Saturday, September 26, 2015

Roadtrip Day 079

Roadtrip Day 079

9/25 Friday

Ack! One of the monster Class A diesel pushers near us fired up and decided to depart at 6-something this AM. He took out a shrub and garbage can in his attempt.

And woke us up. Ronnie couldn’t get back to sleep at all. I tried for a coupla hours.

I think we are the only tent trailer in this swanky resort. Lotsa half-million-dollar Class As, Class Cs almost as big as the As, huge 5th wheels, and the occasional “dinky” trailer. And us. Last night was ok but as soon as the sun rose, it got warm. Ronnie is making tea and pancakes. After that, I think it’s pool time. Or a ride in the airconditioned car to the airconditioned grocery store.

The pool is very nice.

$2 margaritas at 4:30 happy hour. That was nice of them. Back to the trailer now. Thinking about dinner.

Spaghetti and a nice, cold Coke chased by a Milky Way. A walk around the Marina and waterfront park. Talked to some guys who said they’re catching yellowtails nowadays. Tropical fish in San Diego. Huh. Some reading and then bedtime. Lovely, cool evening.

Roadtrip Day 078

Roadtrip Day 078

9/24 Thursday

Prepping to travel. Dog beach start. Organize and prep time. (Ick!)

Some leftover stew for brunch (Yum!) and carrot cake for dessert (Double-Yum!) and we finished our load, prep, and hitch efforts. Decided to go all the way down to Chula Vista (ok, it’s actually a negligible distance) and stay at the luxe RV resort at the marina there for the weekend. Full hookups, pool, etc. Very nice. Spent the afternoon in the pool after setting up. Excellent.

Pizza dinner at Filippi’s Pizza Grotto, which is often pronounced Fay-lee-pay’s in this predominantly Hispanic area. I got spumoni for dessert! LOVE IT!

Settle in now for a pleasant evening. Got the fans running but might not need ‘em as we get on toward bedtime. Took a nice walk out along the marina and shore. Lovely, lovely evening.

Roadtrip Day 077

Roadtrip Day 077

9/23 Wednesday

Late morning after a late night. Sunny and hot today. Getting ready to take the girls to the airport.

Dropped the girls. Ran to REI, Target, etc. to prep for leaving tomorrow. Had Popeye’s for lunch. Yum!

Girls arrived safely. We had stew for dinner and watched “Evolution.” Love that movie.

Roadtrip Day 076

Roadtrip Day 076

9/22 Tuesday

Dog beach starter, of course. Kinda grey today. Still very pleasant temps and no actual rain yet but significantly overcast, The girls had been thinking about a trip to Mexico but decided against so we’ll see what the day brings.

Bar crawl for the girls on their last night here.

Roadtrip Day 075

Roadtrip Day 075

9/21 Monday

Transition day. We’ll be leaving Lynn’s today to return to Bill’s. Later. Also having dinner with Jeff Sabo this evening. Another perfect day. Just a couple more here. The girls fly home Wednesday and we’ll be heading back to the wilderness(ish) from the posh civilization of the San Diego area. But that’s a coupla days from now. Meanwhile…

Beach touristing for the girls and then back to Bill’s. A little Popeye’s for lunch. Love dat chicken from Popeye’s.

Met Jeff for dinner at a Vietnamese place. Followed that with fro-yo. He had to get back to finish all the chores on his plate. We cruised back to Bill’s and the girls were ready to crash but Ronnie wanted (more) mango sticky rice from a nearby place so she and I went there. Unfortunately, they said it was only luch that they’d had it a coupla nights ago when Ronnie ate it and they had no good source of fresh mangos, so no mango sticky rice. We searched around for something else but eventually gave up and hit the sack ourselves.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Roadtrip Day 074

Roadtrip Day 074

9/20 Sunday

Football day in television land. I haven’t watched football in 73 days! Ok, except for Thursday Night Football a coupla days ago. Ryan had a baseball game to play. Six-year-old baseball players are so cute.

Seahawks on the late game. They lost. *sigh* A nice marshmallow fire in the firepit was a little hot for my taste in this weather but emotionally nice wrapping up an idyllic weekend in La Jolla.

Roadtrip Day 073

Roadtrip Day 073

9/19 Saturday

In the land of the lotophagi, it’s hard to keep track of the passage of time and activities. Beach, pool, food, hanging out… ya know.

The girls went out for a “girls’ night.” It was gonna be just a little while. Right. They came crawling back in at who-knows-when and had a little drunken pool time. Most amusing. Yes, that’s all four girls, Chloe and Casey *with* Ronnie and Lynn.

