As one existential wag put it: “the only vehicle suited to the road is truth”. So, here are a few Truths from the Road, as I saw it during our three-week, 4,461-mile sweep of the West.
–If you’re going to spend more than a week anyplace, consider renting your car from the company’s downtown office rather than the airport. You’ll save a bundle. On this trip, we saved about 55% off the airport rate by taking a $50 taxi into downtown Denver and doing the three week rental from that office rather than the airport. On the return, with Peggy pleading sweetly on the cell phone, they let us drop the car at the airport anyway, with no penalty or foul. Total savings? Close to $1000!
–GPS units are a godsend. BUT, if you travel with a spouse/significant other who considers him or herself to be a navigator, try to take in the bigger picture. True, one of these methods is virtually infallible, and the other only thinks she is. But remember, it’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey.
Who cares if it takes another few hours, or days, to get where you’re going….especially if it helps your relationship last longer too? (Of course, if making your relationship last longer is NOT a desired result, then tell your spouse or significant other to cram it and surrender to the sweet, satellite-guided sounds of Garmin, Tom-Tom or whomever.)
–If you don’t think our country’s infrastructure is in trouble, look at what passes for a rest stop (in above photo)…. Okay, in the spirit of full disclosure, this is not a real rest stop, just one farmer’s idea of a joke.
Of course, if said farmer were an artist and, say, wore a beret, went by one name, spoke with a delicious foreign accent, and sent the above creation to an art museum, it would be an installation. An installation that is decrying, of course, the pitiful state of our country’s infrastructure.
But, rest assured, this guy is no Christo, and I’m no Avedon, and so this is just a fun picture to wrap up a great road trip….
This Post Has 13 Comments
Skunk18 Aug 2009
I have to say, your bit about the navigation system had me in stitches.
Bob18 Aug 2009
It would be even funnier if it weren’t true! BK
Aileen Ah-Tye18 Aug 2009
Good practical tip re the rental car. As a photographer originally from Oakland, California (“there’s no there, there”), I say: Keep your New Jersey attitude. It’s cool.
Michael Brochstein18 Aug 2009
Love the “Rest Area” image! “If you build it they will come!?”
Catalin19 Aug 2009
I’ve been following your blog for a while now and just wanted to say that I love your photographs and I can only hope that my travel photography is taking me into a similar direction…
Having just finished a 20000km trip from Nepal to St.Petersburg in Russia, via Tibet, Beijing and Lake Baical I can relate to some of your thoughts about a long trip. I also agree with Skunk, the bit about the GPS was very funny!
Bob19 Aug 2009
Thanks Catalin. Sounds like you had a great trip….lots of editing ahead for you! Bob
mk19 Aug 2009
Great post! Very helpful. Been a while since I’ve popped in… forgotten how much I love the place.
Like everyone else I found the GPS bit humorous. But in defense of certain spouses!… GPS can only do so much. I’m sure you’ve experienced this as well: A GPS unit will get you from point A to point B, sure. But I’ve seen too many folks who are not paying close enough attention. It will take you over hill and dale and around the block and under overpasses and through “sketchy” areas of town and take twice as long as likely needed, if left to its own devices. (This, of course, may not be as big a deal when you’re out in the wide open spaces of the American West!)
A little (proper) interaction with your personal navigator and your GPS can make a huge difference in arrival times, I’ve found.
Bob19 Aug 2009
Mike: Welcome back! Yes, the GPS is not quite a perfected technology, and neither is marriage, so both take some finesse for optimum results!BK
Dave Hutchinson19 Aug 2009
I loved your note about renting a car cheaper by getting away from the airport. The note was quite a coincidence since I just rented a car here in Littleton, Colorado rather than at Denver International Airport!! And at least a 50% discount. I also inquired as to a drop off charge if I returned the car to the airport and was told that the rental company would wave the charge! How great is that. Your rest stop photo is great and reminds me of one that I took of Lynn enjoying a soak in a bathtub outside of our tent at a Botswana camp a few years ago.
Bob19 Aug 2009
Dave: A nice soak in Botswana has to trump a porcelain throne in Nebraska! BK
mike19 Aug 2009
my wife and the gps……it keeps tell us to turn around….i answer i’m not turning around. we have a great time
Roger Botting20 Aug 2009
Usually by the time my wife has found the map under all of her travel brochures, found the correct state and maybe the road we are on, I have found the GPS, turned it on, determined where we are and have figured out where we need to go.
However , the GPS will not make up my wife’s mind on where we have lunch. That defies all technology known to man or God!
Ray K20 Aug 2009
Had me laughing again! Check out Terry White’s story about the gps that thought his Mustang was a Jeep http://terrywhite.com/techblog/archives/1948 Bout half way down the page. I always carry a Map I’m to old for the little bitty screen and still don’t trust it.