On the Road is a weekday feature spotlighting reader photo submissions.
From the exotic to the familiar, whether you’re traveling or in your own backyard, we would love to see the world through your eyes.
We’re trying a new feature here, so let’s see how it goes for the next week or so before it’s fully automated.
This post is for Balloon Juicers who are on the road, travelling, etc. and wish to share notes, links, pictures, stories, etc. from their escapades. As the US mainland begins the end of the Earth day as we measure it, many of us rise to read about our friends and their transient locales.
So, please, speak up and share some of your adventures, observations, and sights as you explore, no matter where you are.
Have at ’em, and have a safe day of travels!
Quinerly still blows. M x 4 not so much now that he’s back.
As I type this I am sitting at the gate of Malta airport, waiting for the plane back to Vienna. I spent the last two days at a meeting organised by the presidency of the EU, which is held by Malta.
Fun days. Valletta is definitely worth a visit, the fortifications and th churches are impressive.
Alain the site fixer
@otmar: I’ve always wanted to visit Malta; I’ve been pretty much over it,but haven’t yet had the pleasure. Travel well!
@otmar: I just read an article about underground Malta. Being a caver I found it fascinating. They have been digging there for centuries.
Malta’s secret tunnels: inside the newly discovered underworld of Valletta
They even have a facebook page: Malta Underground
I have no idea what is on there as I am not a part of the book of faces.
Off to Ocala, Florida, this weekend for the Antique Auto Club of America National Winter Meet, held on Saturday at the College of Central Florida. It’s free, so if you’re in the area, stop by. I’ll be the guy in the Driver Participation Class (DPC) with the 1988 Pontiac 6000 Safari station wagon.
@Mustang Bobby: 1988 is antique now? What’s that make us superannuated Juicers?
Gin & Tonic
If I manage to post in this thread tomorrow, it will be from Big Sky, Montana. Here’s hoping for good snow.
Happy Friday from the funky little Cameron Trading Post, Restaurant,Bar,and Motel just 30 miles from the Desert View entrance of the Grand Canyon’South Rim. If you are looking for us we are in one of the great Poco friendly rooms in the “Hopi Building,” where we will be until 3/1. Really hated to leave Winslow’s La Posada yesterday. Ate my third meal there in less than 18 hours for breakfast..a beautiful and yummy baked egg dish on polenta with cheese, spinach, tomatoes, peppers. Checked out all the activity on that famous Winslow corner as we were leaving town. Nice chat with an older father/son driving Rt 66 from CA to St. Louis. Father was an old CA hippie and I would have loved to hang around longer but I did stay long enough to get my picture made with the corner and also leaning on the shiny red flatbed Ford parked there doing my best come hither look after a night of red wine drinking and train watching with Poco. We scooted from town heading north on RT 87 and a bit east on 264 (then backtracked west on 264)checking out the remote Hopi mesas and traditional villages along the way. Beautiful drive that turns a 100 mile mostly interstate trip into almost 200 miles. Stopped in at the Second Mesa’s Hopi Cultural Center and Restaurant and had the best fry bread of perhaps all trips. Rolled into Cameron exhausted and too overwhelmed to make our first Grand Canyon sunset. Love the accommodations. Highly recommend. Seems to be a lot of young hiking type couples and internationals here. Have a great day! Thanks for all your comments and interest….even you, Ozark!?
@Quinerly: How’d your “date” with the Park Ranger go?
Got the truck and airstream officially inspected yesterday. Only needed a new spare tire and an emergency break away hitch for the airstream.
Today is packing day. Loading up the truck and airstream and planning on leaving tomorrow evening for points South and West. Florida first, to see the mother in law and sister. Then headed out west to Tucson and beyond. Perhaps even Mexico?
Welcoming any and all road stories, (particularly survival tips when traveling with toddlers!) and interesting destinations. If there are any mountain bikers out there, that is also a big part of our plan.
Here is our setup. In case you spot us somewhere, drop by to say howdy!
@Quinerly: I am not usually awake for this thread in real time, but it’s been fun to follow your travels with Poco. I hope you’ll share some pictures at some point.
@BellyCat: Looks like the commo rigs we had on ur duece-and-a-halfs.
Heading to Chapel Hill and Raleigh today (traveling from the SE NC hinterlands) to visit the two spawn (/ht Suzanne). (One at UNC one at NCSU) Hope to see John Wick 2…and maybe eat a decent meal. I usually go for some kind of Asian fare…as our little burg just has chinese.
It was fantastic. Thought I mentioned that off duty park ranger Ed also tagged along with John and me on the two total 3 hour hikes in Jasper Forest and Blue Mesa. Ed is a retired geologist who has lived all over, now settled in Wyoming (hates all things Cheney). He got to impress me with his $5 fancy geological words with every thing we picked up and looked at. Highly suggest the Petrified Forest/Painted Desert…getting off the overlooks and walking the “trails.” Needed more than 5 hours total. Both these rangers were fantastic. A very memorable birthday indeed. In related news, did you hear about that James Beard nominated dinner I had later in The Turquoise Room at La Posada? Dating a duo of park rangers by day makes for a hungry Quinerly at night…crispy fried quail, elk medallions, and deer/bison enchiladas with exotic sauces and coulis managed to satiate me….and oh, the prickly pear margaritas and sangria….
Will try to do. I warn you, when you are a middle aged woman who travels alone, it’s mostly pics of the dog refusing to stand still or of rocks. Actually, probably a good thing…and food…I take a lot of pictures of food (and drink.)? Thanks for piping in. Have a wonderful day!
