As is often the case with me, I took my time enroute home from a cycling trip to the Virginia Creeper Trail yesterday, choosing to nearly double my travel time home by exploring two areas I'd never visited even though they're each right along a well-beaten path from Raleigh to Boone, NC. I had my brand-spanking new DeLorme NC Atlas & Gazetteer on board, as always, complete with much improved landscape resolution and more place-names. All in all, a nice piece of gear.
But, I headed down from the Blue Ridge Parkway at Aho Gap on Sampson Road only to find a quandary at an intersection. The state's/county's signposts, or lack of them, didn't help, but the DeLorme depiction of the intersection and which road was which was cluttered and difficult to comprehend. The signage which did exist did not fully match up with the road names on the DeLorme, either. After a few minutes, I could hear banjo music over the sound of my idling diesel, so I chose to head back up to the Parkway then north to Elk Creek Road instead. Not a complete fail, mind you, but a bit annoying to a map junkie like me. We did complete a long drive along Elk Creek, explored some campgrounds and cycle trails around W Kerr Scott Reservoir near Wilkesboro, and generally had a nice outing in the Blue Ridge and adjacent foothills.
Further down into the Piedmont, a fairly new reservoir and some bicycle rail-trails awaited our exploration, as we like to do a drive-by or two before loading up the cycles and dedicating a day to a new trail. The Randleman Dam and Randleman Regional Reservoir was our primary target. From prior map study, I knew it straddled US 220/I-73 between Greensboro and Randleman, so I didn't bother to even open my DeLorme to the correct page before arriving at the Level Cross exit. A "boating access" sign was present assuring I'd reached the right place. While pulled over at the top of the ramp, I opened my DeLorme to decide just where on the lake to go to and was astounded to find the lake ISN'T ON THE MAP! This is no farm pond, but instead is a +3,000 acre impoundment over 15 miles in length. Construction on the dam was started in 2004 and the basin was flooded in 2007. Plans were to open the lake to recreational use in 2009 but budget and other problems delayed its opening to March 2010.
The new DeLorme NC volume is Ninth Edition, copyright 2010, so I guess I can give them a pass to one degree or another on the complete absence of the lake and the dozen or more truncated roads its construction provided. The dang thing was full of water by 2007, however, and county roads forever altered by then, so would hope a feature of its size and regional/local significance would appear on a map whether it's open to the public or not.
Obviously not a life-or-death issue like the reliance solely on GPS in the case of the Canadian couple in Nevada in the recent news, but not what I expected from DeLorme, either.
Be prepared, RoadTrippers!