Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘road trips’

“The greatest reward and luxury of travel is to be able to experience everyday things as if for the first time, to be in a position in which almost nothing is so familiar it is taken for granted.” — Bill Bryson

leaving at dawn

Nothing is better than setting out on a road trip at dawn. — Photo by Pat Bean

The Blow Out
When I posted my last blog, I said stay tuned for the details of my upcoming road trip to Texas. I had planned to post along the journey. But you know what they say about the best laid plans of mice and men.
I was distracted, too busy having too many wonderful moments, and too undisciplined to follow through. But I’m back now with lots to tell you over the next few posts. We’ll start with my first day on the road.

IMG_4129

Rocks became the dominant landscape as I pass through Texas Canyon about 65 miles east of Tucson. — Photo by Pat Bean

While I love back roads, the only way to Texas from Tucson, without adding too many extra miles and time is Interstate 10. But since it had been a while since I had been alone on a road trip, I enjoyed even the passing scenery of cacti and mesquite trees.
I didn’t listen to music or even an audible book this first day, simply happy to think of Willie Nelson singing “Back on the Road Again,” and hearing Dr. Seuss say “Oh the things you will see…”, and stopping every 75 miles, to walk around a bit to untangle the kinks of sitting. The pattern worked as I stayed comfortable, well almost, the entire drive.
My destination was Van Horn, Texas, which was 438 miles from Tucson and the halfway point of my first stop in San Antonio. Since I had left early in the morning, I expected to arrive at my two-star –that’s all there is in Van Horn — hotel around 4 p.m., or 2 p.m. Tucson time, which would give me plenty of time to rest up and have a leisurely dinner.
All was going well until I was 10 miles east of Las Cruces and my left, rear tire blew out. I was going 70 mph but was easily able to get to the side of the busy highway, where I sat for a moment or two thinking “What in the hell do I do now?” Then my brain kicked in, and I called my insurance company, which gave me the number for roadside assistance, for which I generously pay them.
I got a quick response, but even quicker were a New Mexico Highway Patrol woman, a county sheriff’s deputy, and a Border Patrol guy, who all pulled up in separate cars around me. I told them I had roadside assistance, but they said they wanted to get me quickly back on the road.
Since the semis roaring past shook my car every time they went by, their kindness was greatly appreciated. They pulled off my shredded tire, put on the spare donut, then gave me directions to the nearest Discount Tire back in Las Cruces.
I called to cancel the roadside assistance, but 10 minutes later, as I was renearing Las Cruces, I got a call from the roadside assistance guy saying he couldn’t find my car. I apologized, and said I had left the scene of the incident.
It took a bit of time to get a new tire put on, but finally, my pockets $155 lighter, I was back on the road. I made it to Van Horn by 8 p.m. and had a fast food burger for dinner. Even so, it had been a wonderful day.
Bean Pat: In Diane’s Kitchen https://indianeskitchen.com/2018/07/27/old-fashion-blueberry-grunt/#like-26686 I’m getting ready to go to the store and I am going to buy blueberries.
Pat Bean is a Lonely Planet Community Pathfinder. Her book, Travels with Maggie, is now up on Amazon at http://tinyurl.com/y8z7553y Currently, she is writing a book, tentatively titled Bird Droppings, which is about her late-bloomer birding adventures. You can contact her at patbean@msn.com

Read Full Post »

Quotes from my Journal

A good road trip includes plenty of time to stop and smell the flowers along the way. — Watercolor by Pat Bean

“The starting point of discovering who you are, your gifts, your talents, your dreams, is being comfortable with yourself. Spend time alone. Write in a journal. Take long walks in the woods.” Robin S. Sharma

One That Gave Me a New Dream

I love quotes, which is why each chapter in my soon to be published, Travels with Maggie, starts off with one about travel. Quotes also generously weave their way through my journals. Occasionally I’ll come across one that leaves me wondering what I was thinking when I wrote it, because it has little meaning for me this second time around. Others that I come across, are as significant to my life today as they were the first time around.

Here are a few that I think worth repeating:

“Hell, there are no rules here – we’re trying to accomplish something.” – Thomas Edison

“Eighty percent of success is showing up.” – Woody Allen

“There are so many ways to lose your life besides dying.” – Mark Jenkins

“Oh, godddamit, we forgot the silent prayer!” – Dwight Eisenhower (This one simply because it made me laugh.)

“Happiness isn’t getting what you want, it’s wanting what you have.” – Garth Brooks

“Afoot and light-hearted, I take to the open road, healthy, free, the world before me … leading wherever I choose.” – Walt Whitman

And plenty of time to bird watch as well. — Anhinga watercolor by Pat Bean

That last was my life for nine years, and maybe it will be once again. A road trip is

brewing in my little gray cells. A good long one to celebrate my 80th birthday in two years.

I need to step foot in my 50th state. The only one I haven’t visited. And it’s not Alaska or Hawaii. It’s little old Rhode Island, which I missed because I stayed too late up north the year I was just 20 miles from its border. I had to scamper south to escape a storm and cold weather. The more northern RV parks had already closed for the winter.

My initial thoughts for my proposed road trip to Rhode Island are that I travel no more than 300 miles a day, then sit out a day. I can write a book about it and call it Travels with Pepper, a sequel to my soon-to-be-published Travels with Maggie.

It’s a round trip of just over 5,000 miles from Tucson – I just looked the mileage up. But I take back roads and side-trips, so add at least another 1,000 miles. I figure it will take at least two months to do a leisurely loop to there and back, a southern route going and a northern route returning.

Now I have two years to figure out how to finance it, and where to stay along the way. I spent five years planning my nine-year, gallivanting RV days to make my dreams come true. Planning this road trip should be a piece of cake – and darn fun as well.

