Sometimes explorers need new routes to get to familiar places.
Dust whirled in the rear view mirror as my vehicle traveled an unfamiliar gravel road. I was headed back from a day of hiking in the Ferne Clyffe back-country. My GPS guided the way and I noticed some roads that I had never been on before.
The expanded view on the screen showed that the road would come out on a side road I knew well. Just last week I come up with the quote above while hiking and thought that I might follow my own advice.
The gravel road was not in the best of shape. Potholes kept me on edge. The road started to curve downhill. I was surprised to see a part of the Shawnee National Forest that I did not know existed.
A horseshoe bluff loomed over a shallow valley. The area was small and the bluffs were not as spectacular as Giant City, but it reminded me that even though I have laced up my boots for many miles of hiking, there were still hidden locations waiting to be explored.
So as I go forward I will look for those back roads not traveled and find out if they can expand my range of exploration.
This article originally appeared on this website on March 18, 2010.