Sunday, November 8, 2009

On the Road (Why We Drive)

We might take the same route dozens of times, but each is a unique trip. The weather changes, the clouds, sky and shadows vary, and the view from the windows is always more interesting than you could ever see from miles up in an airplane. Obviously, we don't drive to Europe, but even cross-country, we like to take road trips whenever possible.

This is the first of my series on our latest trip to California. I'll probably do it as the trip out, the time there, and the trip back.

On the trip out, we didn't hit much falling snow, but did see some on the mountains around us. The aspens were glorious going across the Rocky Mountains, and there was some ice along the edges of the Colorado River in places. Colors seemed exceptionally vibrant, and clouds added so much interest to the sky that I had a hard time restraining myself from constantly asking John to pull over so I could take more photos. I did take quite a few from the moving car.

By the time we got to California, where Calico Ghost Town is located in the Mojave Desert, we had gone from Winter to Summer, 40 degree temperatures to 90s. I was not amused, but I had expected it. We stopped at the ghost town anyway. I'll admit it's not as great as it was when I was a kid. The best thing there, the "haunted shack," now sports an extra two dollar charge. We took a pass on that and just walked around. The only thing we bought there was a single serving cone for each of us. Those cost us $3.50 each plus tax, so I strongly recommend you eat elsewhere. (They didn't even have chocolate chip!) Entry fee to the park was only $6 each, though, so it wasn't very expensive. I still find the old buildings fascinating.

In the parking lot at the end of our visit to Calico, I was taking a photo of somebody's strange vehicle when they approached to get in and I got to find out a little about their car. It was a Mercedes Unimog. It's... interesting in appearance. I asked the man what kind of gas mileage he got, and he said (this is pretty close to an exact quote), "About eight to ten miles per gallon, but a lot of people take pictures of it." I keep wondering if he felt he should charge them for the photos. He didn't sound particularly pleased, as I stood there with my camera.

Sometimes the best part of a trip is being on the road. When we go to California, the best part of the trip is the people we'll see at the other end. Hopefully that section will be online tomorrow night. For tonight, here's the video slide show.

Okay, so I started from scratch about five a.m., and worked for six and a half hours, since that wasn't the first thing I tried. But I finally did make a somewhat shorter video, about 25% smaller, and for some reason that one eventually loaded. I really don't understand the problem, since the one that refused to load was smaller than some of the other videos I've loaded in the last couple of months. Well, life sometimes can be frustrating.

I changed music, since this was a different length, and got to share one of my favorite guitar artists, Marcel Dadi, playing an original composition, three of his songs put together. It's "Marcel's Rag - Egged Bus Rag - Old Black Piano." He was, tragically, on Flight 800 in 1996 when it crashed en route from NY to Paris. We'll get no new music from this marvelous talent, but he left behind quite a legacy—and all of it can be found in tablature at Mel Bay music books.

1 comment:

sherrie said...

Wow, thanks for sharing the scenery between here and there - there were some really neat geographical features, and that stunning photo of the large trees with the vivid yellow leaves was incredible! I don't remember ever seeing that type of tree in the autumn and I'm going to have to try to figure out what it is. I also enjoyed the tour of Calico because that's probably the closest I will ever get to it, and I'm glad to at least know what is over there when I pass by. Thanks for the tour : )