Fire Cloud...
An irregular marking on the exterior of Native American pottery: usually resulting from burning fuel coming in direct contact with the vessel during firing

Friday, 18 January 2008

On The Road

Venice, Italy

Mrs. Phred landed in Venice about 3am this morning, Eastern Standard Time. This is the first time she’s left me alone when I wasn’t working. She sent some pictures.

I hope to have an agenda put together for our next trip by the time she returns. I’d like to plan where we are going on the eight-month trip that will begin March 2nd, but not when we will be there. Louisiana, Arkansas, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Mexico, Canada, California, Washington, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, New York...

We looked at some homes this year, but decided that if we want to travel eight months and spend four months in a tennis RV resort in Sarasota, a home makes very little sense right now.

The geology of new places is fascinating: lakes, sink holes, hot springs, glaciers, moraines, mountains, rivers, calderas, bayous, fumaroles, beaches, deserts. The wildlife is a bonus: bison, deer, seals, orcas, javelinas, goats, antelope, eagles, bear, moose, wild horses and wild burros...

What really seals it are the people you meet on the road:
- A state park ranger who breeds albino corn snakes for fun and profit.
- A blue-eyed Mormon mechanic who tells you about his mission to Chicago while he drills out a battery cable.
- A fat ugly biker in leathers with a poetry book in his back pocket who tells you about the local National parks.
- An 80 year-old couple with a 40-foot motor home who spend all their time fishing.
- A meth freak who is working on the high steel of Las Vegas’ highest building. He resents the press that the Indians get for being high steel workers.
- A Nevada cop who busts us for not wearing helmets. He is amused by Grandma and Grandpa on the motorcycle and lets us go after serious questioning and a license and registration check.
- A policeman in Mesilla, New Mexico who cruises the ancient square and makes the sign of the cross each time he passes the church.
- Earl, the 86 year old bicyclist, heading to Miami from LA in the south texas desert.

But it’s not just the people or the geography. The history is also interesting. You learn about things like:
- Cochise’s mountain stronghold.
- Poncho Villas last incursion into the US.
- Jefferson’s home.
- The Presidential libraries.
- Where Lee surrendered.
- The Alamo.
- Dealy Plaza in Dallas.
- Billy the Kid’s jailbreak location.

Then there are the works of man:
- The magnificent architecture of Chicago
- The Edmonton mall and indoor water park
- The blown away properties in Mississippi and New Orleans
- A tractor museum on South Dakota Interstate.
- The Route 66 museum in Oklahoma.
- The Very Large Array radio telescopes in New Mexico.

And you can find things to do on the road:
- Hiking
- Kayaking in the ice fields
- Scuba diving
- Fishing for salmon and halibut
- Tennis on municipal courts
- Museums
- A zydeco band in Louisiana

Anyway...that’s the plan...2008 will be another travel year.

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