My Craziest Geo-Oddity Adventure Ever

On August 5, 2012 · 5 Comments

The adventure will have ended by the time you read this. I’m writing this several days ahead of time since I will be returning home when my WordPress software automatically posts this. I suspect I’ll also be dog-tired.

This whole crazy thing started almost exactly a year ago. Steve Wood, the author of the amazing Connecticut Museum Quest — so good I read every article even though I don’t live anywhere near Connecticut — organized a charity auction to benefit the Smith-Magenis Research Foundation. He wanted to bounce an idea off of me. What would be the approximate value, he wondered, of an Extreme Connecticut Geography Tour. He would serve as a personal tour guide for a dawn-to-dark adventure of statewide geo-oddities accompanied by a constant stream of Connecticut trivia from someone who understands every pertinent fact worth knowning. Priceless I thought, absolutely priceless.

He didn’t figure (seeing how I lived several states away) that I might actually bid on the item and bid rather aggressively. I did. I didn’t figure that my bid in absentia, my already outrageous prearranged maximum would be exceeded. It was, and I lost the auction fair-and-square. I’m grateful that the winning bidder allowed me to tag along on the adventure, with both of our bids going to charity. It’s a scary value that I don’t even want to contemplate although it certainly contributed well towards a decent charitable deduction on my 2011 Federal income taxes. Priceless in fact does have a price.

Nicely played Mr. Wood, nicely played.

It wasn’t easy finding the perfect date for our adventure. In addition to personal summertime plans, we had to find a way to match it with the tides. No, it’s not some weird astrology thing, it’s because one portion of the journey involves a boat ride to an island that can happen only within proximity of a high tide. That’s one of the reasons why this is an extreme geo-tour. Ordinary tourists wouldn’t care. We beg to differ.

All the stars aligned for Saturday, August 4th, and thus we set the date. Steve worked out an agenda and placed it on his website, prompting someone to comment: "are you sure they weren’t bidding on NOT having to do this?" This is hardcore geo-nerd stuff, not for the faint of heart. This is like the Bizarre Foods guy except for geography. Go check out that page and weep in jealousy.

View Extreme Connecticut Geography Tour in a larger map

This is approximately how things should work if it everything happen perfectly. The plan envolves around 350 miles of driving, 10 miles of hiking, plus a ferry ride resulting an all-day nutmeg geo-oddity adventure. Connecticut is sometimes called the Nutmeg State. See how I worked that into the article?

Does anyone want to place bets on whether we executed the plan as expected? I guess we’ll find out soon enough, which is an odd thing to say because in reality it’s already happened. Or not.

I’m hoping to be able to contriube a small number of additional oddities along the general route, time and interest dependent of course. We’ll pass right by the Connecticut road stolen by New York, fairly close to the smallest Indian reservation and within spitting distance of a significant lat/long confluence (42°N 72°W). Ironically the initial topic of shared interest that brought me to CTMQ nearly four years ago won’t be included on the agenda: The Southwick Jog. Steve and I were both itching to visit the Southwick Jog but we can’t make it happen. Take a look at the route map and you’ll understand. It’s completely inconvenient to the overall layout of other geo-oddities.

It looks like I’ll be driving or riding for a little more than a thousand miles this weekend. This includes numerous hours along the most horrible road imaginable within the United States as I travel to Connecticut and return home: Interstate 95. It’s still worth every moment of inconvenience on either end. This is the Extreme Connecticut Geo-Tour! Like I need to explain that. My wife, she thinks I’m nuts, but I know the logic will be readily apparent to most everyone in the 12MC audience. Right? (… cue: chirping crickets in the background).

I suspect I’ll return with huge quantities of photos and video footage. In fair warning, understand that the next two or three articles will be extremely Connecticut-centric. Steve will probably post something before I do. It should form the basis of a nice compare-and-contrast between our two sites.

Let the adventure begin. Or end. Or something.

UPDATE: Success! I’m back home again safely and resting. The only spot we bypassed was the CTMARI tripoint We simply ran out of daylight.

Other articles in this series:

On August 5, 2012 · 5 Comments

5 Responses to “My Craziest Geo-Oddity Adventure Ever”

  1. Craig says:

    I made it to your tour map and let out a whooping “Whoa!” of awe and jealousy. Very nice!

  2. Peter says:

    The next time you have a day off you ought to make up for the omission by leading a “Take Back the Southwick Jog” protest march.

  3. Jon P says:

    Make sure to visit the CT/MA/RI tripoint sometime – it’s only about a mile hike and follows an old railroad right of way.

    • That was part of the original plan. We would have done it too except we were running out of daylight and running out of energy. We were probably at about Hour 15 when we started heading back.

  4. Steve says:

    Not just any ol’ railroad right of way, but the site of the Great East Thompson Train Crash – which is a crazy story.

    Tri-point with a link to the train crash page

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