We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
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Wednesday, December 5. 2012
It's the time of year when people tend to make their travel plans for the next 12 months. If you are very nice and never naughty, Santa might put a trip in your stocking.
I vowed to finally get the Maggie's HQ basement renovated after our busted water pipe mess 2 years ago before taking another cool trip. A serious mess. We'll see. Plus we need to build a new tractor bridge at the Farm (new concrete footings, I-beams, etc). Plus it's time for a serious generator. But how's the economy doing out there in America? Oh, not so good, eh? Hmmm. And what's this about these new Obamacare taxes? Damn. I don't even want Obamacare. It is economically retarded. And kid's tuition went up again this year? Why? Income tax increases for all? Why, when I need that money to fix the farm bridge and my basement and to buy a generator from an American generator factory? Not to mention my freakin' dentist.
I have so many needs by which to redistribute my money usefully, but the gummint doesn't want me to redistribute my way. My way is for utility and value, and their way is for vote-buying. They have better ideas for my money, like Obamaphones and Solyndra and Government Motors - so much better ideas than my rebuilding my farm bridge by paying guys to do it so the machines and creatures can get to the upper field.
On the top of my to-go wish list right now is more time in Sicily (I'd maybe like to do some of it with bikes or horses); a grouse shoot at a castle in Scotland with Mr. and Mrs. Gwynnie; a villa or tenudo in Umbria for 10 days with pool and a cook and room for entire family and friends - and rental cars for all as if I were a big shot (not really very expensive to do); more time in Turkey along the Asia Minor coast, maybe by sailboat. Also, Israel but only for the ordinary Christian pilgrimage to the tourist traps. That can wait because I do not believe in sacred, holy places anyway and God is only in the heart. I do need to get back to Montana again soon, a place with horses and Grizzly Bears and maybe a sacred, holy trout stream. Also, those riverboat barge trips down the Rhone with the great French chefs and the wines. Would love to take the kids. I will hold off on Egypt for the moment - missed my chance for the Israel-Egypt combo last year. Dang Moslim lunatics interfere with travel plans, which does them no good at all but supposedly Allah likes it. Well, tourist Egypt had just become a tourist trap anyway so best to keep Allah happy and to stay away from Egypt now.
Such a big world, and so little time. A reader thought this joint sounded good (photo): Riad Knisa in Marrakesh. A fun trip might be to combine Barcelona, Mallorca, Morocco. Maybe Ibiza and do the hippy thing. Tunisia is interesting too, been there. Could do it all these wonderful places via high-speed ferry with a little sensible planning and a straw hat.
For me, a vacation means Go-Go-Hi-Ho, not sit - except in restaurants. I cannot sit on a beach for more than ten minutes. My theory is that you can relax, and catch up on TV, in the grave. I wonder whether our readers are making interesting plans for next year (other than routine travel like Florida or Cabo or Cape Cod, visiting colleges, romantic weekend getaways, hunting trips, family visits, summer houses, or ski trips and other boring things like that).
Carpe diem. My parents and in-laws always say that you have to do it now, before your hips and knees begin to ache.
What's on the top of your wish list for cool new adventures? Even if you cannot quite do it right now because of our horrible economy?
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A guy down the road just piles small rocks across the river for a tractor bridge.
Water runs through them, the tractor rides on them.
The guy has a steam shovel, however; so everything is a nail to him.
I have gotten so I hate plane travel. The TSA plus the cramped airline seats did it for me. Even when I have a good time, the trip back puts me in such a bad mood that it is all a waste of money.
My son takes the train across the country and says it's a blast, you just walk on, no "security". Full of neat people you get to know, including lots of TSA-haters and probably drug dealers, plus people who hate to fly. He says the food is excellent.
Hubby and me and the dogs generally drive; there are plenty of wonderful oddball places to go. Did an RV one year, and that was kind of magical, but usually stay in hotels.
First and foremost I would take the family to visit the in-laws in Thailand. I would seriously love to visit Israel. My next in line would be Alaska.
We have animals, so travel is tricky, but if I had the animal thing taken care of and the travel budget thing taken care of, then I'd love to do a country walk through rural UK somewhere. Just get up in the morning and walk to a new village. No luggage. My big adventure last year was becoming a beekeeper. Very exciting and we didn't have to leave the property.
Oh boy BD--did you walk into this one! So you want to go to MT do you? Fine. Just don't volunteer for anything--nada. Here is a link to an article about a new law that was passed in MT last year. At first it was only for volunteers working with kids in school programs. However, now it has expanded state wide to every volunteer for anything related to the government--schools, hospitals, senior centers, scouts, etc. Before I post the link I want to make sure your readers go all the way to the bottom. AND, I want to give you a not to surprising update from the horse's mouth. Those background checks are now returning info whether or not a volunteer has a "concealed carry permit". Not suppose to do that you protest Barrister ? Geez really? Why do you think the Chinese government in Seattle loves those lists so much? Here is the link:
"Even if you cannot do it right now?"
