Mapping Challenges

Saturday, July 18, 2020

I know, it’s tiring to read again of the trials and tribulations in my mapping project at Horse Butte National Forest. Laying out a horse trail became a preoccupation, it repeatedly returned me to the forest with horses and dogs, and lately, has had me learning to use a cell phone program that can track a horse and map its route. By now, the trail-identifying and electronic mapping might be done, for my cell phone clearly shows a route that appears correct. It has points that ought to be superimposed onto a printed map of the Forest.

A really-good printed map of Horse Butte Forest is hard to find. Today’s header photo is an example, it shows little beyond an area title. I went searching for my old map collection, left untouched for years. It consists of maps from when I began riding horseback in Oregon and searched for identifiable safe trails in public lands. All my Central Oregon Public Lands maps show Horse Butte National Forest, briefly and as a truncated area. Another challenge is to superimpose my recorded trail points onto one of the area maps scarce of terrain details. But, it’ll be a start toward something-more, whatever that may be.

It’s how a step-by-step process of learning works, and the journey is long. This project like others, began with an idea of identifying a horse trail, and wishing for a hard-copy map of that trail. Between that beginning and an upcoming ending were many searches. I’ve sought appropriate terrains with existing trails, tried ways of recording points over a meandering five-miles, and finally, sought help to identify helpful electronic tools and understand their uses.

Gradually my little single-chapter impulse has become a Medusa-like project. It has forced new branches of planning and learning. The next step, of achieving some kind of hard-copy map, certainly will force new branches. It’ what learning is about…we take an idea, make one step, then find a reason to take another, and so on, until eventually, on reaching a logical conclusion we have acquired new knowledge.

Dear Friends: This day won’t include horseback riding, it’ll be of creating a hard-copy map. Diana

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