Coping: Our Lost Sense of Adventure

We’ve been kicking around an interesting conversation over dinner the past few days:  What is our next big adventure in life?  This being a 3 1/2 day workweek for most, why not work a bit on the play calculations, right?

Sure we’re old,  and yeah, we agree that dying is an adventure, no doubt.  But, there’s just so much else to do before the time comes for that…let’s have some fun!

If you haven’t seen it, one of my “mandatory videos” for people over 50 is to watch is “The Bucket List” starring Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson – great acting, fine message.

(Continues below)

 

There are also an assortment of books on point.  One of them made it to my “maybe” list: The Bucket List: 1000 Adventures Big & Small.

The problem we have is that between us, we’ve “been there” and “done that” for the most part.

We’ve lived in three corners of the country (Seattle, San Diego, and south Florida), sailed extensively (Vancouver Island to San Diego), flown multiple trans-cons in our own plane, and lived in tiny spaces (ever live for a long time on a 40-foot boat?) and big spaces (1.2-million square feet of land out here)…so it isn’t like we’ve been sheltered.

Elaine likes the “faster” big city life, but with today’s crazies?  Uh….   Her tastes run to fine restaurants and the type of discos she was queen of in the 1970’s and 80’s.  Sadly, that world is gone.  People don’t “go out for drinks” much any more.  Too much risk, too many cops, and besides, it’s not really good for you.  Want a crooked waiter to swipe your MasterCard?  No thanks.  Happens when we travel…

Those Disco Days were like a “once in a lifetime” era.  Today, when we go out, I have exactly one glass of wine.  E might have two…but, when comes to it, we’re been there, done that.

Same thing when comes to hobbies:  I still love writing, ham radio, oddball physics, running the tractor, and making things in the shop.  Cut it, weld it, that’s my game.

Elaine’s worn-out the idea of sewing.  As she explained it, once you have been in the mode of “I’ll just go home and sew a new suit for dinner tonight…” (and she has), then what?

That’s one of those skills that ruin other pursuits, like shopping.  When E comes home from shopping and regularly says  “Most clothes today are crap…” I take that as Gospel.

She’s exactly right.  Let’s see: Bloom of shopping, disco, shopping…what’s left?

Sure, we kick over some of the ‘standard’ old-people’s pastimes:  Going on a cruise.  But we lived on a boat, so getting on a bigger boat isn’t a particular thrill.  For the most part, people on cruises have dumbed-down and dressed-down the experience.  (Did I mention, Fashion is dead?

The last cruise we were on, there was only one “formal” (or at least dark suit) dinner.  Rest of the time we opted for the (reservations required) optional on-ship specialty restaurants

Problem with these is that you can take a $2,000 per person cruise in a nice balcony or suite and turn it into a $3,500 per person cruise with not much effort.  Elaine’s trip to the salon?  Don’t ask, but she doesn’t look as good in straightened hair, lol.

What’s a $40 steak on a cruise ship is a $14 filet from the local store and I know the cook personally.

Several of our friends are into camping.  I’ve done so much camping that even with a trailer (or RV) it doesn’t seem to be “relaxing.”

If you have a trailer,  now you have to drag something around…so now you need a truck.  Bigger the trailer, bigger the truck.  Then there are surge brakes and then electric…and you start down some of these “complexity slides” and there’s no telling if you’ll ever get to the bottom of it all before bankruptcy overtakes.

My buddy the major has a nice 20-foot bumper-pull.  High-end, fiberglass. The one thing I keep forgetting to ask him is “How much ‘adventure’ is there to emptying the Port-a-Potty?”  We’ve been friends long enough I don’t think I’ll ask.

Elaine’s run the numbers: At $200/room night at a Hilton, a $150K pusher with slides is 750 nights (not counting Honors points) and who’s feeding the cat back home that long?

I talked to Elaine about an RV, but she did a trip with her dad (years back) from Seattle  to Phoenix.  Nice for making sandwiches and pulling over to pea when needed.  But a bugger to drive and they do suck down the gas.

God help you if something serious fails and you need a tow.  Boaters have the same nightmare – only that one involves oil slicks and EPA fines…

E’s idea of adventure (and I’ve come around to her way of thinking) is to use up some of our Honors points on a trip.