Roadtrip Day 072

Roadtrip Day 072

9/18 Friday

Transition day. After a dog beach morning, we’re reorganizing and heading over to stay with Ronnie’s sister, Lynn, at her place in La Jolla, not a terrible jaunt from Bill’s place in San Diego.

We got there in the afternoon after Lynn had picked up the boys from school. Ready for a nice weekend with the nephews/cousins. They’re very cute and charming. Some time at the beach, some time at the pool, some time just sitting around chatting.

Roadtrip Day 071

Roadtrip Day 071

9/17 Thursday

Tojours le dog beach.

Chloe has an online D&D game scheduled for 5-9 tonight, so we’re working that into the schedule. Some of us will watch Thursday Night Football instead. (wink)

Roadtrip Day 070

Roadtrip Day 070

9/16 Wednesday

Dog beach starter for the day. No rain yet this am but plenty last night after yesterday’s long rainstorm.

Afternoon zoo trip.

Dinner at Islands restaurant.

Early bedtime.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Roadtrip Day 069

Roadtrip Day 069

9/15 Tuesday

Ronnie went with Bill and the dogs to dog beach early. I had a shower and downloaded some e-books from the library. The girls woke about when Ronnie and the gang got back from dog beach.

Had some rain during the night and a big rainstorm now (lunchtime). Very pleasant. Talking about carne asada burritos from the little local stand then doing some New Orleans boiled shrimp dinner.

Deciding on what to do here with the girls. They have a couple of desires.

But not today. They walked the neighborhood, admired the canyon view, and we chatted. Shrimp on the stove. Dinner in just a bit. YUM! Rain again. Glad to be inside. Still comfortable temperatures, however.

Roadtrip Day 068

Roadtrip Day 068

9/14 Monday

Travel day. Down, down, down, the steep, winding mountain highway from 8K feet down to sea level. I’m glad Ronnie was driving. Beautiful scenery.

Got down to “civilization” and followed traffic along the freeway to San Diego. Made it. Hooray! Parked the trailer in Bill’s secondary driveway with his little trailerable boat and settled in. Had a lovely dinner, played with the dogs, then went to the airport tog et Chloe and Casey.

Phew! Bedtime now. Not gonna be cold tonight.

Roadtrip Day 067

Roadtrip Day 067

9/13 Sunday

Seahawks! Guess we’ll hear the final score at some point. Another beautiful day here. I might be well. Feel pretty good waking up. I’ll see how the morning progresses.

Took a ride. Got hamburgers. Pretty good day for me. Definitely better. Hooray.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Roadtrip Day 066

Roadtrip Day 066

9/12 Saturday

Thought I was all better but after waking my cough came back and my sinuses and throat were icky. Resting, watching movies, reading. Even I’m kinda bored with myself but I have zero energy to do anything.

Because we’ve usually only been able to get mediocre wifi, I’ve been somewhat casual (quick) when selecting books from the library; so I’ve gotten a few Tom-Clancy-type things. I wanna call ‘em “jingo porn” or something like that. Pretty vile stuff, disguised as good-vs-evil. I’ll bet somebody already has invented an appropriate name for this genre. I’ll look for it next time we have wifi. Meanwhile, it’s creepy to think that many Americans find this kind of pre-Biblical nasty violence more appealing than our Constitution or even their own Bible, which, at worst in the Old Testament, calls for an eye for an eye, not endless torture to ferret out a piece of information which *might* be *possibly* useful in their investigation. They’re the “bad guys”, i.e. not us; they deserve it.

I gotta be more selective in my selection process. I need to get back to writing my own violence porn but I just haven’t had the energy. Maybe tomorrow. The Roman army certainly believe in excessive response. (grin)

Roadtrip Day 065

Roadtrip Day 065

9/11 Friday

Temperatures here are lovely. Chilly enough, but not icky cold at night. I’m still kinda sick so my day has been reading and resting. Leftover Mexican food. A bah-humbug attitude. Lovely here, despite me. Saw a flight of two tilt-rotor aircraft cruising over the lake. That was cool.

Interesting mix of housing here. Some ordinary middle-class places, probably post-WWII vintage still sitting among the new “log-cabin” looking McMansions. 7K, 8K, 10K, who knows? square feet and lots of floor to tall-peaked-roof windows with lovely views of the lake for low-7-figure prices. Ok, maybe mid-7-figure prices.

Interesting contrast to the real estate signs we saw in the desert before we started up the mountains. Out there, you could get 20 acres for $15K.

Roadtrip Day 064

Roadtrip Day 064

9/10 Thursday

Travel day.

We had a quick breakfast and broke camp. Bye, Bryce Canyon, you were fascinating. We drove Utah Highway 14 which is a fascinating, beautiful drive. An incredible variety of scenery packed into a fairly short run.