1. Get on my GoldWing and ride for about a month. Get to an intersection and decide which way to go when I get there. Bring my tent. Stay in motels. Go, ride, go...
2. Hike the AT for about a month. One week is too short. I'm too old for six months. I think that a month would be just about right. Springer Mountain to Damascus, VA maybe?
3. Buy a little diesel trawler. Head north with spring and go the Great Loop:
4. Take a cruise through the Strait of Magellan:
5. Rent an island for a month. An island with just one house. Probably in the Caribbean. Stock the cooler and no one else around for a month. No PHONE!
Two weeks in Zion NP hiking, followed by a week at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, then on to Mesa Verde for a week to 10 days. Not nearly as exotic as the Great Loop or Sicily but it is my standard spring schedule. Then on to Canada for a couple of weeks and up the Alcan highway to Alaska (hopefully no bridges out this year)
My road trips heading east from the California Sierra foothill town I call home always start with a Lamoille Canyon campsite in the Ruby Mountains near Elko. It is wonderful contrast from the vast and beautiful Nevada desert I cross to arrive there and is one of America's treasures.
For my next trip, I would like to take Hwy 93 past Jackpot (can't drive through here without Reckless Kelly's "Under the Table and Above the Sun" on the cd player), through Idaho and into Yellowstone National Park. From there, I want to keep heading north to Glacier National Park. Even that is not far enough north, up to Canada I will go through the Waterton part of the park and on to Banff. Can't miss Jasper national park being so close and all.
Then I'll backtrack a bit and go east across Canada toward Lake of the Woods area. I don't mind moseying off the track, that's what a wanderer's road trip is all about. It is also how my husband and I discovered that Williston, North Dakota is an amazing and lively oil boomtown when we decided on a whim to look at the confluence of the Yellowstone and Missouri Rivers a couple of years ago. We stumbled into Fort Buford where the gifted storytelling ranger-actor poignantly taught us that we were on the spot where Sitting Bull surrendered in 1881. Also,Roosevelt National Park, don't miss it.
Back to the future, from Lake of the Woods, I head through my heart's delight, northern Minnesota and my hometown of Duluth. After watching a few iron ore boats and salties pass through the canal under the aerial lift bridge, I will start my Great Lakes Circle route. Somehow, I want to include a side trip to Cooperstown in the autumn in this venture, it might take me a couple of years to include all the driving, hiking and sightseeing this trip is going to take. I've got my Honda Pilot which perfectly sleeps one or two, so my costs stay down. Camping is preferred, but I am grateful to Walmart for the free overnight sleeps when necessary.
The only thing I don't want to arrive at my house is a driverless Google car. I love my roadtrips through North America, it makes me feel so free!
I've been planning a winter trip to Alaska to view the northern lights, which should peak in 2013 in conjunction with solar activity. The solar cycle is about 11 years, and I don't want to wait until the next cycle peaks.
I also hate the TSA and cramped seats in commercial flying, so I am planning to take a ferry from Washington state to Alaska. Then driving from the coast to the interior.
But having just bought a 4WD pickup to make the drive, my budget is stetched pretty tight. With the posibility of increased taxes looming, I may have to put it off. My biggest tax exemption (dependent parents) went away last year, and I converted some investments to a Roth IRA so I got hammered on April 15th. I'm afraid that will happen again this year.
Travel: Denver (kiddo's home), flying or driving to kiddo's marathons all over the US, and visiting Wyoming just to stare at the light and the sky. I go to Maine regularly to recharge and paint.
Gator huntin'. Gotta get me a 'gator next year.
Then to my brother's ranch out in Wyoming for prong horn hunting - never shot me a prong horn.
Finish my rotary wing instructor qualifications.
I accidentally stumbled upon your site and was delighted by the premise.
After reading this post though I have to take issue that you are "...inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist..." because you mention "Obamaphones, Solyndra, and Government Motors".
With all due respect, you don't seem to have made the effort to research the facts before making judgement.
An example: What you call "Obamaphones" are actually cell phones distributed for emergency use. The basis for them dates back to FCC decisions made in the 1940's regarding land lines; cell phones were included under the Bush Jr., not Obama.
I'm moderate but am appalled by the use of disparaging remarks by disagreeing factions on any side. It's unproductive.
rhhardin, your neighbor sounds possessed by the same sensibility as my Dad was. He didn't own a steam shovel but did have "child labor". :o)
Thank you for allowing me to have a say. I hope my comments are taken in the spirit with which they are intended.