The Double Cone Quarterly
Window to the Wilderness
Spring Equinox 2000 || Volume III, Number 1

Test your Topographic Know-how

Last Fall's somewhat expanded Map Mania puzzle drew a number of eager responses, but only one hardened trail veteran came up with all the right answers. Long hours spent pouring over countless dog-eared topo quads paid off for Mike Splain, who can now boast a copy of the Wilderness Act Handbook as part of his library. Good mapwork, Mike.

As you may recall, not only did we include the usual DEM and snippet in last quarter's Map Mania puzzle, but also a "jumble" of all the coastal streams of the northern Santa Lucia. This one took some work. For the correct answers, please scroll to the bottom of the page.

OK, here's the game: both graphics below correspond to actual places somewhere within the Northern Santa Lucia mountain range. The first one is a small snippet from one of the various USGS 7.5' topographic quads which cover the area. The second, larger, graphic is what is called a digital elevation map (DEM) which is essentially derived from the information on the 7.5' quads, only rendered in 3-D. The DEM in this case represents the majority of an entire 7.5' quad. Here's a big hint -- the location of the snippet is generally visible on the DEM and falls within that same 7.5' quad. And all the blue stuff in the foreground oughta give you some serious guidance as well.

Good luck!

Here's what we ask of you:

  • For the small topo snippet, identify the location of the segment any way you can.
  • For the larger DEM, name each of the watersheds that are designated by the numbers 1 through 3.
When you've got all this figured out, send your findings by email to  Gordon Johnson , with the first one to correctly identify all the locations being the Big Winner. So what's in it for the Big Winner, you query? Well, we just received a few more copies of the Wilderness Handbook, so the winner can expect one of these fine and super-informative booklets in the mailbox shortly after dominating the competition. So pull out all those dog-eared topos of yours and get to work!

OK, think you have it all figured out? Email your answers to Gordon at

And now, the answers to last fall's vexing Map Mania puzzle:

The Snippet: 

The 3-D DEM: Tassajara (Zig Zag Creek) 7.5' Quadrangle
  1. Tassajara Camp
  2. Willow Springs Camp
  3. Strawberry Valley Camp
  4. Tan Oak Camp

The Coastal Streams of the Northen Santa Lucia
in order from north to south:

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