Tag: Road Trip

Hours of Transport

 

“What are men to rocks and mountains? Oh! what hours of transport we shall spend! And when we do return, it shall not be like other travellers, without being able to give one accurate idea of any thing. We will know where we have gone—we will recollect what we have seen. Lakes, mountains, and rivers, shall not be jumbled together in our imaginations; nor, when we attempt to describe any particular scene, will we begin quarreling about its relative situation. Let our first effusions be less insupportable than those of the generality of travellers.” – Elizabeth Bennet, in Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Let me attempt to describe the particular scenes we enjoyed on our recent journey from the flat, swampy terrain of southern Texas to the sandy shores of slower-lower (as the locals say) Delaware. The greater part of our first day was spent driving to Hot Springs, Arkansas. Arriving as the sun started sinking in the sky, we were rewarded with stunning views of Lake Hamilton from the road above. We opted to find a restaurant in the historic part of town and were again pleasantly surprised to find a delicious pizza at SQZBX, a place that showcases its origins as a piano store/repair shop. We learned that our friendly waitress was from Memphis, and she reminded us of the bridge closure that we’d have to navigate the next day. For breakfast, we found a diner that seemed popular with locals. We enjoyed the food, hearing the local accents, and taking in the lake view as we ate.

Almost Heaven

 

My more attractive, talented partner in marriage and myself were sitting around discussing what today’s social distancing hath wrought. And what to do about it. I had a stack of once-watched DVD’s on the table with Amadeus and Lawrence of Arabia on top — great films notable for their length. We both agreed that, in times of panic, go for the Directors’ Cuts.

But it just didn’t work. Is that all there is? So we arrived at the best (only?) solution for fearless, devil-may-care Americans. Road Trip!

High Plains Blizzard: Discontent on a Montana Highway

 

Move across the Great Plains in November and you are chancing sudden, serious winter weather. My parents did this twice in the 1970s with four young children. As we recall, the family dog was flown instead of sharing in the road trip both times. This was before hotels and motels catered to people with animals.

November 1977 found the Brown family convoying west from Fort Knox, KY, to Fort Lewis, WA. Dad had been reassigned from an Army hospital, commanded by a colonel, to an Army medical center, commanded by a one-star brigadier general. This was very good, as it meant he was moving into position to be promoted, as a clinician rather than administrator, from lieutenant colonel to colonel. What was not so good was the weather.

Our two-vehicle convoy’s make-up had been driven by family size and the oil crisis. When we had driven east, we rolled in Detroit steel. Then the oil crisis hit, and it was time to consider new vehicles. Dad got himself a Mercedes 240D. “D” is for diesel, the superior fuel economy and fuel price per mile choice at the time. Mom wanted something other than a station wagon around 1975, so she got Bessie the Bus, a VW with a bus shift lever linked to the four-on-the-floor transmission by a long wire. The engine was around 65-70 bhp.

Salt Lake City Meetup and Associated Adventures

 

A handful of us went to SpikeCon, a large science fiction convention in Layton, UT, and had a Ricochet Meetup after the convention. But there was a lot more to the trip than that. Since @katiekoppelman lives near us, she rode along with my wife (Sarah) and me. We caught up with others along the way. The first day was just straight driving from Fargo, ND, to Sheridan, WY. When we went to supper, we saw that Sheridan has a lot of western- and wildlife-themed sculptures along the downtown sidewalks. Since it was raining a little after we got out of the restaurant, we decided to take some time to tour the sculpture scene the next morning before hitting the road.

A Road Trip to Yesterday: Deciding to Go

 

Several months ago, virtually and out of the blue, I received an invitation to a reunion from a high school classmate with whom I did not graduate. It was quite unexpected (since I left after the 9th grade), but surprisingly enough, I found myself intrigued. It is not my custom to reopen closed chapters in my life, but in the months since receiving the invitation, I have warmed to the idea. Not in the least because such a journey would give me the opportunity to visit a place I never expected to see again. This place, in fact, is the genesis to two earlier posts of mine: The Great White-Out of Midway High and River Walk. Of course, there will be no river walk in summer. Alas.

There is a danger in the going, however. The image which I have, real or fantasy, may be lost or irrevocably altered. The rich and fertile ground of memory, perception, and impression that so indelibly mark my understanding of things – particularly my past – may be revealed as veneer, unsubstantiated, phony. To lose the mystery, to have it revealed or to be understood as something else entirely, could poison the well that feeds what remains of my imagination.

Story Hour with Bridget Phetasy is a segment where Bridget reminisces with cousin Maggie and tells stories explaining who she is and how she got here. Full transcript available here: WiW6-PhetasyOriginStory-Transcript

Bridget Phetasy shares the definition of the word Phetasy (a word she made up). The origin of the company, taking it on tour across country for 6 months, the eventual downfall of phetasy.com and the hope for its future resurrection. Along the way hear stories about a crazy ex-neighbor who thought Bridget was spying on her for Oliver Stone, how Bridget met her (now ex) husband from Belarus when he was working as a busboy, the “days of soup and toast”, and why attempting to cross the border into Canada with bundles of t-shirts wrapped in white plastic bags and duct tape is a bad idea.

Member Post

 

Uber has announced that, starting today, self-driving vehicles will be available to users of their service in San Francisco. My proposal: The IT department of ICE, with help from the NSA, should – “Stuxnet”-style – hack into Uber’s systems and create an “offer” of free transportation to anyone who can prove he is an illegal […]

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Member Post

 

I’m spending the night in Denver, Colorado. At the hotel my Mother picked out a Cannabis Tourism map, showing the local distributors, glass shops and pot related tourist destinations. It also included legal hints (It’s illegal to smoke pot from a balcony that’s visible to the public. Who knew?), and some advertising on the back. […]

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