But where?

We love the Rockies (Telluride to Durango is a marvelous fall drive) but too late to get through there and have any fingernails left.

We both want to walk and climb a bit in Chaco Canyon.  Good Wiki entry on it here.  Getting late in the season and it’s cold up there now.

I suggested we might both have “location lists” we might want to visit for our upcoming writings.  Problem is that some of the locations require a lot of planning.

Take Las Vegas:  It will be too cold shortly, if memory serves. Unless you wanted all the scenes to be in the underground mall area at Ceasars, I suppose.

Might work for a trip because we could swing through Payson and see friends and offspring.  Maybe in March, then.

I’ve always wants to spend some time up in Wisconsin and Minnesota.  I think that was drummed into me with the Hamm’s Beer commercials…”…from the land of sky blue waters….Hamm’s the beer refreshing…Hamm’s beer…”

(If you don’t remember Hamm’s, or you’re under 50, click here to see what black and white commercials were like ‘back in the day.”)

Point is, that’s a summertime escape and even then huge mosquitos are an issue.  Sometimes the anti-aircraft guns take them down, but a lot of ’em get through the AA, Deet, and flak.

I have been around Elaine to take this “comfort traveling stuff” seriously.  The older we get the more comfort matters, too.

One of our adventure ideas is to take Amtrak somewhere.  But I don’t know if they have internet onboard yet.  You know how government projects run, lol.

We have friends from out in the Bay area who love to travel that way….so it’s on our list.  But no internet?  HA!….try to keep up with what century this is, please.  There’s a world outside the NE liberal corridor and we need communications, too.

GII (my son) has been trying to coax me into a tandem skydive.  But, seriously, I’ve done my “sky time” for this go-round.  Though bulldozing a runway for an ultralight keeps whirring through my head.  So does building a kit plane, but I don’t trust my welding.  I’m fair, but at 5-thousand feet hanging on my own welding?  Err…even with fresh shielding gas….err….

I mentioned plans to put in the Cottonmouth Golf and Country Club.  Nothing more than a sign and a half-dozen plastic coffee cans as holes, but that has great promise.

On the other hand, just in the past few days, a super “Texas Off-Road Golf Cart” came to me.  It would be made out of 5/8th’s rebar, three hunks of 4″ PVC pipe, and it would have 10-inch pneumatic wheels on it.  You can find those on Harbor Freight on sale every so often.  Might have a sliding tractor weight, too, for balance.

Since HF also has specials on 6-horsepower gas engines,  and a go-kart clutch is cheap enough, I’ve been thinking about a self-propelled “OffRoadGolf” machine.

I don’t know if you remember the old Gravely tractors?

They had about a 9-horse Wisconsin engine on them, and a couple of 18-inch, or so, tractor tires.  It was a 2-wheeled machine, but then people put a hitch on them and presto!  Small off-road vehicle for ranch and garden.

That got me to dreaming about this “off road golf” machine.  Eventually, I woke up.

Elaine’s been given the task of figuring our next “adventure travel” and when she gets to an answer, I’ll pass it along.  Brother-in-law is in the wings for guard duty at the homestead…so now it’s just figuring out where to go.  (People have been telling me to go to hell for years, but I can’t find any deals or discounts, so that will have to wait.)

Neither one of us thinks much of air travel anymore.  Elaine, especially, isn’t interested in being groped.  I’ve been writing clever quips just in case an airplane trip and TSA lines are what she settles on.

Best one so far is:

Hey, you trying to be a Hollywood film star or producer?”

Or, I might try “Are you asking me out?” but too many Tasers and not enough lawyers handy to try that one.

Is there a point – while I try to line up an organic turkey for you know what?  Not only has our sense of adventure in America dropped to the belt level, so has our humor.

Is there maybe another planet we could try?

Write when you get rich,

George@ure.net

Comments

Coping: Our Lost Sense of Adventure — 47 Comments

  1. Meditation, out of body travel, the whole non religious spiritual route……… easy on the knees

      • Could I interest you in a Tibetan flying meditation carpet…….. low miles and the spirit babes love it

      • Psychedelics. You can make your own. Cheap vacationing and may help you become a Billionaire:

        When Silicon Valley takes LSD

        “For people like Herbert, 51, Silicon Valley today feels a bit like the ’70s all over again. Herbert drops acid three or four times a year and finds that it helps him solve work problems — it’s a way to “hack” the limits of his natural thought.