Past Vegas and on to new territory - to California. In Barstow, we left the interstate for the state highway to Big Bear Lake. Finally left the desert and started climbing up the mountains toward BBL. Wow! What a steep climb. Many switchbacks with a posted speed limit of 15 mph. Endless climbing but that was taking us out of the 100+ degrees of desert driving to the temperate cool of higher altitudes.

Relying on our guidebook to cheap camping, we searched for what sounded like a lovely, quiet spot a *bit* out of the hustle-bustle of BBL itself. However a couple of miles up a rutted mud road, looking for a place 7 miles along there, we gave up when we came to a huge water hazard in the road. Knowing that rain was in the forecast, we didn’t wanna get stuck back of beyond so we turned back.

This involved having Ronnie, who was driving, back the trailer a good way down the narrow dirt road to get back to a wide spot where we could turn around and head down. She did a workmanlike job of it and soon enough we were heading back to the campground right at BBL. Happily, they had a site available for the long weekend. Price is on the higher end of our camping expenditures at $20/night but on the good side, that includes showers. Excellent.

Set up camp then drove into “downtown” BBL for food. Decided on a Mexican restaurant and watched Thursday Night Football. How civilized. After that it was back to camp to crash after a LONG day. I thought I was getting well but it came back into my upper respiratory and Ronnie did all of the work of takedown, setup, and most of the driving.

She’s a peach. A badass peach.

Roadtrip Day 063

Roadtrip Day 063

9/9 Wednesday

Better. Slept ok and throat and nose are clearer. Drove Ronnie to Bryce Point so she can hike down into the canyon. I’m resting and catching up here until she calls me to pick her up.

I think (hope) I’ll be all better by tomorrow.

Ronnie had a great hike. I met here for an ice cream at the Park’s General Store when she was done. I spent the afternoon resting and she did some cleanup/prep for departure tomorrow. Early to bed tonight. I’m mostly better but have no energy. Sleep.

Roadtrip Day 062

Roadtrip Day 062

9/8 Tuesday

Sill sick. Movies and books and sleep. Maybe getting better.

Drove to the end of the road and stopped at all the overlooks on the way back. Ronnie drove. I got out and enjoyed a coupla views.

Roadtrip Day 061

Roadtrip Day 061

9/7 Monday

Sill sick. Movies and books and sleep.

‘nuff said

Roadtrip Day 060

Roadtrip Day 060

9/6 Sunday

Yep. I’m sick. Sore throat. Stuffy nose. Ick. Movies and books and sleep.

Roadtrip Day 059

Roadtrip Day 059

9/5 Saturday

Good morning, sunshine! A big glass of cold Ovaltine and some Hostess powdered donettes to start this lovely day. Conveniently, the price-gouging store has pre-staled the donettes so I don’t have to worry about them going stale at some future point. They’re already there. Oh well, they soften up nicely in Ovaltine. Yum.

Quiet day. I seem to have a bit of a sore throat, so I’m spending the day reading and resting. Bummer.

Roadtrip Day 058

Roadtrip Day 058

9/4 Friday

Ah! A perfect night, cool but not freezing cold. Ronnie crawled out of bed to make tea and pancakes and she opened some curtains to a fabulous sunny morning. She opened a couple of clear zip-ups over the screen windows a bit to let in the slightly cool, refreshing morning breeze. Ok, I can handle this.

The park newspaper is well done and has a list of hikes with difficulty level noted. There’s a shuttle which runs all day for easy, free transportation. Lots and lots of fascinating geology to see.

We drove to a little store just outside the park to get some groceries. Man! Talk about price gouging. After we reentered the park, we realized that we could have gotten a bit less gouged at the general store near the Park Hotel. At least we grabbed some pizza-by-the-slice there for lunch. Stocked the fridge and read and rested the afternoon away. It’s 6pm now, and we’re having dinner in a brief downpour. Hooray for being inside.

I think it’ll be an early bedtime tonight.

Roadtrip Day 057

Roadtrip Day 057

9/3 Thursday

Leaving Las Vegas. Our very own personal movie. Woke to find Ronnie already down at the pool swimming and having coffee. When Mary and I get ready, we’ll join her for breakfast. Then, we gotta pack and get outa here,

Another extravagant breakfast. Yum! I need a stomach pump. We casually packed and checked out after a last few moments enjoying the view from the 61st floor. We grabbed a shuttle to our car (remember, it was in the limo lot – Ha!) and loaded in our luggage plus Mary and her luggage. I switched the fridge from propane to 12V, reconnected the electrical umbilical to the car and we drove the strip to enjoy the sights.

