Friday, August 24, 2007

December 25, 1974

It's early Christmas morning 1974. Beth and I are driving in our Ford Fairlane through North Attleboro Massachusetts. It is gently snowing and there are no tracks in the snow. There are no people walking around and there is absolutely no sign of anybody anywhere. It is beautiful. It is very cold. We are heading to the family home in Sheldonville. Everybody there will be awake, we think.

We are listening to WBCN on our FM converter through the car's AM radio. This is the pre-ClearChannel days of radio, back in the days when the DJ's didn't use a script and could play music that they wanted to play.

The DJ is talking very quietly. "Hellooooooo?"

"Is anybody listening?"

He explained that he was the only one on staff that didn't have other obligations on that particular morning so HE had to be there, talking to no one. He was wondering out loud if anybody at all was hearing his voice. (This is before DJ's pre-recorded their shows). We had no way of letting him know that we were listening (this is before mobile phones) ... (boy, it was like caveman days, wasn't it?).

Beth and I got to our gala Christmas morning with our family and the lonely DJ was probably still talking to himself.

I have always remembered that guy. I wish I could let him know that we heard him.


Now Beth and I am cruising across Greenup, Illinois towards our destination of Kentucky. It is the end of August, and although there is a lot of flooding around, there is no signs of snow.

I am wondering how many people are actually reading this.
I have NO idea whether there are four of you or forty.

I would like you to contact me to let me know you are there.

If you are reading this I would like you to do me a favor:

I would like you to send me an email with your name.
Only send one per reader, but if there are multiple people on your computer reading this, then could EACH one of you send me an email, unless they didn't read this post, then just "Shhhhhhh, this will be our little secret."

I will NOT do anything with your emails, it is just for a RollCall.

I would hate to be putting a lot of effort into something that only two people actually read, in that case I will just send occasional emails to THOSE people and not waste time with formatting, maintenance, and all that other stuff.

Thank You,

(The DJ)

Please DO IT NOW, otherwise it may not get done. 40 seconds, tops.

I'll distract your co-workers or family members with my fancy whistling while you type. Go ahead do it NOW.

