Cartography

Posted by Ken Campbell March 31, 2011 0 Comment 801 views

Do you ever look at maps? I don’t mean do you consult a map from time to time to figure out where you’re going, I mean do you ever just unfold a map onto the table and look at it? A map of a place you’ve never been and may or may not ever visit? Do you ever look at the curve of the coastline and wonder what the beach looks like? Do you wonder what you would see if you took that dirt road into the mountains, that skinny red line on the map that winds through the canyons and climbs the hills as it travels deeper into the wild?
Are maps art, to your way of thinking? Would you hang one on your wall? In these days when people are more likely to use their Tom-Tom or GPS, or simply Google directions to their destinations, do you even look at maps at all?
I look at maps all the time. I have hung them on my wall. They are art and science in the most perfect utilitarian package. Maps hold as many questions as answers and from the time it is first consulted, a map becomes as much a source of dreams as it does information.
I was looking at charts yesterday that covered much of the Chilean coast south from Chiloe to the Taitao peninsula. I traced the coastline and measured the crossings with my finger, paddling a route in my mind that I will likely never take in person. It was once a plan of mine to go there, to take a couple months and kayak among the glaciers and inlets of the southern archipelago but time turned that plan into more of a hope. I hoped I would go, at some point. Now that trip to Chile has reverted to being a dream again. The reverse of what is supposed to happen.
I still have the charts though, and they still set my mind to wandering.

About Ken Campbell

View all post by Ken Campbell

New Release


A story of sea kayaking and science on the rugged coast of Alaska. Coming – Spring 2014.

Follow Us On Instagram

Follow me on Instagram

Blog Archives