On The Expansion And Contraction Of The Home Range

Today, I found myself traveling to an area that I was slightly familiar with about ten years ago, and which I will have cause to make monthly visits, at least for a year or so, more than likely. In traveling here, I went through areas that I have had little cause to visit for some time, but which were at least well-marked and therefore not difficult to navigate in. The signage along the route along with my native sense of direction allowed me to take a different route to and from the place, stop for dinner, and avoid getting lost even in the dark in relatively unfamiliar ground. It also allowed me to ponder what aspects make an area more or less familar.

When it comes to areas that I know well enough to be on my home territory, that sort of ground exists several miles or so around where I live, and not particularly far in any direction, except along those roads that I use more or less frequently to get places, especially highways. By and large, I was traveling along highways that I was at least somewhat familiar, even if the roads had changed a bit since I was on them, and I was able to travel on bypasses through most of the cities, to speed along the trip.

How does one differentiate between ranges that one is familiar with. Some years ago, I worked at the same location but lived in a different location and would regularly vary the route I took to and from work based on the traffic patterns, thus determining four or five different routes that I was very familiar with between Hillsboro and the area of Beaverton close to Tigard. When I was last driving in that area on a regular basis, a high school was being built, along with some apartment housing, which has only continued in that area, and I drove along one of the several routes that I had been familiar with before but had not driven for some time.

As one might imagine, working close to home often tends to contract one’s home range as one has less distance to drive and so one remains closer to home and less familiar with the larger road network further away. Yet at the same time it does not take a great deal of time to become at least somewhat familiar with a network of roads that can be quite distant from home. To some extent this happens with interstates, US Highways, state highways, or even the odd local road that ends up being an important connector route. We will see which routes end up being the most common during rush hour, given the general business of much of the route that is close to Portland, at least.

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
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