Grand Voyages, Great Adventures
By suggestion of TigerLilly, who's been doing some traveling of her own lately: a place to talk about one's travel adventures (in the physical world!). Great road trips, the time you got a gig crewing on a yacht, your years in the Peace Corps, the time you walked the Great Wall... You get the idea!
My story invloves my Boy Scout troop backpacking for two weeks in New Mexico at the Philmont Ranch in the mountains around Taos.
I got my youngest son David involved in scouting to keep off the couch playing video games.
My older boys were jocks and rock musicians and David being 8 years younger was kind of langushing.
If you know anything about Philmont it is an adventure-it is fun but also meant to test young men. There are no cellphones, no electronics allowed on the trail. You carry everything on your back. The boys are in control they choose and rotate squad leadership. It can also be exhausting as you are hiking about 9,000 feet and coming from Miami thats a challenge.
We had been on the trail about 7 days. The dads were having the hardest time being in their late 40's up to 60 years old. On this particular day we started at 4 am because 1. the sun comes up very early out west and two we had a long hike ahead.
The day went well we stopped at an old hunters camp so the boys could shoot muskets with a 'Mountain Man" to teach them how. By 4 pm we noticed something was wrong. We were no where near our destination. One of the boys had made a mistake and read the map wrong. We were going to have to back track about 5 miles and hile another 7 miles. There was some grumbingly and apologizing however we pushed on. David pushed his way to the front and stated he wanted to be the lead man. He is very tall and walks fast -psychologically he "pulls" the squad.
The views were stunning because we were on top of Mt Phillps and it is !1,900 feet high.
By 7 pm it was dark we were down to 3 quarts of water for 12 people and still about 5 miles away. now it was starting to get hairy. All you could see was the person in ftont of you and one misstep and you were off a cliff with a 3-4000 foot drop. Some boys started to whimper and David started telling jokes. Laughter broke out.
At 11 pm we got to camp-the rangers were aghast at what happened they put us up for the night in real beds instead of sleeping bags.
The next day spirits were high and the boys were proud they survived.
My son and his friends still talk about it.
And the road goes on forever....
The new photo story :-)
In Sevilla every April there is a big fair called Feria. Some of you have heard of this, I know, as have been discussing with with a couple of our friends here on site. Anyhow, for the uninformed, is a week long giant fair, full of little (or quite huge) tent-like structures called "casetas", where the Sevillians (plus tourists, plus people from the surrounding countryside) go to meet their friends, eat alot of fried fish, drink beer and manzanilla, and generally have a riotous good time, as Sevillians are so good at that. Is also required to dance "Sevillianas" with dozens of before unknown partners, AND is highly recommended to attend the Feria in traditional flamenco attire.
Before Feria, was alot of fun to discuss this flamenco attire with Sunshine Daydream, who was alot more informed about Feria than I was, and also with Hal, who is interested in Flamenco music. Bob made the brilliant suggestion that I needed a tie-dyed flamenco dress, which was not to be this year, sigh!
And now on to the photo explanation. A co-worker invited me to lunch the Saturday afternoon right before Feria started. Spent a good hour or so right after lunch, trying on a lovely blue flamenco dress that his wife´s mother had sewn for her. Rocio (the wife) dressed me from head to foot in authentic flamenco get-up, which was a whole lot of fun. Then we went into town to drink a coffee, and spent alot of time window shopping other flamenco dresses. One shop we actually entered, and the next thing I knew, an over-eager shopkeeper had be kitted out AGAIN in classic flamenco style. Tried on two different dresses, gorgeous, but with nauseating numbers on the price tags. Trying on experience developed into a huge shop animation, with all other customers watching and commenting on my appearance. Ended up with being offered a job to model these dresses next year before Feria-evenings and weekends, which absolutely cracked us all up! And there is photographic evidence of this adventure (all dresses and get up) and new photo here is one of them. Was a grate adventure, so story belongs here, I think!
Don't part with your illusions. When they are gone, you will still exist, but you have ceased to live.
Thanks for the tales my friends.
If the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear to man as it is, infinite.
It was the second flight of the day and I had been up since 3am. I stumbled onto the 737 and slumped in my window seat. Boarding was nearly complete and the two seats next to me were thankfully empty. I closed my eyes for a moment, only to be interrupted by someone moving into the seat next to me. I opened my eyes. A young mother with a toddler and a babe in arms and a pile of bags was struggling to install herself alongside me. Likely a Romanian migrant worker returning home. Inwardly I groaned...small kids normally mean screaming noise for the next 2 hours.
A stewardess appeared and started interrogating the young mother and I idly listened while pretending to sleep. At 18 months the toddler was apparently too small to sit in a seat by herself. The woman struggled to understand.
I missed the next bit of the argument as I dozed off, only to be tapped firmly on the shoulder by the stewardess and told in no uncertain terms.
