Mississippi River Exploration
June 2008

E x t r a    C o m m e n t a r y
Thanks for taking an extra couple of minutes to read this.

The Navigator and I depend on the Delorme Street Atlas software for routing the trip ahead of time and then to keep us on track once we're underway. Believe it or not, one of the hardest tasks on these trips, sometimes, is finding a place to park and setup the camper overnight. In the past I've sung the praises of Flying J truck stops and Wal*Mart as places to stay. The problem has always been finding one or the other. I've got directories for Flying J and Wal*Mart. But trying to coordinate their locations with our route is a hassle.

For some time I have wondered if there were overlays for the Delome maps that would pinpoint the locations of Flying J and Wal*Mart. I asked around on several Internet forums without success. Then, in early May, BINGO. Found what I was looking for. To give you an idea of how this works, here's the standard Delorme map of the USA:

Here's the same map with the Flying J truck stops marked via an overlay:

And here's the map with all the Wal*Marts marked:            WOW!

And, when you zoom in on the map, here's what you see. This is near La Salle, IL, part of our route from South Carolina to Lake Itasca. The yellow line is our route. And there, thanks to the Flying J overlay, is where we'll stay the night.

These overlays are very helpful. Makes day planning a whole lot easier.

Here's the site that supplied the overlays. If you scroll down to Flying J, you'll see the overlay is maintained by halberstadt@mindspring.com. I was very excited about the overlay and sent an email of thanks. In return I learned the maintainer's name is Bill Halberstadt and he and his wife Annette also take driving trips. However, their trips put anything The Navigator and I have ever done or will do to shame. Visit their blog and check out their adventures in Guatemala, Belize and Mexico. Wow!

Bill also works on the overlays for Wal*Mart and Sam's Club. Bill, thank you again for the overlays. You've made these trips a whole lot more enjoyable.

I spend some of my time on the Internet visiting FreeRepublic.com, a conservative website. An emergency room nurse, who goes by the screen name 60Gunner, occasionally posts stories there about his adventures. All of his stories are written very well. Some will make you laugh, some will make you cry, but all of the stories are very interesting and informative. His stories.

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