sympathetic deputy who would suggest a route suitable for a 35 mph T.
One day I will ask our county commissioners to designate some "Model T thoroughfares". Any one can use them but non T drivers must be tolerant and wave and smile as they pass! Think oi will work? (not !) ;o)
When you can't find a deserted road to travel, a slow vehicle sign helps. For some odd reason, most people tend to be a little more tolerant if they see the triangle - its like your saying "I'm sorry, this is the best I can do".
If your state or destination designates them, you might want to consider "Rustic Roads". Here in WI we have numerous officially designated and numbered Rustic Roads that are lightly travelled and the speed limit is 45mph. Most of them are known for their scenic beauty as well.
Kevin's post above makes me want to move back to Wisconsin.
State road atlases sometimes leave out roads that can be found on county maps too. Even good roads that you can travel along at 45 or more. I see it a lot here in CA.
Last winter would make you want to stay in CA. Trust me! It lasted seven miserable months.
I'm not a long distance traveler yet. Most of my trips are 150 miles or less. But, I do plan routes for quite a few local tours. I use Google Earth to find cool looking roads that aren't familiar to me. Then, when I'm actually exploring them to plan the route, I simply bring my smart phone and use Google Maps to find any alternates that I might need.
I recently purchased a Garmin Nuvi and I'm pretty happy with the way it shows me direct routes to places. I think I'll bring it along when I find the time to take a really long trip just in case I need to find the shortest route to the nearest town. It's also pretty good at telling me how slow I'm driving.
Steave, I use AAA maps , DeLorme Atlas Gazetteer, MapSource, and a Garmin GPS
I used to chair local tours for our local car club and used County Maps that were available from regional state offices. These county maps were great and showed every small road but the wonderful world of the computer replaced that map. MapQuest is useable, but it takes me a lot or resizing and moving things around to find what I want. Also I like to do a handout with directions and some maps showing the route with arrow pointing the way.
Wide shoulders on some state roads are great and I encourage tour cars to use them and allow those fast cars to pass.
Google maps has a function that allows you to choose what method of transport you are using to travel to your destination. You can choose between walking, driving, public transport and bike. Selecting the bike option removes interstates and such from your results.
I've found some very nice back roads by just wandering around getting lost....sometimes on purpose and sometimes not.
It's kinda hard sometimes to get a feel from a map for what a road is like in the real world.
My wife and I have been in all 50 states and have gotten lost all over the country (we've always managed to find ourselves!)