Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Where in the World am I?

I've built a reputation. Nothing significant or scary - but a reputation just the same.

For years and years I have carefully planned itineraries for vacations. I've ordered
AAA maps and trip-tics by the dozens. Nowadays I use google maps and mapquest
but my reputation is that All the effort that goes into the planning more often than
not is ignored once we are on the road.

The past few weeks has been such an occasion. Only this time I sent copies of my
itineraries to five or six important family members - including any who might be
traveling with us - or would find us stopping somewhere at their front door. One of our
daughters responded by saying that the fourth final itinerary began to make her wonder just when we (I?) would come up with a FINAL final FINAL plan for a vacation. I removed the
word final and began to use the date of the day I did the last itinerary.

So we left on Sunday on a massive trip from Michigan, to northern Minnesota, to Yellowstone
National Park (and other parks on the way) to Seattle, to the Oregon Coast, to the Redwood
Forests, to Lake Tahoe, to Grand Canyon, to New Mexico to a train ride through Royal
Gorge, to Denver, to Mount Rushmore and then back to Michigan by whatever route
crops up. Thus far I've used 95 percent of my itinerary, 70 percent of the AAA Trip-Tic,
and it's only three days out of 21. By the way, we had a significant problem trying to
find our daughter's house and if we had listened to our GPS device we would have found
it easily. Using instructions she sent us got us totally lost and for a while we couldn't
contact here because our cell phone didn't work for a while in her isolated area.

The word we have come to expect is "recalculating" -- which has sounded off repeatedly
when we deviated from the directions they (that unidentified voice on the little black box)
insisted were correct. But their recalculations always seemed to catch up somewhere along
the way.

And so we are currently in a motel in Columbus, Montana where a shower fixture was
maladjusted and soaked everything in the bathroom - EVERYTHING - including my
beloved and all her fresh clothes for the morrow. It did get fixed but it was a tense moment.

Well, tomorrow is Yellowstone Day. Let's see how things go then.

By the way, if you ever make it to Montana, on Interstate 94, be sure to take a while to
visit Theodore Roosevelt National Park. Never heard of it - never expected it - but it
was a hidden jewel very close to the Interstate.

See you again soon.

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