Search the back of your vehicle, and I am guessing that somewhere, either under the driver's seat or wayyy in the back or in the trunk, you will find one of the true testaments that make a Mainer. It measures 11.5 by 15 inches. It is the iconic Maine Atlas and Gazetteer. It's 96 pages long and full of adventure. Yours probably is pretty beaten up with coffee spills and other stains of a well-traveled Mainer. Many of the pages are ripped, and you've probably scotch or duct-taped it together a few times. I know a few of you have ripped part of the back cover off to start a campfire.  You see, back in the day, before Google Maps, back in 2005, we used to have to use PAPER MAPS to get around our great state. And the Maine Atlas and Gazetteer was pretty much "standard issue" starting in the mid-1970s.  And guess what? Even though all our cars are wired to satellites and GPS, you can still BUY the Gazetteer! 

Maine Atlas and Gazetteer

The Gazetteer is put out by the Swiss company Garmin, who bought Yarmouth's  Delorme Maps back in 2016. Thankfully Garmin continued to produce the Atlas. I did not know that you can get them for any of the 50 states. The Maine Gazetteer is actually BETTER than GPS devices, as it shows a lot of the logging and camp roads that your GPS can't find. If you're heading off the main roads in Maine, you better have a Gazetter with you just in case!

Here's a great song to show Maine's love for the Gazetteer by Troy R. Bennett. The lyrics to this instant classic say it all:

I don't care how many satellites are whizzing ‘round in space
All them high-tech gizmos can never take its place
It's a thing that shows us just who and where we are
And it's waiting for adventure in the back of every car

Keep your hands off my Gazetteer
Keep your hands off my Gazetteer
Ain't no doubt about it, I'd be lost without it
Keep your Hands off my Gazetteer

 

 

 

 

 

LOOK: See the iconic cars that debuted the year you were born

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