Saturday, October 28, 2006
I do not have a single bumper sticker on my motorhome. This RVer has plenty. How many stickers do you have? Why do you suppose someone puts so many bumper stickers all over his or her motorhome? Are they proud of where they have been? Are they bragging where they have been? Maybe they are sticker collectors. That could be it. But what do they do with all those stickers when they are ready to sell their RV? I bet they are hard to remove. I guess the owners of this rig probably figure they will worry about that when the time comes.
Posted by Staff Report at 10/28/2006 08:55:00 AM
Friday, October 27, 2006
This is an excellent business slogan. Most restaurant owners would just put up a sign that said "tender steaks." I don't notice those boring kinds of signs. Most of the time the steaks aren't tender at all. You can't miss this sign. I didn't eat here because it was between meals. But it if was dinner time, I would have tried a steak just out of curiosity.
Posted by Staff Report at 10/27/2006 12:40:00 PM
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
George is a little town in Washington. The proper way to write its name would be George, Washington. But some people just write George Washington, with no comma, as in the father of our country. George is right along I-90, just east of the Cascade mountains between Ellensburg and Moses Lake. Don't blink as you go by. Every year, the locals bake the "World's Largest Cherry Pie," in honor of President Washington, who chopped down a cherry tree when he was a little boy. But he really didn't. That's just a folktale that gets passed from generation to generation. There used to be a good place to eat in George. But Martha's Inn has closed. A new Subway sandwich shop opened a half-mile away right at the interstate exit. Sadly, most motorists opt for a familiar place over the unknown. I can tell you from experience that Martha's Inn was a whole lot better. There were good things tacked to the walls - pictures and calendars mostly - and the waitresses chewed gum and called you "Hon." Nobody at Subway calls you that.
Posted by Staff Report at 10/24/2006 05:27:00 PM
Friday, October 20, 2006
Nature is amazing. The other morning on our local NPR radio station, on a program called Bird Notes, I learned about a sparrow that can sing one day and then not the next. Actually, in the spring, this particular sparrow can sing its little heart out. The idea is to attract a mate. But as the summer ends and the bird has presumably found its partner, a part of its brain shrinks -- the place where the sparrow stores up its songs. The result is that the sparrow cannot remember its tunes. With its smaller brain, the bird is slightly lighter and thus more easily able to escape danger. The next spring when the bird again needs a mate, the section of the brain grows back. If the sparrow were a "thinking bird" it might say to itself, "Oh, now I remember."
Posted by Staff Report at 10/20/2006 07:02:00 PM
I took this photo in Death Valley, California. It looks desolate, and it is. It can get as hot as 130 degrees in Death Valley in the summer. I have been there when it was 122 degrees. That was something else. Death Valley is a national park these days and one of my favorite places. I usually camp at the Furnace Creek oasis.
If I had turned my camera the other direction from where it points in this photo, you would see the oasis. There are thousands of palm trees. Cool spring water gushes from the earth: look carefully and you may see tiny pupfish swimming. Don't bring your fishing pole: the pupfish are maybe an inch long. Furnace Creek has three campgrounds: one is a giant gravel parking lot for RVs only.
The oasis also has a tavern, museum, gas station, visitor center, a couple of restaurants, a swimming pool, small airport, and "the world's lowest golf course." It's a beautiful green course thanks to all the spring water. In the summer you can play for free (if you can tolerate the heat). But watch out for the coyotes that rest on the cool green grass. I have been visiting Death Valley since I was a kid. The big difference between now and the olden days is that TV signals didn't reach there back then. You really felt far from civilization. Then about 15 years ago, Death Valley got a satellite dish and all of a sudden you could watch 500 channels. Now, it doesn't feel so far away.
Posted by Staff Report at 10/20/2006 06:34:00 PM
Thursday, October 12, 2006
I don't think people send as many postcards these days when they travel. Take me for example: I carry a laptop computer and digital camera. Every couple of nights I upload my photos to my computer. And I usually end up sending some to my friends and family. But I miss sending postcards like the one above. This one was sent July 27, 1959 from Adrian, Illinois to a Mr. W.S. Christian in Pasadena, Calif. I guess Mr. Christian was sick because Lorna, who sent the postcard wrote, "We should have brought you to the country. You would be getting well in a hurry. Wonderful food and lots of fresh air." Back in 1959, Pasadena was pretty much a smog pit, so I think Lorna is right about how Mr. Christian would have been getting better with some good air. Even though Mr. Christian couldn't come on the trip, apparently Lorna's children did. "These kids are sure having a good time," she wrote. "They dug for potatoes and Deb said someone hid them in the dirt. They really have a time feeding poultry."
Posted by Staff Report at 10/12/2006 12:59:00 PM
Friday, October 06, 2006
In New Mexico, you see a lot of old buildings made of adobe. This is especially true in the state capital of Santa Fe. But many are not what they seem. In Santa Fe, many adobe buildings that appear to be old were, in fact, built in the last few years. Some have steel beams inside. Apartment buildings and shopping centers look like they are made of adobe. They are phonies: they are just painted adobe color. Even porta-buildings like the one in this photo are made to look like they are adobe. But anyone can figure out they are not.
Posted by Staff Report at 10/06/2006 10:27:00 PM
I live and work in a complicated world. It wasn’t always so. I once owned a Kool Aid stand. At times it was a lemonade stand. I was young, of course, maybe 10 at the height of my beverage stand career. It was good work. My mother furnished the raw material. She bought the Kool Aid or furnished the lemons. My job was to paint a cardboard sign offering my service and to haul a small table and pitcher of beverage about 40 yards to the side of busy Lark Ellen Avenue, which provided plenty of drive-by traffic and customers.
Of all the businesses I have ever owned, this was the most profitable per sale. There was no business license, no taxes to pay, no rent, and the cost of the goods I sold was free thanks to my mother’s generosity. So every penny I made went into my youthful pocket, to be spent later on such essential kid items as red licorice, root beer and comic books. Today, whenever I pass by a Kool Aid or lemonade stand, I purchase a drink to support the young entrepreneur or entrepreneurs. Really, here’s the rationale: I pay 50 cents for a drink there or I can keep on driving and pay $3 at Starbucks. So, as you can see, after all these years, roadside beverage stands are still providing an outstanding return on my investment.
Posted by Staff Report at 10/06/2006 11:44:00 AM
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
An RV Travel reader named Dave sent me this photo of a most-unusual motorhome. He snapped it in September in defunct RV park along Highway 89 in Hatch, Utah between Zion and Bryce National Parks. Have you seen an unusual RV? If so, send it in and I'll post it.
Posted by Staff Report at 10/03/2006 04:38:00 PM