Interlude#5

IMG_4404a
Title: Sunrise

Before Tanager starts her morning song.
Before Coyote laughs at the newest day.
There is a pause.
Too dark to see, like the gathering of wits.
First a squeeze, just a little bit of orange,
And with that squeeze, a cascade is started.
Black starts turning to blue.
Orange fights its way clear of the initial dab
And starts to ooze along the bottom.
Encouraged, yellow leaps ahead
Shouting to the world of a new day.
Getting so bright, turning away
And in turning, displayed behind,
A tableau, a painting, an inspiration.

IMG_4349a

Driveabout#36

I need to pause here and make sure I give a shout out to the National Park system. Today I stumbled upon Agate Fossil Beds National Monument. It is a little place out in the middle of nowhere Nebraska. But it is so cool. It is a place of a huge Miocene era find (after dinosaurs, but before us).
IMG_0185
That story is enough of a reason to stop, but there is more.
The rancher that got all of this started turns out to have been very friendly with the local Lakota people. Turns out he ended up with one of the greatest collection of Native American items that I have ever seen. I’m not saying it is the largest, but the items are spectacular.
IMG_0186

My point is there are these parks all over the country. They are generally worth stopping at, so please do.

Driveabout#35

Ya, hoo and the pressure is off.
IMG_0179
Yesterday I visited the last state of these United States that I hadn’t been to.
Does that make me legendary?

Today I must do an oil change for my car and by “I” I mean I do it. One of my peculiarities is I do my own oil changes. And I drive a stick shift. It is really not a big deal other than the temperature is hovering around 44 right now. At least it is dry, the snow stopped yesterday. The other interesting implication, given that I change my oil at 5000 miles and this is the second oil change of this trip, is that I have driven for over 10,000 miles since the House of Irony kicked me out 2.5 months ago.

What next?
I still have more driving to do. It is off to Phoenix, Arizona where I have a black belt review at the end of November. Yes, it seems I have to renew my belt every two years. At first when I learned this, by getting my belt about two years ago, I was somewhat offended. If you remember, I broke my foot in that process. I paid the price, I was a black belt! But, upon reflection, if you don’t practice something, are you still that? Aside from riding a bicycle, all other skills degenerate. So, I could always say I received a black belt. But to say that I am one, well, I have to prove it. At least one more time.

Driveabout#34

I’m sorry and I must apologize.
I haven’t been thinking of you enough.

As I write this I am in a public library. I have found them very convenient spots to stop and post my thoughts and pictures. What I also found in New England is some amazing architecture. I now look forward to my next stop to see what they might offer.

Today, for example, I am in El Paso, Illinois. This 1906 stone structure is quite elegant and inside contains a lot of local history.

But what I should have been sharing with you were the New England libraries I visited. Really magnificent creations. And I didn’t record and share them. I’m sorry.

And in a somewhat similar vein I have been thinking about houses. Answer me this, in 100 years do you think anyone is going to drive by your house and go “wow” and dream about restoring it or admiring it because someone has? I saw a lot of houses like this in N.E., but I’ve even seen a couple here in El Paso. Why don’t we make houses like this anymore?
Or am I being overly romantic. Maybe they didn’t make all that many in the past, but I suspect it was a much higher percentage.

These houses had soul. Does yours? Is it important? What did we trade for?
Alas, I have more questions than answer.

Driveabout#32

I’ve been hanging out in Acadia N.P. for a few days. This is as far North and East as I am going to make it. So, it time to say adios to this fall weather
IMG_4188a
and hit the road heading back West.
IMG_4192a

A couple of asides.
First, the weather has been so great that I’ve failed to be able to get any fog pictures while on the coast of Maine!

I can’t remember if I mentioned that one of the subtexts of this drive was to visit the rest of the 50 states I hadn’t been to. When I started there were 12 states on that list. It was a lot of miles before I could cross off South Carolina. Then West Virginia. Delaware and Rhode Island were a hassle, but done, because they are surrounded by toll roads, large cities and the hustle and bustle I like to avoid. After a few distractions I made it to Vermont, then New Hampshire and finally Maine.

What’s that leave, 5 more?