People need dreams. I’m glad I have a new one.

Bean Pat: Twenty Minutes a Day http://tinyurl.com/l26vy2x One of my favorite bloggers, and I love this Fort Worth museum. I think the portraits featured in the blog are great fodder for writers. Each face tells a story.

Read Full Post »

“There is something in October sets the gypsy blood astir. We must rise and follow her. When from every hill of flame, she calls and calls each vagabond by name.” — William Bliss Carman

Autumn color in my son Lewis' Texas Gulf Coast front yard. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Autumn color in my son Lewis’ Texas Gulf Coast front yard. — Photo by Pat Bean

            “Listen! The wind is rising, and the air is wild with leaves. We have had our summer evenings, now for October eves!” – Humbert Wolfe

Road Trip Fever

            October is my favorite month of the year. I thought about this while I drank my cream-laced coffee this morning and looked out over the Catalina Foothills from my third-floor balcony.

I slept in until after seven, and so the sun had already crept down the mountain, bathing Mount Lemon and the valley with a warm glow while a brisk October breeze brought the feel and scent of desert freshness, after two days of on and off again showers, to my body and nose. It felt and smelled delicious. From my viewpoint, the valley was dominated by a rustling green sea of tree tops, their verdant hues enhanced by the monsoon rains that visit the Sonoran Desert.

And the color of October in Maine's Scarborough Marsh.  -- Photo by Pat Bean

And the color of October in Maine’s Scarborough Marsh. — Photo by Pat Bean

 

But elsewhere, in higher climes, the aspen trees are turning golden, the maple leaves are burning with fire, and the forests are wearing coats woven of lemon yellows, apple reds, pumpkin oranges and plum purples.

Such splendor calls to my heart. I especially want to see the sun-illuminated glow of aspen leaves as they wink to me in the wind. I’ve got road fever.

So o-dark-hundred tomorrow, I am heading to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon on a route that will take me through some of this country’s most scenic landscapes, which hopefully will be lit up with the colors of autumn.

It will just be me and my canine companion, Pepper. And that’s my favorite way to travel. I’ll tell you all about my trip in upcoming blogs. So stay tuned.

Blog pick of the Day. Check it out.

Blog pick of the Day. Check it out.

Bean Pat: Dreaming in all the right ways http://tinyurl.com/ph982gs Give somebody a hug today, for me.

Read Full Post »

 “A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike. And all plans, safeguards, policing, and coercion are fruitless. We find that after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us.” – John Steinbeck

 

The 121-mile trip from Fairbanks to Denali National Park, followed by an 85-mile bus drive on the Park Road in view of Mt. McKinley is considered a classic road trip by "TravelBudget" magazine. -- Photo by Nic McPhee/Wikipedia

Travels With Maggie

 
I’ve been pouring over maps this past week, in anticipation of getting back on the road after spending the summer as a campground host here at Lake Walcott in Southern Idaho. It’s been a great summer, surrounded by Mother Nature’s gifts and away from this year’s awful Texas heat, where Maggie and I spend our winters.

But the wanderlust in my soul will ease the pain of leaving this serene setting.
The route I’ve planned for my dawdling 3,200-mile return trip will take me to Oregon to meet a new friend and to learn about self-publishing. From there I’ll travel down through Nevada and into California and Yosemite National Park, where I’ve never been.

 
Avoiding interstates as much as possible, I’ll then wind my way to Tucson, Arizona, to spend a week with my youngest daughter, and to sneak in some birdwatching. All too soon, however, I will have to be on the road again, traveling into New Mexico before dropping down to the Texas Gulf Coast so as to arrive there in time for a grandson’s wedding.

It’s an ambitious trip, requiring me to average 300 miles on the road during traveling days, which is twice as far as I prefer. It will take almost $1,000 to keep my RV, Gypsy Lee, fed during the journey, requiring me to sit somewhere for two months to balance the budget, maybe even three given how the cost of everything, not just gas, seems to be on the rise.

 
One of the hot topics of travel articles this summer has been places to visit on one tank of gas. For example, the most recent issue of “BudgetTravel” magazine features an article entitled “One Tank Escapes for 7 Cities.” That kind of thinking meant we had many area Idahoans vacationing at the park this year instead of going elsewhere.

 

Mt. McKinley from the Wonder Lake viewpoint. What a magnificent road trip it was to get here.

But this same issue of the magazine includes a piece on “5 Classic American Drives” that would take travelers far afield.

 
One of these was the 121-mile drive from Fairbanks, Alaska, to Denali National Park, where one catches a bus ($43) to drive another 85 miles to Wonder Lake. You’ve probably seen the lake many times. It’s a photographers favorite as it reflects Mt. McKinley when circumstances are right

.
I made this drive back in 1999. Circumstances weren’t right. McKinley gave us only a very quick view during our day-long bus trip. It took twice as long as usual as our bus broke down twice and finally had to be replaced halfway through our journey, which required us to wait a good long while before continuing on the journey.

Since a sack lunch was all I had taken with me, I was quite famished when we got back to the park headquarters, but all the grizzlies, foxes, birds (my favorite was a gyrfalcon) made the trip well worth it and one I would repeat in a heartbeat given the opportunity.

While I did get pictures of McKinley and Wonder Lake with the mountain’s reflection, they were not very good shots. Certainly not as good as the one of the road and mountain accompanying the “TravelBudget” article. This photo I noted was actually one from Wikipedia, which means I can share it with you, along with another free-use one of the mountain reflected in Wonder Lake.

Now we can all dream about upcoming road trips together.

Read Full Post »