The Sierra Nevada range is a vast, glacier-carved Shangri-La of outdoor recreation. Choosing a single place to visit amongst all that wilderness isn’t easy, especially when assigned to plan a weekend road trip from Las Vegas.
I like to think it is for trips exactly like this that Imus Geographics created its Sierra Nevada map. However, its pine needle precision and exceptionally coherent illustration suggest that these maps are probably best for framing. If John Muir needed a map, he would use this one.
Imus Geographics is a small, Eugene, OR-based company that makes maps. And man, do they make maps. The detail, quality and illustrated nuances of their work open up an area like no Rand McNally can. There is care in every topo line. For anyone who questions why I don’t carry a GPS (or even own one) I can confidently point to the work of Dave Imus, an artist/cartographer whose effort could never be replicated on a 3.5” screen.
The only drawback is that so much time and information goes in to creating an Imus map that he only has a few currently available. That doesn’t really matter, because by the time you’ve exhausted one, a new one will be ready.
I almost feel guilty allowing this thing to get a bit torn and flattened from use. Yet, the potential adventures it holds between its creases are just too great to leave compressed on a shelf. Since I bought it a few weeks ago, I have used it like many would a novel. I open it on a table and finger my way across one fantastic destination after the next, routing future weekends through the granite and Sequoia. I estimate distances and trace trails. “That’s where my tent should be. This road could get me there … ”
Maps just leave so much more open to the imagination than a satellite guided device packed with a timed, measured agenda. And what kind of adventure can you have without imagination?