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Where in the World is Gumbo #17

1-2826About 35 years ago, William Least Heat-Moon published "Blue Highways," a journal of an extended road trip across America on the lesser roads, the ones that Rand McNally represented with a skinny blue line, visiting "those little towns that get on the map–if they get on at all–only because some cartographer has a blank space to fill: Remote, Oregon; Simplicity, Virginia; New Freedom, Pennsylvania; New Hope, Tennessee; Why, Arizona; Whynot, Mississippi."


Gumbo sometimes dreams of the blue highways, and sometimes, out there between Far Away and Nowhere, he stops the car to record the land around him, the nearly literally blue two-lane, the barren-but-fertile landscape and the lingering sense that something special is around the curve...around every curve.


So, can you identify where Gumbo stopped for this picture? Don't jump to conclusions quickly: It's not necessarily in North America, but it's not necessarily not.


Share your suggestions, hints and discussions with others by posting them here as comments...but if you absolutely know where it is....please give others a couple of days to work on it before you pounce. If the answer is burning your fingers, e-mail it to and we'll publish it Friday night...right or wrong!


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The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

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"Blue Highways" was a good read. Having traveled some of those roads both before and after the book was written I have seen that some of the places chronicled and pictured by Least Heat-Moon are gone. Others have changed. Roads have disappeared. This could be one of the roads he traveled.

That looks like a lonely highway out there.

Two other "road" books I've enjoyed...Where the Old Roads Go: Driving the First Federal Highways of the Northeast and The Old Roads of the Midwest. Both are by George Cantor, and suffer the same fate: Much of what he described in 1960 is gone 50-some years on.


I did a bit of road-dripping with Cantor open on the seat in the late 1960s.


Scary thought: It's 54 years since WTORG was published; 54 years before that, most of them didn't yet exist! The automobile age is both so old, and yet so new.

The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

We are obviously on a Warner Brothers back lot.  That's the RoadRunner of Cartoon fame, and Willie Coyote who is always outsmarted by his small rival.


So this obviously is the Los Angeles area.  You've photographed a bluescreen intended to look like nature.  I believe that behind that bluescreen is a brick wall.

Twitter: @DrFumblefinger

"We do not take a trip, a trip takes us".  John Steinbeck, from Travels with Charlie

I'm afraid you must have seen "The Truman Show" too many times!


That's Roadrunner and Wiley alright...but it's out in their natural habitat. The non-cartoon versions live here...and there are NO scheduled deliveries from Acme!

The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

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