        “There was a case where I had been working on a problem for over a month,” Herbert said. “And I took LSD and I just realized, ‘Wait, the problem is in the hardware. It’s not a software issue at all.'””

        http://money.cnn.com/2015/01/25/technology/lsd-psychedelics-silicon-valley/index.html

  2. Hi George,

    Have you considered AFF for skydiving? I’m wondering if at our age we could get an A license to go with the pilot ticket? It seems doable, though there are weight limits at some schools. I wonder if GII has anything to say about that? It would be yet another adventure to add to the story…

  3. The old bucket list will end in January with a trip to the Harbin Ice and Snow Festival. A last minute addition was Antarctica: I leave tomorrow for 6 days on the peninsula. Among the 70+ countries I have visited, some places I have already been that have really, really impressed: the Gobi in Mongolia, Manu National Park and Machu Picchu in Peru, the Galapagos, the Yangtze, India (it shouldn’t work but somehow it does), the Grand Canyon, and Alaska by rented motorhome. It was fun arguing politics in a mosque in Singapore. Varying the style of travel helps immensely; my wife and I have backpacked and stayed in hostels but also taken 5* tours. It doesn’t really matter whether the Omni is in Hong Kong or Atlanta–hostels and b&b’s give one a much better sense of how people live and think and that is at least as interesting as spectacular sights. Right now we are planning doing Japan on our own i.e. without a tour. Throwing oneself into an environment where few speak your language is always challenging and frequently memorable.

  4. The lake country is amazing — Eastern 2/3 of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, (not too sold on northern Ohio or Pennsylvania, but) New Yawk and points East (as long as you stay north of the Thruway) clear to Maine (the only State east of the Mississippi I haven’t spent time in BTW, but it’s on the list) are awesome if you like clear lakes and mixed trees — LOTS of trees.

    Areas like Traverse City, MI and Fredonia, NY are flush (pardon the expression) with wineries (Traverse City has thirty-some within ~30 miles, Fredonia has nearly 70! Ever wonder where that wonderful New York State Wine came from…?) If a visit to the lakes sounds interesting, don’t forget southern Manitoba and Ontario. They’re pretty enough to warrant a look, and far enough from the CUBE-eck crazies that the locals don’t have brown-matter where their gray-matter should be.

    The HUGE mosquitoes are rarely a problem. It’s the little tiny ones, not much bigger than a gnat, that hurt to High Heaven, and you never know they’re there until the injection, because you can neither hear, nor feel them land.

    Amtrak has Internet, and 110vac, and sometimes they work. They also have several routes to DFW. I do not do “grope and cope” travel any more. I take a train or bus on the rare occasion when driving is not viable. I’ve ridden both the Capitol and Lake Shore Limited, and the Cardinal, a number of times to go east/west, and the City Of New Orleans to go north/south (CONO rolls through Memphis, which is worth it for the BBQ alone.) The secret to rail travel in 21st Century America is to get to Chicago. If you are traveling exclusively in the East you go to NYC, in the West, L.A., but if you are going to, through, or anywhere else in CONUS, Chi-town is the hub from whence all routes radiate.

    If you’d really like to go to Hell…

    https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3ANWS_Hell_MI.jpg

    Go 7mi north of I-94 on US-23, from Ann Arbor, Michigan. Turn west on M-36 and go 7mi to the town of Pinkney. Turn left (south) at the light and go 1mi to Darwin Rd. / Patterson Lake Rd. Turn right (west) and stay on Patterson Lake Rd. and you can’t avoid going to Hell. Be sure to stop in at the General Store and send your friends postcards from Hell, before you visit the Saloon and Hell’s Kitchen…

    Folks around here still use Gravelys.

    Some of them also put small-block Chevys in Deere and Case garden tractors.

