A road by any other name would ride as sweet.
Most roads have numbers, but when you’re out riding look for the local names—Hawstone, Axeman, Ridge—the ones you need to ask for. Some of their names appear on the maps. Others are local designations with no real beginning or end, just a section of blacktop between here and there.
When I first started road tripping, there was a certain alchemy to finding your way. You asked your dad and his fishing buddies, or old guys at gas stations. In my case, they were one and the same. After a while, you wise up, keep a topo in the car, and hope for the best.
Now every spleen rattling mile of back road is on the Web—packaged neatly along with distances, estimated trip times, and recommended restaurants. If there was anything that ever sucked the fun out of being lost, it’s Google Maps—and the GPS chip in your phone. Throw them both away and enjoy the ride.