A leisurely cruise along the strip, checking out the architecture and fantasy, then working our way to the airport to drop Mary for her flight.

Bye! And a huge thank you! It was a lovely and delightful visit.

From the airport, Ronnie and I got ourselves back onto the I-15 heading Northeast. We intended to camp *somewhere* in nature and somewhat higher in elevation to have cool nights. I drove for a while, then Ronnie took over. We decided to try for Bryce Canyon. As we left the interstate and started along secondary highways, we kept a lookout for cheap hotels or available campgrounds in case Bryce was full for the big holiday weekend.

Amusing anecdote. We stopped at a Subway at the meeting of two highways in the middle of nowhere. We walked into an empty store to order sandwiches and the woman working the counter started telling us what she didn’t have and how she’d been swamped and had no time to prep/restock. Ok. We got something to eat which was not quite what we wanted but it was something and continued our travels. Bryce or bust. Or back out to a nearby motel or something, anyway.

Finally arrived at around 7pm and celebrated to see that both campgrounds at Bryce had availability. Success! We cruised into the Sunset Campground and chose site 232. It’s a good one. (wink) Quick setup and early to bed. Tired.

Roadtrip Day 056

Roadtrip Day 056

9/2 Wednesday

Slept like a brick in an actual bed in an airconditioned room. Pretty nice. Opened the curtains to the Olympian view of the tiny insect mortals already cruising the strip in search of… I dunno. Something. Still a lovely view.

Late breakfast after a lazy morning getting started. I had eggs benedict. The cooks did a fine job on them. They were changing over to lunch service as we finished. We decided to hit the pool. Sitting in the shade was less hot than I feared and the pool was less cold than I feared. A little time in the water. A little time on my chaise, reading and ordering frosty drinks from leggy waitresses. Yes, waitresses. This is Vegas. They’re still trying to pretend it’s the 50s. No “servers” here.

4 pm and it’s back to the room for a long shower and a soak of my GoPro which I took to the pool. A little rest in the airco, maybe some more reading, then we’ll hafta think about what and where to eat dinner. Decisions, decisions.

We dressed and wandered the extensive and extravagant shops for a while, then settled on Italian-ish dinner. Oink! We all had fabulous dinners but we shared a wonderful appetizer of calamari fried with hot peppers. I loved that dish. Perfectly done calamari and the addition of the hot peppers made it supreme.

After dinner, we wandered some more. Mary played some slots and won some money. Eventually, we headed back to the room to try to digest all the wine we’d had.

Interesting peripheral note. We were planning to attend the Free to Be Unschooling Conference in Phoenix at the beginning of October. We talked to MJ while in Las Vegas and heard that she had just been invited to *speak* at Free to Be. AFAIK, she’s still in negotiation but it looks like we’ll be meeting with MJ at F2B and listening to her give a talk and moderate a coupla panels. She did a talk at the LIFE is Good Unschooling Conference last May and she was delightful. I guess the F2B folks heard it, or heard about it, and decided to offer her a speaking slot. This will be fun!

Roadtrip Day 055

Roadtrip Day 055

9/1 Tuesday

Travel day. Vegas. What can I say?

We broke camp and drove up the highway a bit to see the scenery. Beautiful. But it was time to get on down the road, so we got back to the I-15 and pointed the nose of the car toward Las Vegas.

We stopped for gas at a place which also had a Popeye’s franchise. Ok, then. Luv dat chickin from Popeye’s. Spicy chicken and red beans and rice onboard and we continued on to Vegas. We changed time zones back to Pacific as we cruised into Vegas and began the search for the hotel, the Encore, a sister hotel with the Wynn. We’d been told that we needed special parking cuz we were towing the tent trailer so we eventually found their entry and asked the valet captain. He called *somebody* who led us to the limo lot. Parked and met Mary in the lobby.

Lafayette, nous sommes ici!

Mary led us to a glorious, extravagant room on the 61st floor with a full-wall view of “the strip” and beyond. Spacious and comfy. I immediately took advantage of the separate shower and tub in the capacious bathroom.

We went for a drink. Well, of course. Mary has the magic gambling touch and she won some money. We wandered the spacious gambling and shopping areas, lusting after all the name-brand goodies. I really could use a new watch and I saw a couple I liked, but $10K (or more) seems a *bit* much. For a watch. Ok, ok, I know there are people who pay ten times that for a watch but, c’mon!

After all that shopping, we needed dinner. Decided on a place which, well, it’s kind of American tapas or dim sum – choose and share several small plates of varietal things. The scallops were very nice. Drinks? Of course.