    Whatever you do, don’t steer E into “quilting.” That is a mental disease much like golf. Once afflicted, the victim spends countless hours and dollars, to feed said affliction. I have a SIL with the disease. SHE has planned entire vacations around their proximity to fabric and thrift shops (and I’m not kidding!) Unless you wish to build a quilting room addition to your house and know the entire inventory of Jo-Ann by the SKUs you’ve memorized, just don’t…

    • Aw :) but you perhaps, spend like amounts of time and money on ‘tools’ or such – I was in the Victoria and Albert Museum (London) looking at ‘stuff’ when I wandered by an open door and wondered why a painting of Napoleon was in with the old fabrics. Upon closer examination – it was a kind of needlepoint done in long stitches and such varied hues that you would think it was a painting – lovingly done despite the subject!

      • I DO, although most of the tools I buy are for resale.

        You didn’t deny the affliction… ;-)

        I’ve seen marvelous needlepoint and stitchery – really amazing stuff – and I’ve nothing but admiration for an artform for which I have a very low aptitude. My grandmother taught me to sew, knit, and crochet when I was a wee lad. Unfortunately, aside from repairing my clothes, sails, upholstery, etc., when I discovered an ability to repair mechanical things, my hooks went into a toolbox, their designed function forgotten…

  5. George,

    RE Wifi – get a cellular hotspot and GO! They work well and when you are out of coverage, you might try looking and America…before shes gone.

    As for air travel – get the TSA pre-check done. Its worth the $85 every 5 years to have the “travel in the 90s” experience. No scanners, no groping, no undressing, no taking everything out…takes the misery out, other than the sardine can effect.

  6. Well if you can endure a few hours of flight to get here, the Big Island of Hawaii has some of the most spectacular geology on the planet. The world’s largest shield volcano, actively flowing lava. Spectacular waterfalls on the windward side of the island. All the good beaches are on the older, neighbor islands though. We’ve got fresh lava cliffs along most of the shoreline.

    • God, how I miss Ford Is. in Oahu! I could run there like no where else but didn’t realize I was taking my life in my hands as a sailor running past the Mardet on the other side of the island. I’ll always remember standing on top of that historic barracks my last day there seeing the cliffs with their tops in the clouds and the surrounding area and wishing I had another 30 days there. Best time I had in the Navy except the time the wife and I spent in Australia.

  7. I have done next to no traveling (don’t ask). You might consider where I would like to visit, Canada, with lots of pluses and very few minuses. You don’t have to fly, and you can practice your French abilities too. Wait until the warm season though. You might get lucky and see the aurora.

  8. Chaco Canyon is mystical for me,, to others, just a big pile of flat rocks. I know I was there millennium+ ago.

    I was a builder guy for decades; I like to get dirty and build stuff (or help others build stuff(they give up their secrets)).. So late in the day, on my first trip in,, I found the ‘Old Ranger’ and asked some nuts’n’bolts questions.. The construction is stacked rock. Millions of stacked rocks. Most are 2″ to 6″ thick (of course there are aberrations) X 6″ to 15″ in the other dimensions. (think dictionary to coffee-table book size) They seemed to weigh 6# to maybe 20#. Easy enough for most humans to lift and move and stack several hundred a day. Around the base perimeter, larger stones were arranged for a footprint, and jambs and lintels were well thought out. Chaco Site is a beautiful smallish river valley (more like a sturdy crick where I’m from),, surrounded by mesas (maybe a hundred yards high).. to get millions of rocks for construction,, A crew would hike (with tools, water, lunch, blanket,, + supply lines) several miles east for decent assent, up, up, 100 yards, and hike miles back west on top of the mesa,, and start prying and pushing off rocks to the waiting minions below. millions and millions of rocks… So, they took the tops off the mesas to build the fantastic structures below.. (Do you think the Lawyers for the Sierra Club would let you do that today?? (damn Indians wiped out a sediment dwelling minnow sub-species, 127 phd dissertations would have been based on)).

