I've browsed your site for about a year off and on, and have read Patriots, and am just starting Survivors. Great work I must say, keep up the good work!
My question for you is one I've tickled in my mind since heading to a camping trip this last summer. While we were driving, and I was mindlessly staring out the side window, I noticed the large power grid high tension lines. (you know the ones I'm talking about with the large steel towers, holding a dozen or so lines high above the earth). I had a day dream while watching them about bugging out on foot, and I was following them to our bug out location, which is quite near where we were going camping.
What started out as a small day dream actually got me thinking that following the right-pf-ways for these transmission lines wouldn't be a bad way to Get Out of Dodge (G.O.O.D.) on foot, since they're off the beaten path, and are easily mapped, using Google maps/earth. The only problems I foresee with using them as G.O.O.D. routes are that they are somewhat exposed, as the ground below them is often well trimmed (though this could be an advantage for faster movement to G.O.O.D. quicker), and that they can and do, span locations that are not easily traversed on foot, such as rivers and crevasses.
I browsed your site and did not see any information on the power grid (though admittedly your archives are huge and I wouldn't be surprised if I missed anything) with respect to getting out of Dodge. I live in the northern Seattle metro area, and planning G.O.O.D. routes is a nightmare, but following the power grid lines appears to be a relatively good option for me, as they ironically to run close to two of my bugout locations.
What are you or your reader's thoughts on following these power grid lines, good or bad, and do you happen to know of any resources that would have an actual map of them, as opposed to using Google maps? Or do you have any other ideas that I may have not thought of, such as utilizing storm drains? They were mentioned in your novel Patriots.
Thank you for your time Mr. Rawles. - Jesse
JWR Replies: Depending on the locale, most high tension lines pass over private property, using easements. This would make following the lines dicey, at best. I generally wouldn't recommend it. (This could be a great way to run into confrontation after confrontation.) But to be ready for a true "worst case' where roads are impassable, I suppose it would be wise to at least map out these routes. Google Earth can be a handy tool for doing so, particularly in forested areas, where the swaths of cleared trees for the power lines stand out distinctly.