Full, we wandered a bit more. Then Ronnie and I lost some money while Mary won some more. We had another round of drinks and I gave up and went up to the room. Ronnie and Mary gambled longer. I watched some tv. First time in 54 days. The girls eventually returned and we closed the curtains on the neon night and slept.

Roadtrip Day 054

Roadtrip Day 054

8/31 Monday

Travel day.

Wow! Got pretty chilly at this altitude and we had a HUGE rainstorm during the night. The camp  host said to watch for moose cuz they frequented the campground but we didn’t see any. No bears, either.

We broke camp and drove down to Provo. Laundry and lunch, then our bank stuff. OMFG! We had to have some stuff notarized. We got the original crazy OCD woman for a notary. It was kind of amusing in retrospect but it took twice as long as it needed to with all her fiddling. She’d take a stack of mixed papers – legal and 8.5X11 an shuffle them. Turn 90 degrees and shuffle. Turn another 90 (now 180 from original) and shuffle, making all the 8.5X11 slide to a new position, so she’d hafta do it again. Ack!

Eventually, we escaped and drove down to Cedar City, UT. Up Utah 14 into the mountains for a lovely campsite at about 8K feet. Gonna be another *cool* night. Lovely campsite. Too bad it turned out that it was nestled in a triple switchback of the highway and we hear road noise most of the night. 18-wheelers grinding up and 18-wheelers compression-braking down.

Vegas tomorrow.

Monday, August 31, 2015

K+10 K-Day plus 1, aka The Drowned City

Isn’t that the title of a Lovecraft story? Sounds like it. We’re in the wilderness (Dinosaur National Monument) with no wifi so I can’t check.

The horrors of Katrina were frequently counterbalanced by the generosity and kindness of people with no motivation other than the goodness of their own hearts. Altruism, pure and simple. Fuck you, Ayn Rand! You and yours are the antithesis of “humanity.”

There are many stories and examples of generosity in the wake of Katrina, extravagant, promiscuous generosity, and they are humbling. But no instance of generosity should be dismissed. Small or large, all instances of generosity spring from the same place in the human heart. A locale where we should all spend more of our time.

We were sitting in upscale comfort in Chuck’s Houston-ish home, glued to the news, fairly certain that our beloved (and newly refurbished, damnit!) Zombie Princess had been destroyed along with most of the other watercraft in the New Orleans area. In the midst of that maelstrom of emotion, Kelly Lovejoy contacted Ronnie and offer to give us a scholarship to attend the Live and Learn Unschooling Conference, happening soon in Saint Louis, free of charge. If we had no boat to adventure on, we could refresh our emotional reserves with a long weekend with fellow unschoolers before moving ahead - somewhere – with our lives. A timely and generous offer. Thank you, Kelly. We will always treasure it. A few years later, we did make it to the last-ever Live and Learn Unschooling Conference in Asheville, North Carolina. Unschoolers are wonderful; but I digress.

That is merely a pleasant vignette, peripheral to the headline news of this day: Levees fail. New Orleans drowns.

Ain’t dat some pure fuckin’ shit? The city may have dodged a bullet but then it got hit by an RPG. Or more like a tactical nuke. With all the nastiness dredged up by a flood in that area, it was actually pretty much like a biological weapon. When I was a kid, that’s what the wags and wonks called it: ABC warfare – Atomic, Biological, Chemical. Did you learn your ABCs in school? Yessir, I sure did. Hide under my plywood desk near the huge bank of non-safety-glass windows. After I survive the multiple nuclear strikes on New Orleans by doing that, I can survive the radiation because I am pure of heart and a by-gawd American. Biological and/or chemical attacks? Well, then I guess we were just fucked.

The flood water itself was, of course, immensely destructive. Add to that the fact that it was a medium carrying every sort of tropical disease bred in those primeval swamps. Then add in the effluvium from failed petrochemical plants and aluminum smelters and you have a hellish brew capable of producing mutagenic effects even Hollywood horror movies of the 50s never thought of. Biological AND chemical? Check and Check. The city was just fucked.

Storm surge. Not an especially evocative phrase on its own. Could refer to the tide rolling casually up the beach a couple more feet than usual. Or it could refer to…

New Orleans has always been a port city. For a long time it was the busiest port in the US. Even in the years leading up to Katrina it was still one of the busiest, serving the entire middle of the US. Post-Katrina it still is and does. When people ask, “Why should we rebuild a city which is below sea level?”, the simple answer is: It is a VITAL port city for much of the US. If for no other reason, it is necessary to support and maintain New Orleans because of that.

