Saturday, July 18, 2009

Grandpa's Arapeen Offroad Trail System

Without knowing it I was one of the early visitors to the Utah Arapeen Offroad Trail System when I stayed during the summer with my grandparents - before either it or ATV's were even "invented." [For a free Google Earth file of this route see: Arapeen Trail System]

Grandpa Allred, it turns out, also without realizing it, constructed and improved most of the roads for the trails during his years working for the USFS on the Manti-La Sal forest.

I'm surprised that it's taken me this long to get around to adding this trail system to Offroading Home. Actually I've been attempting the effort for a couple of years, ever since I got a pamphlet about what they had done.

The problem has been the accuracy of the data. You see when you overlay the map with actual satellite photos they don't match. Even when I manually coded specific coordinates they didn't fit.

Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was there first.”
Samuel Clemmens- Mark Twain

The current web is also very confusing. Few names, all posting the same "not-quite-accurate" forest service maps and some attempting to make money by actually selling things produced by the state and intended to be at not cost to the public.

BUT, despite all that, the effort is underway with the first seven major Arapeen trails already now integrated into my "Utah Trails - Central Region" KML map available on the Offroading Home web site: And it works great in Google Earth.

I've even added the eleven "official" USFS geo-waypoints which were reportedly only grudgingly added by the service after arguments that the users of the maps weren't the completely illiterate boobs in their use as they seem to think we all are. They, I am told, fear that "people just get confused by the data" and "might get lost." The staging and camping spots are also there.

Wander on over to the the web site when you're done reading this, then on down to the trails to see grandpa's forest. I can just hear his voice: "put that in the garbage sack...", "get rocks around that fire..." and "keep on the trail, you yahoo."


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