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Western Travel Memories - 35 Years Ago + Tonight
#1
I wrote this post a few days ago and decided it was time to post it.

Tonight, I was out jogging, and listening on the I-Pod to "Ramblin' Rose" off the Grateful Dead's Europe '72 Album. I was so reminded of the Trails West trip I took during the summer of 1973.[sup]1[/sup] The music (Europe '72, along with the two Beatles' Greatest Hits double albums, were almost constantly on the 8-track in the bus.

It is hard to believe that me and a busload of similar 14-16 year olds returned home, 35 years ago to this night or almost to this night.

Tonight, coming off the 2 mile jog, I could now understand for the fist time the association of that music to a marijuana high. The music went just as well, if not better with the "runner's high". Now, no one that knows me online or in person would associate me with pot. However, I have done more than my share during college days and my early days as a lawyer.

But, on a more important note, the long, langourous guitar solos of "Ramblin' Rose", and almost desert dryness of the air reminded me of that summer, a summer that I learned a lot about myself, before and after which I developed a deep relationship with my soon-to-be stepfather, after my father's death that past January, and developed a deep love for America, its hinterlands, coasts, mountains, deserts and wonderful people everywhere.


[sup]Footnote 1[/sup] The trip ended exactly 35 years ago this afternoon, when the bus pulled into Bayside, Queens, having traversed the United States.
If it's us or them, I choose us.
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#2
More on the trip:

The trip was a "Teen Tour" that was popular among teens at the time (I hope still). Basically, my trip was a "camping" trip. The bus started and ended in Bayside, Queens. The trajectory, roughly, was through Canada at Niagara Falls, back into US at Windsor, ON/Detroit (3d overnight in Battle Creek, Michigan). First substantive stop was supposed to be the "Badlands" of South Dakota. A severe thunderstorm (I later learned accompanied by tornados) drove us to the Wall, South Dakota High School gym for the night. The next day, we saw the Rapid City Zoo and Mount Rushmore, as well as did some hiking in the Black Hills. That day, it hit 110 F.

From there, the next major highlight was a 20 mile hike in Grand Teton National Park, to Lake Rendevous. I was not yet acclimated to the altitude, so the next several days I had oxygen-starvation stitches in my side. I thus took the shorter hike in Glacier National Park (the only time I didn't take the maximum hike possible). The next major stop, Mount Rainier, was truly spectacular. There are great pictures on the Camp Muir glacier. After a brief stop in Crater Lake, we made it to your state, California. Before we crossed into California, we were advised that we wouldn't "see Beach Boys on surfboards" right away. This was an understatement since Mount Lassen was downright frigid (I estimate it was about 45 F at 1:00 p.m. that day). There was still some snow there. We then went to Berkely for a few hours, to drink in the "hippie culture" of that era. After that was the largely forgettable San Fransisco, LA and San Diego (though I did like the trip to Tijuana and the San Diego Zoo). After some downtime for bus repair in Las Vegas, we camped at Zion National Park, bussing down to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, Kaibab Plateau. I found the following day stop, in Bryce Canyon, far more spectacular. I took the sunrise hike to Promontory Point at Bryce, and watched the sun rise in the crystal clear, cool desert.

Next stop, Salt Lake City, the spectacular Arches National Monument (excerpt below, link, to recent NY Times article about collapse of one of the arches I saw) where I ran out of film S4

[Image: 10arches190.jpg]

The Wall Arch in Arches National Park before and after its collapse last week.

New York Times Wrote:ARCHES NATIONAL PARK, Utah (AP) — One of the largest and most visible arches in Arches National Park has collapsed.

National Park Service

Paul Henderson, a park spokesman, said Wall Arch collapsed sometime late Monday or early Tuesday.

The arch is along Devils Garden Trail, one of the most popular in the park. For years, the arch has been a favorite stopping point for photographers.

Mr. Henderson said the arch was claimed by forces that will eventually destroy others in the park: gravity and erosion. “They all let go after a while,” he said.

Like others in the park, Wall Arch was formed by entrada sandstone that was whittled over time into its distinctive and photogenic formation.

The arch, first reported and named in 1948, was more than 33 feet tall and 71 feet across. It ranked 12th in size among the park’s estimated 2,000 arches.
After Arches, the Indian Pueblos in Pueblo National Park, then Great Sand Dunes National Monument in Alamosa, Colorado (great dunes hiking), and finally, the long bus ride home, via Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, the New Jersey Turnpike (guess the song, "counting the cars on the New Jersey Turnpike they're all bound to look for America"), and then, back to Bayside.

