16 thoughts on “Weekend: Travelopedia!”

  1. Santa Fe, New Mexico, on a train from Wisconsin via Joliet, Illinois, during the summer of 1980, when Mount St. Helens was erupting. I remember stopping in Dodge City, KS, and while the sky was completely devoid of clouds, it was dusky at high noon, like when there is a solar eclipse. It was eerie and exciting, two words you don’t normally associate with a fairly serene Kansas.

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  2. California, September 2005. Mount Carmel and the Carmel Valley, Monterey Bay, San Jose and San Francisco. It was all awash in awesomeness, made up as it was of vineyard resorts, exotic foods, aquariums, old friends, a real live tiki bar complete with simulated rainstorms, and the best cup of tea I’ve ever had. Heaven is made of such things.

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  3. My late aunt used to have this little cabin in Montello, Wisonsin on a lake whose name I forget. The last time I was there it was with my wife, more’n fifteen years ago. It was so pleasant we didn’t want to leave. Also that was when I finished reading _The Mists of Avalon_ the first time, which was a major landmark in the development of what eventually became my webcomic.

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  4. I’m leaving in six days for a three-week hike in the Sierras. That’ll probably blow away everything, though I did grow up in Indonesia and that was pretty interesting.

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  5. I’m a little confused by the question: are we talking about the place, or the trip?

    If it’s the first, I’d say Cincinnati. No, seriously. For it was there, by a confluence of events so unlikely that it makes me believe in evolution, that the hottest girl in the bar asked me to dance. And I danced like I never have, before or since.

    If it’s the second, then I’d say the trip home from work. On foot. It was more of a dare with myself, but I walked the nine miles from my work downtown to my apartment, with only a stop for a beer (plus one other bathroom stop).

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  6. This is a good question, and a tough one to answer for me. There are so many places that stand out in my memories from various travels.

    Here’s a few of my favorites (in no particular order):
    – Standing atop Angel’s Landing in Zion National Park, Utah
    – Red Square in Moscow, just walking around.
    – Staying overnight in a German Castle along the Rhine, and then driving alongside the Rhine and castle-spotting for a day.
    – Going to the M’era Luna Music Festival in Hildesheim, Germany.
    – Standing along a ridge-line on a farm out in the middle-of-nowhere in Colorado, looking up at the sky and seeing the Milky Way.
    – Standing on the coast-line of Iceland in Keflavik, just looking out at the ocean, and admiring the black-rock cliffs.
    – Standing on the beach on the Big Island in Hawai’i, looking out at the ocean, and admiring the black sand 😉
    – Drifting in a boat alongside a pair of humpback whales that were no more than 8 feet from us, on the ocean off the coast of an Alaskan island.
    – Also in Alaska: seeing Bald Eagles and Grizzly Bears in the wild for the first time.
    – This time in Monterey Bay, California: watching a young humpback whale jump completely out of the water on a whale-watching tour.

    Ack, the list is already rather long, so I’ll just cut it off there. These are definitely some of the top highlights of my life, though. Times I just stood (or sat) in total awe of what I was seeing. (Okay, the music festival was a different kind of awe from the other experiences).

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  7. There’s a Marriott on the north end of Virginia Beach’s boardwalk where the sun shines in the window in the morning and lights up your whole balcony. My love for this place is so great that I carry the trolly pass from my last trip in my wallet at all times as a reminder that there’s something better than all of of this, and it’s waiting for me.

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  8. The Oracle at Delphi in Greece is the most holy place I have ever been. Only part of the site is accessible to tourists, but even in that small space there are dozens of temples crowded together and built over each other.

    The area is cradled in a little not-quite-a-valley up near the top of the mountains, and when you get out of the car it’s completely silent. Oh, you can hear things. But even ten feet away they seem muffled… just grace notes to make you aware of the quiet.

    There is a little museum that keeps irregular hours and tour guides will tell you which people built which ancient wall for ten euros. But somehow it’s difficult to focus on a lecture. Even with fifty other tourists wandering around the place, the stillness seeps in, and it is immediately apparent why so many peoples worshipped here.

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  9. Times Square, Rue Caulincourt in Paris and the north rim of the Grand Canyon; all for very different reasons, none of which I really have the words for

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  10. Northern Michigan, to a little set of cabins that had once been a boys summer camp, right on the shore of Lake Superior. We had no electricity (though a few battery-powered lights), no running water (except in one bathroom, for the pump-based toilet), and plenty of hard labor to do.

    I spent most of the trip sawing logs and burying them half-deep into pits to block off places where off-roaders had driven through the property, constructing a new 30-foot signpost to go over the entrance (three enormous logs put together like a giant capital Pi symbol), and playing card games by lamplight with friends.

    And it was absolutely marvelous. The weather was perfect, bathing in the lake was pretty neat once I got used to it, and I’ve never been on a trip quite like it since, where nature was enough to compensate for no email and no amenities.

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  11. There’s a few places/trips that I look back on fondly. Spent several months in New Orleans back in the mid 80’s, and I would love to go back. To mid 80’s Awlins that is, I suspect what’s there now would just be too sad.

    Spent a few years in Minneapolis and have often kicked myself mentally for ever leaving. Has almost everything you want in a large city and very little of what you don’t.

    Mammoth Cave is far and away the coolest natural thing I’ve ever seen, blew away Niagra Falls (and it doesn’t have casino’s and crappy tourist trap gift shops every 50′, which is a plus in my book)

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  12. For me, there was something special about standing on the porch of the Jackson Hole Lodge looking out over what are probably the most majestic mountains in the US, the Grand Tetons. It is the only place I’ve been that I can actually use the word majestic in full force to describe it and still know that it falls woefully short of the beauty there.

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