    All of these structures had wooden roofs. Vigas (roof beams) were built through the side walls. The beautiful 1000+ year old stubs can be seen, still intact, in some places.. But the sockets where the vigas once were are evident everywhere. So I looked up and down the valley,, and knew right away that there were NEVER enough trees to make all theses roofs, around here. The ‘Old Ranger’ said no one ever asks that.. The Trees were 20 to 50 to even more miles away.. Pines and Cedars,, that grow on mountain slope with more water than Chaco ever gets.. So you need thousands of logs,, 6″ to maybe 15″ in diameter and 12′ to 30′ long. Now, plan the trip to get these huge pieces of wood back to the jobsite.. First you need hundreds of people,, all you have are hands, strong backs, sturdy legs, and will power. (definitely they did not have this):

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=66jnorSQJfM

    We need lots of axes,, many 2″ to 6″ X 6′ long branches from hardwood species (preferably straight),, some pitch or bitumen as adhesives,, and a ready supply of flint or obsidian for blades.

    Hundreds of people were necessary. Hike over to nearest forest,, logging and support crew (how many cooks and campfires and length of work season).. Whack the tree with your stone ax, till it falls over (with loose teeth flying often). Whack off all the limbs (save some (sort)), and burn the rest in the campfires. Each Viga will require several people to lift and transport for up to 50+ miles.. maybe 400# to 1000# each,, no horses or llamas.. (maybe they got smart, (employee input), and let the logs dry for a year or more to evaporate off some water weight),, but it took an amazing amount of cooperation to move these heavy logs, a long damn way by hand and foot. (Maybe the Chacos let in laborers from the south to do the work (because it was beneath the dignity of a Chaco to do work like that)(while they sat around by the pool, sipped lattes, and chatted about tennis).

    If you know a little about how our 21st century world is assembled.. Check out the phenomenal amount and quality of the actual physical work, it took to assemble these fantastic structures.

    A little more, if you will indulge me??
    Chaco was a ceremonial center,, probably Matrilocal.. Feminine based. All the food to pull off the construction and then the Ceremonial stage had to be imported,, NO way the little valley could have done that, ever. So the radius of focus on the Ceremony has to be pushed out hundreds of miles more.. Thousands more people committed. So that a certain percent of the total,, could sit in a cozy circle of stacked stone, with a cedar roof,, and Ingest or Inhale, (or conform?), to reach an alternate conscientiousness (hopefully).

    What thought, or Charismatic Leader, or doctrine focused thousands of people to cooperate,, to pull off this Stupendous construction project in a relatively short time horizon???? and in an historical blink, walk away

    I have no real idea, why? ,, still lost in the vapor.. But, Hello, if I knew you then.. Chaco was a relative flash,, one of thousands in our cumulative past..
    Will our 7+ Billion fellow travelers, with our NEW interconnectedness ever allow this again??

    So the Chacos left us a probably unsolvable mystery.. As for me,, I was probably one of those laborers imported from the south,, all I wanted was the stone frijoles bowl,, I’m not listening to why these crazy gringos want a rock circle.. I’m thinking about Conchita, back in my village. and how I’m gonna build my own little Kiva-ito, next winter..

    Don’t miss Chaco.. but don’t tell any one about it..

    • Thank you; I went there by myself a long time ago. It was well worth the trip. The thing is, these beautiful times, in the past, when people lived with nature, all people’s of all culture’s, all over the world, had these times that will never come again. Once, my first time at Chichen Itza, I tried to climb up using the rope as a guide, but I was overcome with the most devastating paralyzing fear. I had never before been scared of heights or anything, and was actually quite fearless. Nevertheless, I continued on up. Walked around the top, but couldn’t get close to the side (the ledge is small anyway). My fellow traveler was running around like a kid. I was soul-level discombobulated. On the way down, while gripping the rope, and going down on my butt, I was crying. I still can’t get over my reaction. The next time I went, many years later, they had closed it to climbers. BUT, they had the inside passage open…I tried to go in that, nope, could not make it! I often wonder, if I had been there in the past. What could cause that kind of paralyzing fear?

  9. I live in Saskatchewan Canada. Today the wind is reaching 40 miles an hour and the temp is dropping to minus 20C. We are sitting in front of a warm fire eating homemade chicken noodle soup and drinking chocolate raspberry coffee. We live the adventure LOL.

  10. @ Richard –

    The Viewliner and Superliner routes do not even come into Texas. AmTrak was conceived and designed by East and West coast people, and the routes reflect that, as does availability. Also, the food is basically contract catered airline food (at best) and there are layovers that are too short for excursions and too long to just sit in the station.