Shipping comes up the Mississippi River from the Gulf of Mexico. The delta is, like most deltas, a confusing maze of channels and serpentine, changing routes. Business logic said that having a consistent, direct, dredged route would be a godsend. Introducing Mister Go, aka Mr. Go, aka MRGO – the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet, a wonderful straight shot from the Gulf to the heart of New Orleans.

Is there an adumbration in that sentence for you? Do you feel the potential of what underlies that sentence? A straight shot from the Gulf to the heart of New Orleans. What could possibly go wrong?

FYI, in the years since those halcyon days of profitable yore, Mr. Go is no more. Mister Go is Mister Gone.

But for Katrina, Mr. Go was a freeway for a tidal bore, more precisely, a storm bore, the gun barrel of an oceanic sniper rifle zeroed in on the fibrillating heart of the Crescent City, the City that Care Forgot, the Big Easy, the Paris of America, the Northernmost Caribbean Island, etc. The sniper motto is “One Shot, One Kill” even from great distances, even from a cold barrel. Sniper Katrina was unemotionally professional. No fancy head shot. No precision medulla hit causing an instant cessation of life. Katrina went for the sure shot – center mass – not necessarily instant death but certain death.

New Orleans is an old city (in American terms). Her arteries and veins had been repaired and rebuilt many times by various doctors. Specialists had been trying to get her to do a major rebuild of her main arteries for years but the cost was high and her insurance company didn’t like the price tag. Her current doctors were doing what they could but they were neither the best nor the brightest and they were defensive about the quality of their previous work. They argued that it was good enough.

Katrina’s shot from the barrel of Mr. Go injected a sudden bolus of immense volume, unimaginable volume, into New Orleans’ old and tired arteries, throwing her instantly into hypervolemic shock. Inadequate stitches in arterial walls began to give. Death was not instant but it was certain.

Stitches tore. Arterial walls failed. New Orleans began to experience fatal internal bleeding.

K+10 K-Day

K-Day! August 29, 2005, a Monday, a watershed day in American History.

It’s Saturday, 8/29/2015, as I write, sitting in our comfortable tent-trailer in Dinosaur National Monument on a beautiful day. Hot sun but cool breezes under the shady trees. Split Mountain providing an impressive backdrop to our setting with the Green River mere steps away from our campsite. Lovely. Idyllic.

Monday, 8/29/2005, ten years ago was different in so many ways. Physically, we were pleasantly settled in Chuck’s lovely suburban home with all the comforts, including a delightful pool and requisite BBQ. I was with my own family, in addition to my dad and both my sisters plus Judy’s hubby, Gary. It was wonderfully social and upbeat.


Emotionally, we feared the worst for our homes in New Orleans, actual homes for my siblings and the ZP as our little nuclear family’s travelling home-away-from-home. We were all glued to the news and had been since we’d arrived. We also feared for the safety of our other family and friends who had maybe evacuated elsewhere or maybe stayed. It was a concern. A significant concern as the news progressed through the day, although the initial reports that morning were all in the vein of “We dodged a bullet.” Damage from Katrina herself seemed, not objectively reasonable, but reasonable considering the fact that she was a huge motherfucker who had contained within her, the potential for infinite death and destruction. A false dawn of hope.

In the years since Katrina, I’ve read various authors who wrote about her. Some factual vignettes, like “4 Dead in Attic”, some fictional works, like James Lee Burke’s novel, which incorporated Katrina in their narrative. For me, none of them adequately conveyed the emotional horror of those days. Even James Lee Buke who is a brilliant author I respect completely, familiar with both the area and the maze-like convolutions of the human psyche, was unsuccessful (for me) in describing the intensity of horror in all four of its dimensions. (Or 12. Or however many there actually are.) I think it would have taken someone like H. P. Lovecraft to do justice to it. Cthulhu visits the Crescent City. Maybe Dante. Vergil says, “Follow me (into Hell… or New Orleans).”

Perhaps no one is capable of sharing a Bergsonian intuition of those times with those of us who had our own individual experiences. It’s too subjective. Too personal. Those authors who’ve written about it are simply sharing their trip through a modern “Inferno” or a visit from something older, vaster, and more deeply horrific than cuddly Cthulhu, because it was not inimical, something we can understand. We know Cthulhu hates us and *desires* greatly to devour us. It simply was being itself, with no regard, for good or ill, for the Earth virus which is humanity.

That really messes with our overweening egos.

So I know that whatever I write is merely my personal crap. One evacuee’s time spent in the extravagance of suburban Houston, with extended family, a private pool, BBQ steaks, shopping malls, and a nearby waterpark, while his hometown drowned.

But not quite yet. That is a movie titled The Horror Yet to Come. This day was horrible, terrible, not-very good news but tinged with, as I said earlier, A False Dawn of Hope.