It was, in many ways, a reflective trip. The image of America Jewish Eastern Democratic Progressives like myself had was the America of Richard Nixon, Viet Nam, in short, not much of a country to be patriotic about. After that trip, tears always came to my eyes, thinking about the red, white and blue.
If it's us or them, I choose us.
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#3
It's truly amazing how our journey begins in one direction, and almost always takes many more turns before reaching the final destination. Your experiences are something I hope you never lose during your lifetime. I fear the ravages of Alzheimers more than anything eles. I can stand the body deteriorating, but losing all I once held dear, in my mind, is too depressing to contemplate.

As for the Wall Arch, I imagine it was only inevitable, because it was a less than perfect type arch, and it's weight bearing properties were not in the center, but off to one side. And a close up of the "after" picture shows that the crack in the rock on one side, had to be the cause of the collapse. the angle of the crack was away from the center, instead of into it, so it required less pressure to give way.

Fortunately there are many others remaining in the park. Kim Pham, a Vietnamese American, has some very nice pictures of her time spent in the Arches National Park, and I hope others can appreciate her very nice picture taking.

Rick Scott took this slightly different shot, and is far nicer than the standard ones in the news.
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"INSIDE EVERY PROGRESSIVE IS A TOTALITARIAN SCREAMING TO GET OUT" - David Horowitz

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#4
John L Wrote:It's truly amazing how our journey begins in one direction, and almost always takes many more turns before reaching the final destination. Your experiences are something I hope you never lose during your lifetime. I fear the ravages of Alzheimers more than anything eles. I can stand the body deteriorating, but losing all I once held dear, in my mind, is too depressing to contemplate.

As for the Wall Arch, I imagine it was only inevitable, because it was a less than perfect type arch, and it's weight bearing properties were not in the center, but off to one side. And a close up of the "after" picture shows that the crack in the rock on one side, had to be the cause of the collapse. the angle of the crack was away from the center, instead of into it, so it required less pressure to give way.

Fortunately there are many others remaining in the park. Kim Pham, a Vietnamese American, has some very nice pictures of her time spent in the Arches National Park, and I hope others can appreciate her very nice picture taking.

Rick Scott took this slightly different shot, and is far nicer than the standard ones in the news.

Yes. I'm 24, and I'm already tired of the constant new directions. Its almost as if God randomly throws things out just to fuck with me.
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#5
Anonymous24 Wrote:Yes. I'm 24, and I'm already tired of the constant new directions. Its almost as if God randomly throws things out just to **** with me.

G-d? I thought you were an Urban Atheist.
___________________________________________________________________________________________________
"INSIDE EVERY PROGRESSIVE IS A TOTALITARIAN SCREAMING TO GET OUT" - David Horowitz

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#6
Time to settle down? Such ideas eventually come to most everyone.

Your neurons are almost done dieing out after excessive growth in the teen years and early 20's, and so maybe you ready for stability.
Jefferson: I place economy among the first and important virtues, and public debt as the greatest of dangers. To preserve our independence, we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. We must make our choice between economy and liberty, or profusion and servitude. If we can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of caring for them, they will be happy.
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#7
jt Wrote:Time to settle down? Such ideas eventually come to most everyone.

Your neurons are almost done dieing out after excessive growth in the teen years and early 20's, and so maybe you ready for stability.

I'm still waiting for mine to die down. I have this bad feeling its gonna be a while :/
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#8
Anon, I don't think it will be so long. Have you decided on a direction in life? A while back you wanted to be a history teacher. Getting started on a new direction might help settle things out.
Jefferson: I place economy among the first and important virtues, and public debt as the greatest of dangers. To preserve our independence, we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. We must make our choice between economy and liberty, or profusion and servitude. If we can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of caring for them, they will be happy.
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#9
No, I don't have a direction in life yet. I vacilate between radically different goals and careers. And there's also personal needs not even related to career.
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#10
As I understand it, you are still in school and are about 24 years old. I don't know if you have your baccalaureate yet, but probably you are close.

Perhaps you should get out of the womb of school for a while. I did that, and it clarified my mind and I found a direction. My son did that, and so is my younger daughter. Both my son and I returned to school, but with purpose. There is nothing like the experience of working to focus your mind. I know you have rejected JohnL's advice, which would be another worthwhile way to focus your mind. In my opinion, "personal needs" can be a narcotic, and distract you from finding a purpose or avocation. But, I do not know what "personal needs" you are discussing.
Jefferson: I place economy among the first and important virtues, and public debt as the greatest of dangers. To preserve our independence, we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. We must make our choice between economy and liberty, or profusion and servitude. If we can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of caring for them, they will be happy.
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#11
jt Wrote:Perhaps you should get out of the womb of school for a while. I did that, and it clarified my mind and I found a direction. My son did that, and so is my younger daughter. Both my son and I returned to school, but with purpose. There is nothing like the experience of working to focus your mind. I know you have rejected JohnL's advice, which would be another worthwhile way to focus your mind. In my opinion, "personal needs" can be a narcotic, and distract you from finding a purpose or avocation. But, I do not know what "personal needs" you are discussing.