Aug 24, 2007 12:34 PM
Mary said...
We check in with the adventure every few days. Harry and I took a trip, nowhere near as long, 34 years ago and still remember the lovely freedom of "where shall we go next"?
I am sorry to hear about Foxy, she had a long and good doggie life.
Aug 24, 2007 8:50 PM
Will said..
I'm Will and I read it. My mom does too but I dont know if she will send an email. Dan does too.
Aug 25, 2007 4:03 PM
Anne said...
Hi Warren and Beth!! Just wanted to let you know that all of us here read your blog and love the pictures!!! I am probably the only one who will e-mail you however because I check up on you guys every couple of days and they gather round to read over my shoulder. We all really enjoy following you on your adventure, [ I am really an arm chair traveler at heart.] The pictures are awesome!! and you have a really nice writing style! So I am sure you have a lot of people who are interested in what you are up to, we certainly are. We miss you a lot, so it's nice to be able to follow along and see where you have been and where you are headed.
We are all so sorry to hear about Foxy, she had a great life with you and she was lucky to have been loved by you both and Derek. I was thinking of that time you all came over to the camp on Nubi and Becca was at the house with her and she was very concerned that there was something wrong with Foxy, she was doing her circle dance and Becca thought she was having some kind of seizure and didn't know what to do! Anyway she was a cute little dog and we are sorry that she is gone. Well. everyone here sends their love and hellos!! take care!!
Anne, Wes, Graham, Derek and Rebecca
Aug 25, 2007 3:49 PM
Harv said...
Beth and Warren: Absolutely - Doreen and I are here...HELLO....HELLO....HELLO???
Please, count us multiple times...I relay stuff to all at the office...and we're having a wonderful, vicarious time...with you in your Fairlane, or yourCorvair, or your Honda...and we're REALLY, REALLY enjoying the,please keep it coming...and have a continuing, safe trip to who knows where...
Love from us...Harv, Doreen and the APA folks and the Kids...and the dogs, in memorium (and sad to hear about Foxy...sorry for your loss)
Aug 26, 2007 4:15 PM
Chris C from NC said...
......... i'm reading.
Aug 26, 2007 4:54 PM
Ted said...
I'm here... but there's no snow...
I’ve kept up with your adventure, and enjoyed every vicarious moment…
Miss you both. Love, Ted
Aug 26, 2007 8:16 PM
chemo-sabe said...
roll call roll call!!!!!!!!!!!!! Even if you only had me (aren't I enough!!! :-), you NEED to do this for prosterity. Ok, I'm selfish. I want it for me!! I'm bummed that I'm losing my summer to chemo but I get to have this great vacay vicariously with 2 of the coolest people on the planet!!You have no idea how great this blog is. I almost had a hissy fit when you said you had a notebook full of unpublished stuff!! I wanna read it all!!!!!!!!! I'M GONNA BE FIRST IN LINE FOR THE BOOK!!!!!!Bottom line is, the world needs our Warren and Beffrie. Don't disappoint us!!! WE LOVE YOU!!!I'm so freaked at the thought of this going away, that I'm not even being coherent. :-)
I love you much
Jenny said...
aye Captain, i'm on deck, assuming your crew includes friendly pirates.
???? said...
Aug 27, 2007 9:40 AM
Linda said...
Hi Beth and Warren, I am here and I read your site each time I sit at my desk and have lunch! (instead of going to the gym, walking down to the harbor, dining out with friends, shopping, etc.). Since I can't be traveling all the time (like some people) I live vicariously through their efforts - great job! I hope you guys are having a great time! Since I've never been out in the northwest/western part of the country I can't give you any destinations, but I was glad that you made it to Butchart gardens in Victoria. Betsy and Bill took us there a few years ago, and if I had know you would be up there I would have recommended going to Salt Spring Island (where Bill lived) and to Vancouver - a fantastic city!
I did do a report in the 6th grade on Montana and really loved the information that they sent me when I requested it, so I always wanted to go there.
I always enjoy seeing Beth's smiling face-love the cowboy! You too Warren, but we don't see yours as often….
I just got back from 2 weeks vacation so I need to catch up. Have fun you guys - take care!
Love Linda
Aug 27, 2007 2:42 PM
Chris S said...
Warren and Beth, It is such a great joy to read your stories daily. Thanks!
If you are looking for more small towns to visit, Susanna's brother lives about 2 hours South of Mitchell in Pickstown, SD. The town is full of people who also might want an accent.
Also, the town was built by the Army Corp of Engineers in the 40's to house the people who built a huge dam across the Missouri river. The dam is a neat sight.
Also the church was built to accommodate 3 religions with a rotating alter. Very unique.
Let me know if you want directions or details.
Chris S (#2)
August 27, 2007 10:17 PM

Betsy Alice said...
Just a note to let you know that I read your about your travels as often as I can in the land of the strong accent. Dial-up is darn slow!
Too bad you didn't get the name of the waitress. Rob has a tape called "How to Speak New Hampsha". It's very good!
Miss you both, love, Betsy
August 28, 2007 9:40 AM
I'm listening... So keep the posts coming! Lots of love, Brad M.
Aug 29, 2007 10:52 AM
Dear Beth and Warren,
I can't tell you how much I, for one, am enjoying your travelogue!
It is really giving me WANDERLUST!!!!
I am such a devoted follower of your trip that I view ALL of your pictures (which is almost as time-consuming as yourtrip since I have DIAL-UP internet!!!!)
Anyway, you guys seem to be truly enjoying yourselves and having awonderful adventure!
I had wanted to send you an e-mail for quite sometime but my computer had gone down and I lost your e-mail address (and cellphone number) so I am really glad to be able to get in touch with you! (I am far from computer literate to figure out how to add comments to your postings.) I have truly identified with some of your pictures - last fall I was in California and went to Hearst Castle & recognized it right off the bat, also the beach with all of the elephant seals, and I have a couple of pictures of the same jellyfish at the Monterey Aquarium! I'm not sure where you are going to be this coming Saturday (Sept. 1) but Iam going to be flying into Omaha, Nebraska mid-afternoon to visit with 4 of Dennis' aunts in Omaha until the following Saturday (Sept. 8). Just in case you are in the area, the aunt I am going to be staying with is named Jo K_____ and her phone number is (xxx) xxx-xxxx. I am so happy that you guys seem to be having a truly phenomenal adventure and life will probably be so BORING once you finally land after your thousands of miles of travel but I can't tell you how HAPPY I am for you!!!! Take Care, Have Fun and "keep on keepin' on"!!!!!!
Diane C
Aug 29, 2007 10:25 PM
I Miss you both... and I read you.
Haven’t been to the web site these past few days (longer absence than normal) but I do so much follow your notes, travels, comments, pix and perspective. I find that its always refreshing, often very insightful, sometime poignant, and, of course, your unmistakable, terrific humor. Miss you both so very much! Love, David W.
Aug 29, 2007 2:05 PM
Read your blog at least once a week. Enjoy it very much!!! Take Care, Anna
Aug 30, 2007 12:03 PM
I love reading your blog. Lots of love, iggy
Sep 2, 2007 5:32 PM
Vicky said...
Beth & Warren, I'm here and I'm reading. I just found out about the site yesterday and I'm amazed and in awe of your adventure. I'm not done reading everything, but I'll be reading furiously and catching mom up on all of your antics when she gets here tomorrow.
Love you guys tons, Vicky (and Tiff and Paul too)
September 3, 2007 2:24 PM