K+10 August 26-28

Friday, August 26. We’ve been hearing all week about Katrina. The ZP was close enough to ready that, if Katrina had been smaller, I’d’ve been tempted to run. But watching the weather reports and radar, she was enormous, practically filling the Gulf. There was no direction or angle that would be safe to try to use to run. We began stripping the ZP of valuables and prepping her for a BFH – Big Fucking Hurricane.

Side note. Many people have many opinions about the politicians involved in the lead-up to Katrina. All I can say is that we heard Mayor Nagin on the radio as early as Monday telling people to leave if they possibly could. As we got closer to today (Friday), he demurred that he had no authority to demand an evacuation but he strongly recommended it. I have no comments about him other than that.

Anyway, it definitely looked like a big one was gonna hit New Orleans and probably head on. We spent the day prepping the boat and discussing what to do.

Saturday, the 27th, the news just sounded worse and worse. We decided to tie up the ZP as best we could and go to my sister Chrissy’s house. Chrissy lived (still does) in River Ridge, which is high ground near the river (all the high ground is near the river). I figured we’d hunker down at Chrissy’s and ride out the storm there. I’d been through Betsy in 65 and Camille in 69 and we never evacuated. Actually, my dad was an Electrical Engineer for the public utility (NOPSI) and, despite the fact that his job was designing substations, he got called up after Betsy to go out with repair crews. I drove him into a meeting place every morning for many days after Betsy, returning home for the day, then back to retrieve him at the end of the day. Late. Those guys worked their asses off in that heat and humidity.

I was not interested in evacuating. We’d be good at Chrissy’s, I thought, at least as good as we’d been for Betsy. Not wonderful, but safe and just biding our time until the power came back and we could have airconditioning again.

We have a fun dinner and evening, then I went to bed.

Sunday, the 28th, Ronnie woke me. She and Chrissy had been watching reports all night and they declared it time to evacuate. I didn’t argue. We loaded ourselves in our Odyssey and Chrissy got my dad in her car and we headed out the I-10. In bumper-to-bumper traffic. With no destination decided. As we rolled, somebody talked to brother Chuck, who lives in Spring, just outside Houston. He and his family were in Chicago but he said a neighbor had a key and we were welcome to crash there. So that became our plan. Stay on the I-10 to Houston and invade Chuck’s life.

Normally about a 6ish-hour drive, we were instead bumper-to-bumper all the way from N.O. to Houston. Like many others, we occasionally left the line of traffic to get in line for a gas station bathroom, then crept back in to continue our pilgrimage. In the mid-teens of hours, we finally arrived at Maier Manor – Spring, TX. Phew! What a welcome relief.

We made ourselves at home as best we could without a host and hostess to guide us. The four of us, plus Chrissy and my dad but we were expecting sister Judy and Gary at some later hour. A mini family reunion at my brother’s house, without my brother. Ironic.

We settled in, watching the weather channel into the wee hours before crashing from exhaustion. There was a storm coming.

Roadtrip Day 053

Roadtrip Day 053

8/30 Sunday

Travel day.

Casual camp breakdown in occasional sprinkle. Bye, Dinosaur. You were lovely.

Cruising West on U.S. 40 toward the I-15. Mixed sun and rain. Airco in the sun, ambient in the overcast or rain. MacDonalds for lunch. C’mon! It’s easy and cheap. Drive thru and keep on rolling. Stopped for the night at Lodgepole Campground right at a pass at around 8K feet.

We did a simple, quick setup cuz we have an appointment at a branch of our bank in Provo tomorrow, 8/31; so in the morning, we’ll break camp efficiently and cruise into Provo to TCB. Maybe do some laundry, etc. while we’re there. Anyway, then, we’ll head down the I-15 toward Vegas and the meetup with Ronnie’s mom on Tuesday, 9/1. Probably camp somewhere near Vegas Monday night before cruising in Tuesday. Stay tuned for the actuality.

Expecting a chilly night at this altitude. Oh, and BTW, we’re back in bear country at this campground. But it’s just black bears. Shit! Dey ain’t nuthin’. Minimal prep. I told Ronnie in my best Caribbean accent, “No prob-lem, Mon! I kick dat bear’s ass, ya know!” She just shook her head at me. She loves me very, VERY much. (grin)

Roadtrip Day 052

Roadtrip Day 052

8/29 Saturday

Wakeup after 9. Desultory breakfast of tea and cream-cheese breakfast rolls. Nearly 10 now and we’re gonna flip a coin to decided what to do. Stay tuned.