@raven: @raven: Yup. Scored off an ex-marine who buys military stuff at auction, then resells it. This thing was probably made for the Persian Gulf mischief or maybe dedicated for National Guard? It’s made to fit in a pickup bed, unlike the newer, wider, ones made for humvees.
It’s incredibly well made (our tax dollars at work!), insulated, waterproof, and with stainless or cast aluminum components. And the triple door is like a bank vault. The only non-rustproof items are the lift rings.
I get a lot of comments on it and tell folks (who turn their nose up at the military-nature of it) that if they believe in recycling, just think of it as 3 million recycled soda/beer cans! That generally gets a chuckle.
@BellyCat: Yea, looks like a Military-s250-shelter. Hell, I still wear my hooded parka that I brought home from Korea almost 50 years ago!
Mustang Bobby, have fun at the auto show! I’d love to be there with my 1953 Pontiac Chieftain. Hope it’s a good turnout.
I am actually away from home as well. I am from Dayton, Ohio and I’m currently teaching a rug hooking workshop in Logan, Utah. It’s my first visit to Utah and it’s a beautiful place. We got about three inches of snow since I arrived and may get more. I’m hoping I can still fly out of here on Sunday!
@BellyCat: When I was growing up, every year my parents took the family on 2-4 week camping trips . The family consisted of 4 (later 5 than 6) children, and cramming that many kids into the back of a station wagon led to many fights and bickering and “He touched me!”s and “She’s sitting on my side of the seat!”s. One way my mother combated these inevitable outbreaks of sibling warfare was to hang a…. drape of pockets over the front seat and in each pocket was placed some toy or book or whatever to distract and keep each child occupied for at least part of the day. On the shorter trips, we got something new every day, on the longer trips we had to content ourselves with every other day. It helped.
Having our own inviolable space was a really big deal and my parents enforced it.
With my own sons, I started taking them on long trips when they were 3 and 5, just me and them in a p/u cab. When ever they got to arguing or the inevitable fistfights, I made them sit on their hands for 5 mins or so. By the end of it they’d have forgotten what they were fighting about and were the best of friends again.
Oh, and sometimes I’d put myself in timeout too.
@raven: At least some Made In ‘Murica items are incredibly well-made and not constructed for planned-obsolescence!
BTW: Your photo explains why I feel this incredible urge to peel my shirt off when working around it. ;-)
@OzarkHillbilly: Great tips! So, survival is perhaps possible? :-)
My mother used to simply pull-over by the side of the highway when me and my two sisters made mischief while traveling. Our fighting quickly just turned into interminable complaining about who was to blame and things just re-escalated from there. So, not a terrific (or very safe!) strategery on Mom’s part.
Luckily, we’ve got but one spawn, so no sibling fist-fights — boredom, however, will be our challenge since kiddo NEVER sits still. Thinking of just logging big miles at night, while he and MommaCat sleep. (And, golly-gee, I might not even mind a few minutes of peaceful quietude of my own then!?!?)
@otmar: Did you meet any Buttigiegs?
@Quinerly: Geologists are great to hang out with when walking damn near anywhere. Probably why I use to do so much of it (still do from time to time but a way back when it was nearly every wkend).
Elk…. Has to be some of the best damned eating I’ve ever had. Got picked up hitchhiking thru the mountains of WY by a rough bunch in an old panel van (they had all done time for one thing or another, the driver had just gotten out of Leavenworth for murder, they were all funny as fuck tho). Pulled into a gas station, sitting in the back when all of a sudden somebody is banging on the side of the van screaming how they were gonna kill everybody in it. They all piled out in less than a second (I remained in the back trying to make myself very small and saying over and over, “I’m just a hitchhiker. I’m just a hitchhiker….”)
Turned out it was someone they knew and he and his were camped off in the woods on a stream, did we want to join them? They said “Sure.” I said, “Why not?”
So anyway, we got to their camp and there was a hindquarter of poached elk on a spit over the fire. They’d slice off a chunk, and it and a knife would get passed around, you’d slice off a piece and pass it on. It would just melt in your mouth.
I got drunker’n fuck on their beer and stuffed to the gills on that elk. The 70s were a different time.
Major Major Major Major
Just wanted to thank everybody who followed along and said nice things about my trip to Iceland :)
Thanks for the updates, everybody! Especially jealous about the Malta trip…
❤ . Just had prickly pear cream cheese stuffed French toast. Off to see that big ditch! Love the story. Catch you later.
@Quinerly: Love your reports from your trip. Thanks for sharing!
@BellyCat: Driving at night with a toddler sleeping is a good idea. They sell over the seat pockets now that you can pick up easily. If child is antsy, take a frisbee or ball out and have some “run time” at a rest stop while the other parent makes lunch. If you are making a meal in the airstream at a rest stop, have toddler help cook. BOOKS! Lots and lots of books. Swap them out to keep them fresh. If you have a small dvd/br player with screen, pack favorites to watch. Then stop and run. Don’t try to do long legs of the trip without at least a half hour stop for moving around outside the car. Most rest stops have brochures for local attractions. Have him/her pick up stuff that looks interesting (My daughter liked pictures of horses, my son liked dinosaurs or space). Get music that your child likes and sing along. Loudly and off key is better. It’s a journey not a prison sentence. Enjoy.
@frosty: A car over 25 years old qualifies as an antique by AACA rules. Based on that, we’re all classics.
@SWMBO: Excellent! Kiddo loves music. Loud singing is my job. Offkey is my wife’s specialty. :-)
At one, spawn is still at the pre-cooking stage, but he’s always up for (un)helping us prepare meals!
The journey, indeed…