    I guess it beats the subway, but it isn’t anything to get excited about. And why would you post the wi-fi speed for a train route?? Traveling across country and you plan on keeping your eyes on a screen?

    Been to China about 5 years back – AmTrak is equal to China’s freight service. Their rail accomodations on the bullet trains beats western first class airlines easily. What passes for rail in America is a sad excuse compared to EU, China, Japan and many other places.

    @MDS –

    A small loom will set you back about $700 if you shop it carefully. My daughter is a weaver, and has two looms. She dyes her own yarn (sometimes even spins her own) and sells cloth for well over $50/yd – because it is handmade and dyed.

    If you don’t have arthritis, then quilting is a good reward for your efforts. Handmade quilts sell for respectable money. And I really like the undersea idea too. Goodwill can be a great source for secondhand clothes from which you can make swatches to get your idea going.

    My daughter made quilts from my Dad’s old shirts after he passed away a couple of years back – that is a much better use than turning them into rags of throwing them into the trash.

    • Jeez OM, don’t tell ’em Elaine and I are hooked on microfiber throws – have been since the boat.
      N OTHING beats polartec wind block with waterproofing…nothing. I had a custom set of sweats sewn up for me ($150 in 1992 or so) – could go outside for hours with not even underwear under ’em and it was amazing…even in the rain.
      Tec is something like a buffet line – pays to get lots of the good stuff and pass on the bad.

    • Thanks for the suggestion – there are ancient fabrics that have survived hundreds, even thousands of years – a glimpse into how weavers approached the craft, and life . . .

      • George–

        If MDS would like to contact me about quilting, you have my permission to share my email address with her. Thanks.

  11. Gravely’s are great tractors. They are still building machines that work like a dream. I grew up with them. It was great to see Dad run the gang reel mower over the acre of lawn that we had. He’d come around the corner of the house, grass flying. He finally bought a gravely riding mower when he was in his 60’s. Plowed the snow off the driveway, plowed the vegetable garden each year. I miss that. He died three years ago a week shy of his 90th birthday. Landed on Omaha Beach the day after DDay. Worked in the space industry for 50 years. A voracious reader, he didn’t go on many vacations, but knew so much about everything, and could do so many things. An amazing man.

      • Yes, I loved it; looking back my Dad could fix anything: bicycles, motorcycles, cars, transistor radios, record players, go-carts, dirt bikes, kids boo-boos, he could cook, cut hair, give baths – kids and animals -; get up early, go to bed late, put in a yard, build a wall, fish, hike, camp, swim, dive, boat, play pool, bowl, play tennis, and played catch with his kids and spent all of his free time with us and said his fun started when he had kids (compared to his childhood in the Great Depression), he was into nutrition way ahead of his time, etc., he had Paris, New York, LA, Las Vegas, London, Frankfurt, and many other cities all memorized in his brain. We were blessed to have him in our lives, and our incredibly intelligent, Mom, who was his sidekick (neither graduated college). Why don’t people want to be the BEST they can be anymore?

  12. I’ve been digging central america. Everything you do is an adventure. Just getting from point A to point B can be a challenge. All the stuff we take for granted isn’t always accessible. It’s those challenges that make things fun and sometimes not so much fun.

  13. @ Jerome –

    I hope millenials are smart enough to NOT build those giant McMansions and NOT think taking over the entire world is such a great idea. I’m hoping that millenials let go of a lot of the materialism I had instilled into me. I know mine are looking at things a lot differently than I did at their age, but then they have an old man harping at them to feed their souls and not their bank accounts.

    You can’t take ‘things’ with you – I’m trying to make sure mine get the real import of that adage.

    • in the end.. it all goes to the hospitals or some nursing facility.. if you plan on giving it to the kids you have to several years before its your time to take the adventure of sitting at the window wishing for someone to stop by while some young kids talk about their hot date..
      I was reprimanded once for talking sex in the workplace.. here is what happened.. a young lady came up to the desk cute blonde.. the charge nurse was sitting next to me and we were doing charts and this cute blonde started talking about this hot date she was going to go on and how much she was looking towards it. I said jokingly.. enjoy it while your young .. when you get to our age and pointed at the charge nurse.. you have to drop to your knees and praise god.. LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL.. the charge took it offensively LOL I am just glad I didn’t make the comment about at our age you’ll feel like mating walruses.. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mV1HZD-1cxI

    • For those of us who came from this in our own example, never fell for nor had the McMansions, and never will, but also never feel deprived. It isn’t just experiences, it is relationships, and that is the hardest I want to work at anything with its resulting rewards a plenty! LOVE, it’s what you get to take with you to the other side!