‘Sir you have to hold your child’,
as the young mother thrust a tiny baby towards me.
‘Uh’ I said quite loudly‘ that’s NOT my child’
The stewardess looked annoyed and confused. People in other seats were looking. Who was this irresponsible parent?
‘That’s not my child’ I repeated. And the stewardess realised her mistake and went red with embarrassment.
But she persisted. ‘Well someone has to hold the child during take-off and landing or I will have to remove these people from the flight. Those are our rules’.
The young mother looked at me pleadingly, so I caved in and the tiny newborn, just a couple of weeks old, was passed to me and she proceeded to breast-feed the toddler. What a quaint family scene. ‘You must hold it tight’ the bossy stewardess instructed as she headed off up the aisle to do her safety demonstration.
So I nervously held the tiny sleeping bundle till we climbed to cruising altitude, terrified that something would happen while the cute infant was in my care. After a bit of sleep my duties recommenced as we descended. Twenty five years simply vanished away as I recognised that tensing of muscles and gurgling vibration as junior emptied his bowels.
As we disembarked the woman thanked me profusely, the stewardess was also quite gracious, but several other passengers stared at me accusingly!
Not to reinforce any stereotypes or anything, but you have one guess as to the airline!
sounds like another verse or two of 'Truckin''
Are you kind?
In the beginning of the 80s i spent some time in Amsterdam.in fact i wanted to stay there,but the City was somehow beyond my weirdest dreams.The place where i was staying belonged to an english woman who spent 24 h a day in that hotels bar(really,she had a big chair where she even slept in),the guy at the bar had only 1 disc(K-tels Disco hits)which was played the whole 6 month i spent there.well,the sado-maso gay bar which was directly under my room started to mess with my sleepin regime and to be true i have to say that dutch candy is a very expensive habit.so after realizing that the only thing i got left was a free breakfast at my hotel,i decided to hit the road for France.as i was savoring my toast a pretty drunken guy set down beside me.giggling all the time he asked me what i was doing.i told him about my plans and got my last free coffee.he told me"hey man,i see you dont have any money,dont you"i nodded in approval as he got out his wallet and gave me 5OOguilders(250dollars).i was a little astonished and because i saw that he was really drunk,asked him if he was sure that he wanted to give me such an amount,..well,not only he was but he opened a big bag he had with him and took out a bottle of Bacardi gold and a carton of Camel-filt."so you will have a good journey i think"he said,and i deeply agreed.with a much better feeling than i had in the morning i went to the Highway.There was nobody there,no one guy was there.he was italian,looked like a real freak(me too,by the way)and was very strange.he carried with him 2 big plastic bags of stuff he had found in the streets,garbage cans etc.as presents for his friends in Naples.as i found out,he was completely broke.remembering how i got the fortune i was carrying with me i decided to travel with him.despite my doubts that ANYBODY would stop for us,we were lucky. after half an hour and a couple of shots a belgian driver stopped and took as pretty far.he let us off in Belgium in the middle of the night on some deserted road.as it was november,it began to get real cold.so we finished the bottle and hoped for another car,but there were none.after i realized that we would freeze to death if we had to spend the night there,i decided to stop the next car by any means.in fact i stood in the middle of the street and wouldnt move,so that guy stopped.he was a musician and we were half frozen.he told us that he was on his way to do a gig with his accordeon,and that after he would go to Lille.we came to the house were he should play and i asked him if we could stay inthe car,because it was really cold."oh,you wont stay in the car,you both come with me.i am playing at my sisters wedding!"as i mentioned before the italian guy and i,looked really..ehm freaky,but that didnt matter at all.as we arrived inside we were seated as honory guests at a table especially for us food,wine.etc was served and we felt like being in heaven.after partying for 3 hours,our driver hit the road again and to us to the highway to Paris.we had a little coffee with him and then went hitchhiking again.10 min.later we were on our way to Paris in a Big Mercedes and everything was cool.as we arrived in town the Guy let us out in front of a cemetary.The famous"Pere lachaise",and soon i realized that this was the place where Jim morrison is buried.so my italian "compagnon de route" and i went to see his grave.we met a lot of cool people there who told us where we could spent the night cheaply,so we partied a little and then went to look for a bed.my italian friend and i had a nice dinner,slept good and cheaply and when i opened my eyes in the morning,the bed beside me was empty and this dude,who didnt even tell me his name ,was gone..from a little paper on the table i read-to Naples.well to end this long story a short way,Paris was great.i spend the next 10yrs. of my life there,met my wife and our son was born in this wonderful city.and it all began with a free Breakfast and not a dime in my pocket...:-)(-:
Thanks for sharing, I was wondering how your visit turned out. How Alive you all must have felt! Inside the mountain, following wolf tracks & then to top it off, VW rail car?? Right On.:-) Take any pictures?