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Posts tagged: travel

Subset of a road ramble…

Good morning, Netizens…

My beloved spouse and I often participate in what I colloquially call “rambles”, which consist of simply wandering all over the countryside for the single purpose of spending some time with one another as far away from our combined responsibilities as possible. On rare occasions, however, we sometimes combine our responsibilities with long trips, and this last weekend we managed to do so.

First it was my wife’s birthday, and then it was a long series of pictures that needed to be taken for my wife’s work. We returned home after 349 miles of nearly non-stop driving, but along the jagged pathway from Spokane to Cragmont, we stumbled on the Town of Juliaetta, Idaho, which really isn’t that far off the beaten path. I immediately remembered one of several conversations MartyH and I had about the Clearwater and took this picture of the town sign.

The only surprise we got was that the fall colors haven’t really begun in that area, but the town was still cute in its own way. We drove into Cragmont, Idaho, which last week was the scene of a tornado being sighted, but we saw neither funnel nor much wildlife. Thanks to my unswerving navigator, we only managed to get lost a few times, but quickly figured our way back onto the main highway.


Revisiting the distant past…

 Good morning, Netizens…

There is something special about waking up before the dawn. It is a harbinger of old times, nearly forgotten, when I used to wake up in a sleeper before dawn and crawl behind the wheel of an over-the-road tractor trailer to drive another 14-16 hours. A few years ago, I drove a rental car to Nebraska from Spokane, and rediscovered a small truck stop I once loved East of Torrington, Wyoming just across the Nebraska State Line. It looked exactly the same as it did twenty-some years ago; the food was just as delicious. The only difference was that instead of driving another 14 hours, after breakfast, I went to sleep and let my wife take over the driving. Hours later, I awoke facing the Penis of the Plains, AKA the State Capitol Building in Lincoln. That, too, is another story. One tends to collect such things after driving long-haul trucks, then revisiting the distant past. 


An Act of Kindness…

Good morning, Netizens…

(PHOTO CREDIT) Dean Germeyer’s “shiny shoes” sparked a conversation between the Chicago businessman and 79-year-old Elsie Clark during a flight from Dallas to O’Hare. When Germeyer heard Clark was stranded at the airport, he helped her out.
(Jean Lachat/Sun-Times/CBC)

Dean Germeyer could have done what others were doing, and ignore a 79 year-old handicapped Canadian woman in a wheelchair who was emotionally-exhausted and broke. However he did not.

Clark’s nightmare journey home from a visit with her daughter in Texas began in the morning of Dec. 30, when a careless porter pushed her to the wrong gate at Dallas/Fort Worth airport.

Suffering from a bad hip and unable to move her wheelchair, she missed her flight and was placed on a weather-delayed connecting flight to Chicago instead.

The pair struck up a fast friendship on the plane and Germeyer offered to help Clark make her connecting flight once they landed.

“She’s a very sharp, entertaining lady,” Germeyer said.

But though they rushed across O’Hare, the last flight to Winnipeg had gone. United staff offered her a discount on a hotel room she still couldn’t afford.

“I’m on a fixed income,” she said, “I’d have to have slept at the airport.”

Instead, Dean Germeyer, 43, took Clark home to his wife, fed her, took her on a guided tour of the city, put her up in a classy downtown hotel and arranged for a car to take her to the airport in the morning.

After a supper of quiche at his upper-end Streeterville condo, Germeyer took her to see a view of the Chicago’s skyline from Lake Shore Drive and to the base of the Hancock tower, from where she took a dizzying glimpse up at the stars.

When he dropped her off at the Affinia hotel and told her not to worry about the bill, Clark ended a tearful day with one last sob.

He could have ignored her, but instead showed her compassion and graciousness seldom seen in our hectic world of today.From the “little people” of Spokane, Washington, we need to find and deeply thank this man, for he is a person of stature.


Marty Hibbs checks in from Europe…

Good afternoon, Netizens…

Just as I returned to the office, I received the following message from MHibbs, who is traveling throughout portions of Eastern Europe:

Finally over the jet lag and have found a reliable net cafe…  Taking lots of photos and storing up tales for when I return.  Lithuania is this weekend.  I may have net access there.  Dunno for sure.  See ya in a couple of weeks.

It has been decades since I wandered around Europe, but then I was both young enough and fearless enough (spell that stupid if you must) to travel most of Europe astride a Triumph Bonneville motorcycle. Although I didn’t acquire any bruises during my sojourn, I did manage to get totally lost one time and had to sleep in a ditch a time or two.

But I’ll wager that Marty isn’t doing anything like that. I have read (and heard) some disturbing reports about the failing economy in Eastern Europe, including from a person who hails from that region. I can hardly wait for Marty’s sake return and with it, a lot of excellent tales and good pictures of his travels.



The shorter trip…

Good evening, Netizens…

It is obvious Spring is drawing close upon us. If not the obscenely-raucous hordes of robins in my front yard, then it has to be the appearance of what I term utterly illiterate Comcast outsourced sales people needing a shave and a haircut, one of whom came to my door this week. They, of all signs of Spring appearing in the Pacific Northwest, annually ignore the large sign posted on the front of the house that says DO NOT DISTURB. That sign seems to work for all the other mentally feather weight sales people who are trying to sell everything from windows to insurance. Most literate, sensible people read the sign, which is right by the doorbell, and wisely decide to leave without touching the button. Even Mormon missionaries and other religious affiliations can read.

Comcast, however, cannot read or, at least have indicated they do not care what I want. After I verbally removed the obligatory half-inch of flesh from the Hippy-looking dude using less than three conjunctions, he left, only to encounter Foghorn, who removed yet another inch of his hide, brandishing her yard rake in his face. After his third attempt when Mr. Igor, who also has a sign, asked if he had anyone in his family who could read, the poor itinerant salesman skipped our block in search of better pastures. Yes, I do believe Spring is here now.

Normally when Spring arrives, one of the first things on my personal agenda is to go ride a good sorrel mare I know into the Alpine pastures between Hunters and Springdale and check out a friend’s spring calves. There is no one there but me, a gentle horse and lots of white-faced calves drifting around the pasture, the youngest which occasionally pause for mid-air refueling when the mood strikes their fancies.

However, after reading the New York Times Online, I am semi-seriously contemplating taking a tour of historic places in Iraq before I saddle up my horse. At the following URL it seems tourism has come to Iraq. Yes, you heard me right. Tourism in Iraq.

It seems a British citizen has formed a tour company that travels to ancient places in Iraq nearly all of which hail before the time of Christ. On second thought, after reading the disclaimers on the web site, perhaps I’m better off hiding in a high meadow on the back of a good horse.


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