I am 21, and this is my advice to you Anon. The Army did that for me, I had wisdom and maturity I was told, but I didn't care or wasn't focused on any one thing. So a few years of this may be enough to take all the excessive energy out of me and give me an idea of where to go. I wanted to see it all.

Getting out on your own separate from school-life is so much of a different stride you'll enjoy the change of pace. It's reality. You'll feel like you're going somewhere and what you'll have to go to to get to another point. You'll meet different people, see different things, do different things, and realize what's lacking and what is a priority.

What do you mean by personal needs? I wanted lots of life experience, working as whatever and seeing all sorts of stuff and having a moving life, rather than the same ol' High School-College-Job-Family-Retirement/Death everyone else does. That was personal need.

It already has given me an idea of what I don't want to do, perhaps this is better than nothing, eh?

A few years ago I never thought I would turn 21 in this place nor that I would be doing what I did on that day. When you get to that point, you know you're really going.....somewhere.....

I dunno if the service is your idea of a good change, but getting out of the "womb of school" as was put earlier is a good idea if you want to refresh your life and senses for something new. Perspective changes with life. No one wants to view the same ol' movie 24/7.
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#12
My kid did the Navy and it really did help him. If this economy goes big south,he'll be back in the Navy asap,too.
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#13
Gunnen4u Wrote:
jt Wrote:Perhaps you should get out of the womb of school for a while. I did that, and it clarified my mind and I found a direction. My son did that, and so is my younger daughter. Both my son and I returned to school, but with purpose. There is nothing like the experience of working to focus your mind. I know you have rejected JohnL's advice, which would be another worthwhile way to focus your mind. In my opinion, "personal needs" can be a narcotic, and distract you from finding a purpose or avocation. But, I do not know what "personal needs" you are discussing.

I am 21, and this is my advice to you Anon. The Army did that for me, I had wisdom and maturity I was told, but I didn't care or wasn't focused on any one thing. So a few years of this may be enough to take all the excessive energy out of me and give me an idea of where to go. I wanted to see it all.

Getting out on your own separate from school-life is so much of a different stride you'll enjoy the change of pace. It's reality. You'll feel like you're going somewhere and what you'll have to go to to get to another point. You'll meet different people, see different things, do different things, and realize what's lacking and what is a priority.

What do you mean by personal needs? I wanted lots of life experience, working as whatever and seeing all sorts of stuff and having a moving life, rather than the same ol' High School-College-Job-Family-Retirement/Death everyone else does. That was personal need.

It already has given me an idea of what I don't want to do, perhaps this is better than nothing, eh?

A few years ago I never thought I would turn 21 in this place nor that I would be doing what I did on that day. When you get to that point, you know you're really going.....somewhere.....

I dunno if the service is your idea of a good change, but getting out of the "womb of school" as was put earlier is a good idea if you want to refresh your life and senses for something new. Perspective changes with life. No one wants to view the same ol' movie 24/7.

I'd like to stay in school at this point, if only for the sense of community and access to girls. Because I tend to isolate when left to my own devices, it would be too easy for me to end up totally alone and alienated if I tried to forge my own path at this time.

I had seriously considered the military when I was younger, it may surprise you too know. But I decided my personality type - introverted, sensitive, and private - simply wasn't right for it. Plus, I am a hopeless daydreamer, and I have a feeling that would completely sabotage me in the military.
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#14
Anonymous24 Wrote:I'd like to stay in school at this point, if only for the sense of community and access to girls. Because I tend to isolate when left to my own devices, it would be too easy for me to end up totally alone and alienated if I tried to forge my own path at this time.

I had seriously considered the military when I was younger, it may surprise you too know. But I decided my personality type - introverted, sensitive, and private - simply wasn't right for it. Plus, I am a hopeless daydreamer, and I have a feeling that would completely sabotage me in the military.

Heh, yes school is good for girls, probably why I want to go there again someday.

Daydreaming isn't a bad thing in the Army. Unless it's like ADHD and causes you disasters.

It's just a suggestion. However, you may like a sense of "community", but often, I have found that the community may hold you back, or thinking you belong in it keep you from breaking out as it were. Don't be a tool to trends and others!

Whatever you want in life, good luck and God Speed. Just don't end up a wino on a bench.
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