We downloaded several apps for our Very Spatial Road Trip that were recommended by friends, online reviews, and VerySpatial podcasts. Since she was acting as navigator, Barbara insisted on stopping at AAA and picking up a stack of paper maps for back up. We found that there is no better crucible for road testing a travel app than a lengthy trip into the unknown under sometimes stressful and time imperative conditions. We felt like the explorers in Dava Sobel‘s book “Longitude” who were sent to sea with new technologies that we hoped would live up to their claims. It wasn’t until after our trip that we heard more honest opinions on the strengths and weaknesses of the apps we packed. A friend, who is a global traveler, told us that it is good travel etiquette to leave our own input on any crowd-sourced apps as our “payment” for using it and to “pass it on” to other travelers. In that spirit, we have written a review of the apps that we used on our road trip from WV to CA.
Sorry for the long delay between the post for day 4 and day 5. Like most travelogues, not everything goes as smoothly as anticipated and documentation gets overridden by circumstances. Then, we got distracted by the ESRI User’s Conference and then by all the stuff we didn’t get done back home because of the Road Trip and the User’s Conference. But we’re back at it and have lots more to report!
One of the really interesting things about driving across the US is that distances seem to get longer when you go West. They’re not any longer, obviously, but there does seem to be more ‘openness’ between places. As a colleague of Frank’s said, “After Kansas City, there’s a whole lot of nothin”. Luckily, we found that axiom to be deceptively both true and false.
Day 3 we started in St. Louis. The night before we found this great restaurant called Annie Gun’s through Yelp, a smart phone app that can find great food and accommodations along your way . Yelp can really knock it out of the park and has so far on this trip, not least is the example of Annie Gun’s. That restaurant got a near perfect score on Yelp and we can see why. I had one of the all time top 5 sandwiches I ever had there. Unfortunately for us, this place is jumping even on a Sunday night, so we had to order to go. That’s ok, because we ended up in a nice conversation at the bar with some locals. Funny enough, the conversation started because the gentleman mentioned Thurmond WV and we said we just came from around that area. Turns out he is going next week down to that area to work communications for the National Boy Scout Jamboree taking place around the New River Gorge area this summer. His coworker was excited to talk about the great things to see and do around St.Louis and other customers chimed in with their own comments on the area and its culture. Moral of the story is this: don’t be afraid to engage people on a long Road Trip. They can be very nice and turns out the world can be a lot smaller than you think. Continue reading
Transportation is a huge part of the history and geography of the US. Trips like our own Road Trip have a long tradition in the US for both recreation and for commerce. None of that would be possible without the growth of the automobile.
Day 2 we hit some fantastic spots around St. Louis. Hit the link below to find out more!
We started off the day bright and early leaving Morgantown at 7am on our route south toward Bluefield, WV. We loaded down our car with lots of good treats, some spare undies, and lots of VerySpatial swag to hand out along the way. We gave our cats some last minute pats on the head, made sure the sitter had enough cat toys for the time we’d be gone, and we were off on A VerySpatial Road Trip across the US!
We’re here in lovely St. Louis in the middle of day 2 of our VerySpatial Road trip. Barb and I have been fortunate enough to have clear roads and (mostly) clear skies on the trip so far. We’ve traveled from Morgantown WV to the New River Gorge, down to Bluefield WV, and back up to Huntington WV. We then went on through Lexington Kentucky and stayed the night in Louisville. Today we rolled into St. Louis at a tad past noon. We’ve taken loads of pictures, lots of video, and been fortunate to talk to lots of people along the way.
So why am I dancing around all that and not getting a proper post updated? Well, the one thing that hasn’t been great for us has been…. Internet (First World Problems! Curses!!!) I’ve got a temporary connect for a brief update. We have loads more to post and it will be up there really soon, we promise. We called ahead and our hotel in Kansas is going to have wired Internet, so we should be golden. Look for a big update tomorrow with pictures and a long discussion of the great stuff we saw in WV, KY, and MO.
Let me leave you with one sneak peek of what we’ve found – Me at the stunning Kemp Mercedes Museum! Yep, that’s 5 exceptionally rare Mercedes you see behind me and that doesn’t even count the half dozen to left and half dozen to the right found in this room!
More to come!
We’re getting all the bits and pieces together for our VerySpatial Road Trip out west. We’ll be taking a direct (ish) route out, stopping in the great states of Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, New Mexico, and finally to California. Ok, so not Oregon and hopefully no dysentery 🙂 If you want to see the route, check out this Google Map! Don’t forget to follow our path with daily blog posts, Tweets, Videos, Instagrams, Photos, Yelps, and any other method we can think to show you our trip. Don’t be afraid to comment, email, Tweet, or any other method you chose back to us for places we should see along the way!
Howdy everyone! We’re beginning the hard planning push for A Very Spatial Road Trip: Across the US! Barb and I are excited to take our road trip across the US on our way to the ESRI User’s Conference. We’ve got our big virtual paper map with our big virtual ‘paper’ pins and we’re ready to stick’em in the board. We’ll be taking videos, photos, and journal logs along the way and updating the road trip as we go so you can chart our progress. We’ll want to hit exciting and interesting stops along the way and we want you, dear listeners/readers, to give us suggestions. We’ve already been invited to visit a GIS shop in Oklahoma City! If you have any good ideas for places we should see, whether it be a natural wonder, a local point of interest, a decent bar-bq joint (shhhh! don’t tell Barb, but the sub-subtitle to our journey is a Bar-BQ Bash Across America) or your GIS shop, then either email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or post a comment to any posts titled: A Very Spatial Road Trip.
We’re off in just under a month, so get those suggestions in. We look forward to seeing you America!
Image courtesy of the Library of Congress Photo Collection