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Thursday, August 23, 2007

Avoiding the weather, (roadside attraction)

So we were zooming across Iowa to avoid the nutty weather.
On Badger Avenue the speed limit is 65mph.

Now I suddenly stopped at 160th Street so that I could go back for the photo op.
Beth didn't want me to do it. The weather is coming, we've got to keep going.
I tried the puppy dog look. Nothing.
I tried the extra-long face. Nothing.
I tried begging. She said that I was whining.
I mustered my deepest manly voice and pronounced that we were going back.
I took the opportunity to head back while she was still laughing.
I had to get this shot for the guys.
We have always wondered what to do with these things.
Well here you go, crafts for men!

Oil tanks for the people.
Oooooooh Look!
Theres a donkey in the garden!

This could be a family activity.
One person does the welding, another collects the accessories, some others can paint, one person to handle the permits or to argue with the homeowners association....

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Plan B

Well it's not actually plan B more like plan B-478 but we'll just shorten it to B for ease of reference. We are in Iowa "The land of Silos and Smokestacks", I'm not making that up, there was a sign boasting of that near the border. And Cops. Smokestacks, Cops, and Silos. We are driving through Iowa. We entered the rain and thought that it was a relief from the smoke.

Then we turned on the news.

I guess the middle of the country has been having a touch of weather while we weren't paying attention.

Plan B-478.
We were thinking of going up through Wisconsin above the lake and drop down through Michigan. Nope. New game plan.

Map of Plan B (B-478i)

A hint for you computer newbies: When there is a link that you want to go to but are afraid that you may not find your way back then you can right-click on the link and select "Open in New Window" or "Open in New Tab" and the page that is connected with that link will open up while THIS page remains right here and you can click back here at any time by pawing through your windows or tabs and clicking where you REALLY want to be. OK lesson over.


The rain ended a little while ago and it is bright and sunny and rush hour traffic is in full swing in Iowa City, Iowa (where else would it be? you ask? well check out your choices of Kansas City).
We are going to race through this stalled front that is washing away the residents a little North of us while keeping an eye to the South of us for tornadoes. It seems that Beffrie isn't too fond of them either. Well everybody has a different comfort zone. It means we are going to miss some good visiting time, but since it is the start of school season around here everyone is just a little too occupied for a visit from the hoboes this particular week. Maybe if we are fast enough we can make it to Cape Hatteras in time for the next big hurricane.
Anyhoo, Plan B, for now. No more Plan A (Plan A-125.3 subpart J).

This area of the country has given me a LOT to write about. As soon as the car stops I will.
(We are listening to Magic Carpet Ride right now, this has been one of those days where EVERY song seems to mean something. We should put in our earplugs before turning on the radio or something. Oooooooh babe, I'm looooosing you, I can feel it in my bones, could it be? I am losing you.... (time to post before my signal disappears)

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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Helpful People in SD

I would like to add a quick note thanking the VERY helpful people that we have found in the Visitor Centers. They are bubbly, cheerful, love their jobs and love their state. Derek & Roz at a KOA campground were VERY helpful. South Dakota has a four CD audio guide that costs $5. It is very good. You pay $20 and if you mail it back in the enclosed envelope they will send a check for $15. It is a brilliant idea. The New England states should do the same. There are a few southern states that we have been to that would require a 27 CD set because the talking is done at a more leisurely pace. There are not a whole lot of towns close to the main highway that jets through the center of South Dakota and the folks in these towns probably do not really like these people that are screaming through their state without dropping any cash, but their visitor centers and THIS campground are friendly. Now don't get me goin' about the folks runnin' the KOA two nights ago in western SD. Why they were the...............