  14. My father always held that “Roughing it” was when room service was slow. It took a while, but I have come around to his way of thinking. Grin

  15. Amtrak does have Wi-Fi that is reportedly 6X faster and more reliable than ever before. You should check it out before you relegate trains to your 1890’s mindset!

  16. I agree with not flying. TSA has soured me on it completely. Apparently if you go to any country that is known to have drug traffic (Colombia, Thailand, etc.) but not defended by US troops (Afghanistan), then you get ‘special’ services from the TSA. I guess I missed the no-fly list but got on the ‘personal infiltration’ list due to my travel history alone.

    Airline seating is beyond awful for anyone with a waist size above 32″ or broad shoulders (mine are 50″), prices ridiculous and most anyone under the age of 30 is completely lost in their phones to the point of idiocy. I literally have “I-Folks” caroming off me when walking to the flight gate. They have withdrawal symptoms mid-flight between Houston and Phoenix, and that can get ugly! LOL

    Agree about the traveling cash, although that is one of those things I haven’t had happen yet, and hope not to. I’ve decided to explore people and places within the immediate counties around me, and focus on building things that will be interesting for those following me when I pass on.

    I am going to make a suspension bridge soon, and then a big cement/stone bridge in the next year or two. Then maybe, if I can find the right gear, maybe build a ring of standing stones lined up with the solstice – just to do it. Might as well while there is gasoline to get it done without 40 people.

    Planting trees for the future is also pretty cool, even if I may not get to see them. Thinking about getting some redwoods and trying them here – worst case is they don’t make it.

    My bucket list is non-existent at this point, and my body illustrates that. Two artificial joints, numerous herniated discs, blown ear drum, tinnitis…it’s not the years, but the mileage. Glad I am living in this time, because if this was 1920, I would be crippled up pretty bad. So adventuring for me has gotten more cerebral, and power assisted (forget walking – the remaining joints are not going to be as easy to replace). Now I get why old guys sat on the town square and just looked and talked – it was about all they were up for! LOL

    And yes – counseling my kids to NOT be quite as adventurous and daring as I was. But then again, racing MX and skydiving and diving wrecks, hang gliding, kayaking, hiking, Giza, Machu Picchu, Chichen Itza, Ayers Rock – I got those memories and so many more for – always…

    • Interesting life! I can relate, though you win with the international stuff. I totally agree with your opinion of the TSA. I actually do want to visit places such as Thailand, China(again), Taiwan, and maybe even Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru. Some nutrients and supplements that are legal in the USA may or may not be in any of those countries, and I doubt TSA would know what to think or do with such things. They keep me healthy and I’d rather not do without them, but it’s not worth sitting in a jail cell while TSA and their ilk sort things out. Thailand in particular supposedly has an excellent medical system and you can pay a la carte for whatever at an affordable rate, unlike our country. Even minor procedures could pay for the trip, and of course, it’s the land of smiles and friendly females. I can deal with being in a country even if I don’t know the language, but the border crossing thing has always given me the creeps, even though I’m presumably legal.

      BTW, on trains, I have to agree. China invested in trains and we invested in wars. China wins that one.

  17. There is a whole big world out there. Why limit your travels to the United States? Go to Europe, discover the antiquities of Central and South America. Discover the beauty of Asia and the Pacific Rim. Stand in awe at the magnificence of New Zealand, or Take a photo safari through the Serengeti Plains of Kenya. The U.S is a great place to make money, but can get boring outside of the main sites in Utah, Colorado, all of California, Coastal and Eastern Washington and Oregon, New Mexico and yes, even on your parts near Big Bend…big cities and coastal towns out east offer a lot…like Charleston SC, but even at a young age, I have Been there done that and that’s where the rest of the world gets to be exhilarating

    And, contrary to your beliefs, millenials are not living with parents. They are buying multi-million dollar homes, starting businesses that have valuations in the billions and ruling the world pretty much right now.

  18. George,

    I am close to your age (2 years behind) as is my wife. I noticed that your wife has tried the sewing thing, but has she tried quilting. My wife is constantly into some new pattern or quilt. Since Elaine has an artistic side it might be something that would interest her. I am amazed at the endless designs that my wife comes up with. In fact there is even an computer program called “Electric Quilter” that enables you to make up your own design from scratch. I have been to the Paducah, Kentucky quilt show with Judy several times. This is an international event that draws quilters from all over the world. Beautiful craftsmanship in these quilts, which are truly works of art.
    I thought I was obsessive at collecting tools, but you should see the fabric (stash as Judy calls it) that my wife has stockpiled.
    As for me, golf is an ever changing challenge. I never know which golfer I will be when I go to the course. I have a group of about 15 guys that get together once a week and play. We are affectionately known as the “Gleason Geezers”. We have a great time, but play terrible golf. The fellowship is the big thing.
    In any event, good luck in your quest for the “next big thing”. Hope all goes well.

    Lloyd Snider

    • Something I am thinking of trying is ‘free form quilting’ meaning attempting to ‘recreate’ the quilt version of Pacific Northwest Undersea life etc. in a quilt – Kelp forest in the ocean with sea creatures,like giant octopus, otters, etc and maybe those tube worms . . .

      I also think that carving netsuke would be really fantastic . . . or perhaps learning to weave properly fabric or maybe metal . . .

    • If Elaine decides to investigate the quilting route, I’d be happy to answer any questions she might have. Prepare to abandon your guest quarters to studio space and perhaps build a dedicated room addition though. Once the formaldehyde hits your blood, there’s no turning back.

  19. And I thought we were the only ones that couldn’t think of an adventurous holiday any more!

    The most enjoyable vacation we tried over the past few years was Arkansas’ Crater of Diamonds. Talk about a workout in a sauna! I had a blast and the grandkid did too and wants to go back but not the ladies. That 55 mph speed limit with a Texas license plate off the interstate is enough to peg out the paranoia gauge, though. Especially when you’re licensed to carry and I know that little bit of info is stuck to the read-out on our license plates. I’ve also told the family that NO-one carries more than a couple of hundred in cash on them either on a trip from now on just to limit the possibility of “loss” in case we get stopped.

    We went to Durango, Co. a couple of years ago and were in striking distance of the world famous cliff dwellings but couldn’t talk a certain person into going due to her knee problems. Curiously, though, she could make every (non-PC alert here) cotton-pickin’, two-bit curio shop, antique and jewelry store on just about every block of that tourist town. The train ride was fun and 4 wheeling some trails saved it for me.

    Spending a week in D.C. going through the Smithsonian is a dream but a recent visit by friends (yes, I have a few) tells me that place has turned into a mad house of constant protests and insanity. Perhaps some fishing with a cousin in the Louisiana swamps might be do-able but that’s a trip I’ll have to take by myself.

    Strange how choices get winnowed down all too early in life. The brothers are Vegas addicts but I’ve passed on most trips. They didn’t bring back any Hamms from their most recent trip, though, which lowered their standing with me a notch. Highway 1 in CA would bring back some great memories with one more visit to San Simian before it falls off – just have to steer ‘way clear of the big cities.

    I’ve told the family the only way we go anywhere from now on is by driving ourselves. No way I’m going to do a strip-tease with an extended feel-up in an airport any more. The police state has ruined the joy of flying for me. The thought of some perv with a badge doing that to the rest of the family, the little ones especially, is a no-go from here on out for this guy.

    I guess winning the lottery and throwing in a million with the Oak Island guys, if they’re still digging, might be another dream, too. Unearthing history is way up there on my list. Just have to have the cotton-pickin’ jewelry, curio and antique stores in reach to keep someone else satisfied.

    • Okay, so this is how I survive the handsy strip search, I talk the whole damm way through it. I then tell myself, and say out loud for them to hear, oh, and my, and wow wie, when they hit the sweet spot, and then the last time I tooted right in her face, but not on purpose, just the price she and the TSA have to pay for touching me! When I have to fly, I fly, but when I don’t, I won’t!