Tuesday, December 18, 2007 at 4:09 PM
This Friday, I'm packing up the car and taking my pooch, Oscar, along for the ride over the river and through the woods to Portland, Oregon. And I'm picking up my cousin Lily on the way in Colusa, California. The entire trip should take a good 10 hours or so from my home in San Francisco. Luckily, I've got all sorts of mapping tools at my disposal that should help make my trip relatively hassle-free.
The first thing I did to prepare for the trek was create a map using tools in the My Maps tab. I did a quick search for directions from San Francisco to Colusa, then clicked the "Add destination" link at the bottom of the directions to find a route to Portland. Next, I clicked over to the My Maps tab and created a new map, entitled "To grandmother's house we go!" From there, I selected the GasBuddy gas station prices mapplet that I found in the Google Maps directory to find the cheapest pumps on my route. I scanned the markers around the halfway point of my trip where I knew I'd be needing to fill up, and found a great deal at a Medford, Oregon station. I made sure to save the marker to my personal map.
Now, I know what you're thinking: with Oscar in the car, we're going to need to make one more bathroom stop between the gas station and Portland. I decided to consult the directory again to see if there were any parks along the way and came across a fantastic mapplet pinpointing parks in Eugene, Oregon.
And what's a road trip without stopping for snacks? I did a search for fast food near Eugene and discovered a Wendy's mere miles from our park of choice.
If all goes according to plan, we should be arriving in Portland just in time for dessert. I decided to do a quick scan for bakeries near granny's house to pick up something for the family. I came across a place called Papa Haydn that had received high marks from Maps users. I might even have GOOG-411 connect me to the restaurant so I can have the pie waiting for me when I get there.
You can check out my completed map here. Now, the only thing standing between me and grandma now is that nasty holiday traffic, but you can bet I'll be enabling the traffic overlay in Google Maps before I hit the road.