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Racing the smoke

We are now in South Dakota. We are heading East to try to outrun the smoke. We aren't winning. Everytime we see blue sky we stop to enjoy the view. By the time we get back into our car it's getting smoky again. If you look to your western horizon you should be seeing it coming. It's nasty. Today we saw missle silos, underground launch control rooms, smoke, more herds of prairie dogs, the badlands, this town's practice field for rodeo stuff (the equivalent of a local softball field, but with the dads on horses doing the lassoing and the kids herding the cattle through the launch shoots). Tonight in the local "steak house" we watched a three year old girl that was sitting on the bar learn how to feed dollars and quarters into the video betting machine (some parents use video games to keep their kid busy while they are busy, and if no video game is around...).

South Dakota is the polar opposite of Montana. There is terrific history here, but you begin to see why the indians had a slightly uneasy feeling when the South Dakota settlers started to move in. They weren't friendly then and they aren't friendly now.

I have written a lot and will be typing the stuff in each evening, and I will upload it when I have a signal. I have cabillions of pictures to be weeded out. How many pictures of a prairie dog can you look at when they all look exactly the same. It's like the calendar with 12 months of Schipperke dogs.

We have started to seek out televisions and we watch the weather. We are plotting our path to avoid TOO much excitement.

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The Crowd Pleaser.

[Missoula, Montana]

This man was getting a haircut at the same time that I was.
Today he was going to the fair and jump a Subaru.
He was asked to clarify this, was he going OVER the car or was the CAR going over something?
The car was going up a ramp at 40mph and would be airborne for an unspecified amount of time.
Was there going to be a landing ramp or just the level ground?
“Just the ground” he said proudly.
I asked “how high up do you think the car will go?”
He thought about fifteen feet. (I thought that sounded painful.)

While we were both getting our haircut I found out a few more details.
It's called a Tough Truck Competition. It is a whole course in an arena with a lot of bumps, corners, moguls, and a jump.
Last year he did it in his truck and the frame broke behind the cab so the whole truck was in a vee-shape dragging on the ground between the front and rear wheels.
THIS year he is better prepared. He's got a Subaru.

He shortened the steering column to give more slamming room for his chest and he removed 450 pounds worth of unneeded stuff. He has a harness, but he didn't mention a rollcage.
(The rollcage may have been sacrificed in an effort to reduce weight and increase flying time.)

When he was registering for the race the guys were shocked when he said his truck was going to be a Subaru, but after the laughing and snortin was over they said that they “had heard that those for'en cars can take corners pretty good”.
... Yes, he gets paid.
“$500” he says with a big grin.

... Yes, there is a prize for the winner of the Tough Truck Competition but he's not even trying to win, he's just doing it to please the crowd.
The BIG Jump.

Jump higher and land harder than anybody else.

“It should work. I think I'll be okay.”

“I'm just doing it to please the crowd!”



chemo-sabe said...
Obviously, this dude never heard of the Darwin Awards!!!!

Love you guys!!!!!!!!!!!


August 24, 2007 8:55 AM

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Sunday, August 19, 2007

Sherm said...

Awww damn. Little Foxmoor is no more. No wonder Champ has been more cantankerous than usual. He’s pining for his little buddy (and whatever sympathy cheese he can weasel out of us). Another splash on the ground for dear Foxy.
Hope yer rodeo went well. Go to the BBQ cook-off and eat plenty of hot brown stuff.
There’s someone out there (in Wyoming or an adjoining state) that has an old minuteman missile silo for a home that they have tours of occasionally.
A real swords into plowshares kind o’ deal. Or swords into a really cool underground home.
I’ll look for the link but ask around, can’t be too many of them.
Fireworks were epic, so was the traffic. Wouldn't miss it for anything. Over 9000 shots.
Hugs all around. The little one adds kisses.
August 19, 2007 7:01 AM

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