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Roads Less Traveled Lead to Surprising Scenery

Douglas Graham/Roll Call
A GPS software program called BaseCamp by Garmin aids users in plotting custom routes, allowing them to travel scenic back roads instead of main highways.

By taking the back roads, I passed the ruins of the Ebenezer Church near Emmitsburg, Md., and Sachs Covered Bridge in Adams County, Pa. The 100-foot, town truss bridge spanning Marsh Creek wasnt on my printed book map or in my GPS program. It is closed to vehicular traffic, so I guess it just doesnt get noted by mapping companies. I only found it because I took the time to drive the back roads.

When I compared my custom route against the main roads suggested by the GPS unit, the time difference was less than an hour. Of course, the discoveries I made along my path tempted me into pulling over and lingering, but isnt that the point?

I also determined that the back roads felt safer because they forced me to slow down not because it was pouring rain but because the area was so pretty and there was so much to see.

So this fall, before you head out the door for a day or weekend trip, take a moment to plot out a custom route. Then slow down and take the roads less traveled.

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