Coin flip decides it – we move. However, we both reacted with an “Aw shit!” to that, so we’re gonna stay one more day. We’ll definitely move tomorrow, despite our laziness. Really.

Now, I’m gonna finish my blogpost about K-Day (the day Katrina hit) for my “K+10 *something*” series. I started it yesterday and had to stop for a while. The memories well up too strongly and are almost overwhelming. I have to write about it in small sips from the well of memory to avoid drowning. I am not a strong swimmer in the Emotion Ocean. I need emotional SCUBA gear. Diazepam, maybe?

Ha! Amusing parenthetical anecdote. Ronnie just saw that cousins Tom and Deb were taking my uncle Morrie (Tom’s dad) to a WWII reunion with his shipmates in Salt Lake City. Unfortunately, it was last weekend. Otherwise, we might have jumped in the car to see them. About a 3-hour drive from here to Salt Lake. Timing is everything. Woulda been nice to see them.

We spent the afternoon at Placid Point, signpost #8 on the main road. A short walk from a small parking place to a wide beach across from a bluff and canyon. We headed down with food, drink, beach chairs, towels, kindles, and our sunshade. Set up the sunshade at the edge of the water and sat with our feet in it. Ronnie, of course, got all the way in. Swam across and explored the far shore. Walked way upstream and floated back down. I enjoyed having my feet in the water and read my kindle in the lovely breeze under the sunshade.

Actually, there were a coupla time the lovely breeze took the sunshade and turned it into a kite. Eventually, we got the proper angle to the wind and sufficient stakes to keep that sucker in place. Amusing in retrospect.

Headed back to our campsite at 5ish only to be radared by the traffic rangers who gave me a stern talking to for doing 65 in a 45; but no ticket, so, PHEW!

Running the genny, charging things, and updating this now. Then some dinner and another lovely evening here at Dinosaur. Our last. *sigh*

We built a fire and roasted marshmallows. Yum! Sat by the fire and watched the moon rise. Then bedtime. Goodnight, Moon.

Roadtrip Day 051

Roadtrip Day 051

8/28 Friday

Slept in. Three Rs. Just sat in the shade, reading and enjoying the view of Split Mountain. Deciding whether to move tomorrow or Sunday. It’s beautiful and idyllic here. Self-indulgence tempts us to simply settle in here. I haven’t seen any lotus plants growing in the vicinity but we seem to have become like the lotophagi in this lovely place full of wonderful memories. Why *do* when it’s so nice to simply *be*?

Roadtrip Day 050

Roadtrip Day 050

8/27 Thursday

Some rain last night. Kept things cool. Sunny and hot today. We made some plans about what to do next, then did some Three R time under the shade of the trees. We decided that we’ll break camp tomorrow and move on down the road a bit to somewhere new.

Still looking ahead to September 1 in Las Vegas for a few days, September 14 in San Diego for a week or so, and the beginning of October for the Free To Be Unschooling Conference in Phoenix.

A very rigid schedule for people who’ve been wandering for 50+ days.

Ha! Writing this now on Friday morning.

Last night sometime after 7 as the evening was burgeoning, we talked about dinner and stochastically decided to drive into Vernal to try the Quarry Steakhouse, which a ranger had recommended as the best place to eat – in Vernal. An important distinction. We arrived for an 8pm seating (They close at 9.) and, given their steakhouse cachet, I tried a ribeye. It wasn’t a Metropolitan Grill wagyu piece of beef but it was very tasty and only about 1/4 the price of a similar steak from the Metropolitan Grill. Ronnie had a coupla specialty beers and I had a glass of decent Merlot and we even got dessert, finishing up as they were closing. Drove back to camp in the brilliant moonlight, shining off the river, highlighting the mountains. A delightful evening.

Roadtrip Day 049

Roadtrip Day 049

8/26 Wednesday

Ronnie woke early and did the trial we’d done as a night hike a couple of days ago. I stayed home and enjoyed the cool, grey morning skies. Threats of rain today. Got a coupla spits but nothing significant. Ronnie got back from her hike safely and had a little sunshower action to get her ready for lunch.

Still cloudy and spitty as we push into the afternoon. I’ve taken to adding a teaspoon of pink lemonade powdered mix into a Shasta Twist (lemon-lime carbonated beverage). Very refreshing .

The campground is mostly empty and it’s nice to have a quiet afternoon of Camping R’s. Let’s see what those legionaries are up to while I get some charge on my laptop from Mister Generator.

Roadtrip Day 048

Roadtrip Day 048

8/25 Tuesday 

Hmmmm, refrigerator was warm this morning. Messing with the propane feed, I’m suspecting that the thermocouple is bad. Gonna hafta watch that and find a shop sometime to get it repaired. