Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A Few Notes on Nothing

Got to hand it to the guy who is at dead horse camping with the family. He has approximately three highly strung teenaged daughters and oddly odd wife who is not as loud as her girls and maybe a family friend, or extra wife along, not sure.

The girls scream and cultivate hysteria over everything. You would have thought a bear was attacking them. I think it turned out to be a lizard or bug, not sure. They constantly go to the car turn on the headlights, open and close doors, generally fidget and fuss. They seemed to be having fun from the sound of it. Sound was my main source of observation because I was under and behind trees in my little tent. No escaping it.

I noticed the next morning as I was packing up and pulling out that they had a little tent city going. Three or four pink tents and one larger blue tent. I'm guessing the girls all have identical pink tents. Nice ones, too. The things parents go through trying to provide for their offspring. In a way I envy the guy. In a way I don't. I do like the fact that they were out as a family and their kids were having fun, like cats, imagining great drama where none exists. It must take a patient man to oversee such madness. Never did I hear him raise his voice. No indication of discord. I think it is a mistake that family life is not glorified in more effective ways. Maybe it is the dissolution of gender identity and individual sense of purpose that has done this. Who knows.

I wonder if the fact that people in such settings are less friendly toward strangers is related to the family thing or otherwise significant. I have noticed that fewer people will return a hello or a nod than in the past. Region has something to do with it but not everything. The gradual refusal to respectfully acknowledge the existence of others in certain real life situations is not healthy. More than likely these same people would lol all over the place on their smart phones and computers with complete strangers they'll never see in person.

I hope I never become so insecure that I can't look at a person and at least give a nod of acknowledgement that they exist.

Off the subject. I think I am hooked on the western USA, especially the parts not overly populated. Aside from the wide open largeness and magnificent landscape, there is so much potential to organize and build in ways that haven't been done. It is important not to do it as it has been done because it is obvious that those methods lack foresight. Traffic alone should prove that point. And I do not think the plans to reduce mobility and freedom, and herd people here and there is a reasonable alternative. Parameters should always include maximum individual freedom and choice, then you work the design from there paying attention to consequences on all fronts which you can identify. Ignoring the side effects is the flaw that screws things up. Imagining that humans have no right to be here and use resources is also a recipe for disaster.
the end

Forgot What to Say In Tremonton Utah

That's where I am now. I'm headed up through southern Idaho and on up toward Seattle. People I ought to see. N2 and his cool girlfriend, S, and I don't know.

Anyway, at first I planned to see the land features I really love-the big beautiful mountains in Colorado, but then I realized I need to see the people who put up with me or share my blood, or both. This has resulted in taking roads I've never travelled and seing sights from another angle, or seeing things I've never seen. Like the mountains around Salt Lake and Provo.

I was going to go to the Salt Lake itself, but there was too much traffic and crowd. The season is on, and the fourth of July hooplah has already begun. That means hordes of people hell bent on getting away from it all with all the other people of like mind. It looks stressful. They'll have to rest and sleep when they get back home and go to work. That's what jobs are for in many cases; a good place to sleep while pretending to be busy.

If you do drop by Tremonton, JC's diner is off the highway maybe half a mile or so but it is your best bet for a cheap good meal, and people with a good diner attitude. Lots of locals there.

Thanks to a tailwind, the tour mobile achieved 32 mpg over the last 450 miles. I think it is doing its best to make me realize that it is as good as the first tour mobile which met an untimely and unfortunate demise due to Over the Hill Trucking's (out of Sacramento) negligent and dangerous conduct and subsequent dishonesty and lying which backfired, hahaha). I realized that I have never put this many miles on any vehicle I ever owned. I've owned a few longer, maybe, but never have I put that many miles on them. I guess it comes to over 30k per year, easily. This trip alone has been somewhere between 6 and 8 thousand.

I'm not sure because I zeroed out the A trip odometer by mistake. I zero B at every fill up so I can exercise my brain and do the math in my head to figure milage. I can't believe the mpg I get, considering I have to run a/c so much. One reason I don't rough it in that way is so my computer won't get too hot.

When I get home it will be close to time for a new timing belt and brakes. Even in the terrain outside Taos and some passes in Utah, I didn't use brakes much. It is an automatic but I drop it down into D3 or even 2. Where I live, I do the same thing. No need to go through brakes in a hurry. If there had been a 5 speed that met the conditions I needed at purchase, I'd have bought it. I don't think current automatics are really any drawback. It is nice to have control and and all that but I can deal with either one. And I'd be fretting over burning out the clutch if I had one so maybe this is best.

This town is not as touristy as some, and it seems like a good place. Two coin laundries, what more could you want?

None of that is what I thought about to say. I wonder what I originally had in mind?

I kind of lost focus and didn't know where to go there for awhile, but then I settled on a plan. All I knew this morning was I'd decide by the time I hit Salt Lake City. One plan was to go left on 80 and then something. Another was to go right toward Colorado, and the final one is to head up 84 and wind up in Seattle. I feel better now that I have a clue and some reason.

There are times when I like to wander aimlessly and times I prefer to wander aimfully.

Travel Tips and Thoughts for Aimless Gypsies:part N of N+X

First thing you should know: avoid driving up I-15 past Provo and Salt Lake City Utah.
The road appears to be perpetually under construction, blocked lanes are poorly marked, it is bumpy, and the traffic is heavy.

OK, that sounds normal for much of America. Here's the catch; the people driving on that road are mostly totally nuts. Perhaps it is a Utah thing, or just that area, I don't know. You have anywhere from 3 to 5 or 6 lanes going your way. Number of lanes is a bit vague at times. The speed limit is 55 in that zone which goes on forever; from below Provo to north of Salt Lake.

So, what do the people do? First, they speed up so that everyone is going 65 or 70 even though cops do pull people over. It is safer to go with the flow and try to put yourself out of the path of the many wildcats who pass at 90 mph even though they can see that everyone in all lanes a tenth of a mile ahead has suddenly slowed to 50. They like to pass on the right then swing to the left a foot in front of the car the just passed, then hit they brakes so as not to collide with the group ahead. If you foolishly adhere to standard rules of the road and pass on the left, you better watch out when you get back over to the right because the rocket jock driving the pickup may collide with you if you aren't aware. He certainly won't be watching for you.

I have a theory. Yes, S, I know I already shared this with you.

Some miles before the highway madness zone begins there is a billboard that reads, "Holding Out Hope For Polygamy". I think that is in an 80 mph zone. I did not catch the website at the bottom but they have one.

I'm thinking, it's like holding out hope for legal pot--yea, there is that hope but in the mean time people just go ahead and do it. In the case of polygamy this means a few guys who have the inside track on such things are scooping up more than their share of women. This leaves all the other young males in a bit of a quandary, especially if they are part of this belief system. It is like radical Islam--too many young males with very serious sexual issues and frustration, so they go crazy and act out in inappropriate ways.

The result is that the unsuspecting gypsy is taking his life in his hands on that road. Apparently some of the mac daddies are spread a little thin, so it results in peculiar frustration for some of the wimmins too. These people are nuts, whether my theory explains it or not. Just a word to the wise. And I lived in Miami for quite some time. If you've driven there in the last 30 years you know that me saying this stretch of highway is possibly crazier than that is saying a lot.

Another tip: the long meandering road trip causes nose and ear hair to grow faster than normal. Toe nails, too. If I was into government grants I'd see if they'd pay me to conduct a study on this phenomenon.


Not so much a tip as a WTF?
If you are a male between 50 and 60, about 75 pounds or more overweight, completely gray, I honestly think a tattoo of Frankenstein's head covering the entire side of your ample calf, plainly visible because of course you wear gym shorts and sandals, is not a fashion statement you need to make for any reason I can imagine. Your swagger and habit of standing at the convenient mart counter legs apart, swaying side to side and to and fro also does little to win friends and influence people. You're already taking up more space than your proper allotment. Again, perhaps a good subject for study on government grant. I won't bother with the rest of the "look", My mind went into overload at Frankenstein.

The good looking chick with a partly visible full portrait of a woman covering her back complete with some kind of background was another puzzle. That one probably has a story. I have a feeling the guy just thought, "hmm, tattoos are cool now. Frankenstein is awesome, dude. Put Frankenstein on my leg and I'll be cool too."

To each his own, but I can wonder and puzzle as is my right. I chalk him up to the Utah thing.

I should note that inn keepers and diner personnel here are rather personable and nice. Almost Southern, in the good sense.

another Tip; if you detect a merchant in a high tourist area has the attitude that all travelers are beneath him or her, don't buy there. Those who make their living off of travelers and visitors fall into two groups: those who know which side their bread is buttered on, and those who don't. I haven't spent much but my hostile-to-outsiders meter has cost people some money. It has made money for the souls who generate a feeling of gratitude and respect.

If you work in the take money from tourists business and you hate travelers, then get out of that line of work. We'll all be happier for it.
Almost forgot--if you can get where you are going on highway 89 or 89A, and you have the time, that is the road to take. Much more interesting than the big interstate highways. Many cool and interesting places on that road. After all, that is the road to Jerome, AZ, and it runs up here in Utah too.

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