Finding Your Way
Since I was a kid, I’ve had a fascination with maps. I could pore over them for hours. I love driving vacations, and before I take any trip I study all the routes, all the possible side roads to see if getting off the interstate is doable, and then hit all the little town chamber of commerce sites to see what they think I ought to stop for. I’m not regimented about the trip, I just want to know what’s out there.
Some 15 years ago, my grandpa and I took a trip through the Southwest, not really heading anywhere. It was a summer I was in college, and he wanted someone to drive him through his old haunts. For some reason we got off of I-10 in western New Mexico on a day we were headed for Tombstone. As the sun started to set we found ourselves on a dirt road in the middle of nowhere with not a town in sight – not even a house.
Back then we were just working off the AAA Maps my aunt, who worked there, sent us. We were driving his pickup (By we I mean I’d let him drive some once we got on the dirt since he was going blind and I couldn’t let him on the interstate), and I didn’t get nervous until it really started to get dark. I remember the relief of cresting a hill and seeing the lights of Tombstone below. A night in the desert appealed to neither of us, even with the camper on the truck. If you look on Google Earth you can see the one dirt road heading east out of Tombstone – which has to be the one we were on. If you follow it you’ll see just how lonely a road it is.
Anyway, back to the point – maps. I don’t know much about them as an investment, but obviously there’s some value, and I think they’re really better than photographs on the wall for reminding you of places you’ve been and loved. Here’s some links to map sellers for historic Arkansas ones. I’ve got an 1874 Arkansas map myself:
And of course, Ebay.