The World According to Keitho

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Posts Tagged ‘Badlands’

Born to be mild

Posted by keithosaunders on August 14, 2010

As we were driving across the beautiful state of South Dakota I couldn’t help but extol the virtues of driving on the open road– the wonderous scenery, the freedom to stop and explore your surroundings, and the feeling of movement. Point A to point B. I couldn’t help but break into an a Capella Born to be Wild. This is, however, extremely difficult to pull off while driving with your wife, kids, and dog in a brand new minivan. Also, real rebels don’t ask the wife, “is it OK if we listen to the ‘Nanny Diaries’ on books on tape now?”

But what a day! We drove through the Badlands which were breathtaking and otherworldly. The entire state is a feast for the eyes but the Badlands, with their craggy rocks and stark beauty are something else.

There is a motorcycle convention going on somewhere in the state which has brought tens of thousands of bikers. They’re all over the place. I pulled off one exit and was immediately engulfed by dozens of them. I’ve never seen so many spread out over such a wide area.

I have to say, though, they are very good drivers. None of them speed and they are extremely attentive on the road- no swerving in and put of traffic, or drag racing for them.

Although I didn’t go drinking with them tonight, they seem like a fairly benign bunch. Most of them are middle-aged and a few are seniors. I noticed that a couple of the women took off their t-shirts and rode around the Badlands in their bras, but that was the wildest they got.

We ate dinner in a pretty little town nestled between mountains called Spearfish. A man sitting at a table at an outdoor cafe struck up a conversation with me about our dog. He was sitting with the owner and they ended up inviting us to eat with them.

Richard and Frenchy had great anecdotes about South Dakota and were well versed in its history. Not only were they interesting, but they were extremely friendly and open. It’s not often that you are able to make such a quick connection, but when it happens it is not only heart warming, but life-affirming.

Yet another reason to travel by car!

Posted in road trip | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

The state of the move

Posted by keithosaunders on July 18, 2010

We’re three weeks away from our departure to the Bay Area and we have settled on a route.  We’re going to leave from our Upstate house (Ulster county), drive to Niagara Falls, stay over on the Canada side, and continue west, re-entering the U.S. at the Motor City where I’ll be wanting to go to a Tigers game.  After the inevitable veto we’ll continue west into Chicago where we’ll spend a day or two with my brother, providing he agrees to allow the dog to enter his house.  We’ll pick up interstate 90, which will take us through Minnesota and South Dakota.  We plan on driving through the Badlands, but eschewing Mount Rushmore in favor of the Gand Tetons in Wyoming.

If all goes according to plan we should arrive in the Albany, California  sometime around the 19th of August, just in time to begin preparing for my 50th birthday bash.  I’ll have six days in which to meet west coast buddies to invite to the party.  I’ll have to get right to work and hit the bars immediately.  Isn’t there an iphone app? — Insta-friends?  

In the meantime we’re working on buying a larger vehicle for the trip west.  It looks like we’ll buy a minivan — a Mazda 5.  I have long resisted this final foray into middle-aged life but it is now impossible.  Even I have to admit that with three kids and a dog it is needed.   We’re leaving my beloved Honda wagon back east.  Not only does it have nearly 200,000 miles, but it would not pass Cali emissions tests.  Anyway, its radio has stopped working.  I think that one your car radio has given out, it is akin to the fat lady singing.  It’s over.

Our New York apartment is still not sublet, which is a source of stress we could do without.  So now I am calling on the blogosphere:  There is a great three bedroom with East River and Manhattan views available in Long Island City!  You will not be disappointed.  

There you have it.  The state of the move. T – 22 days.

What an apartment!

Posted in life, San Francisco | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »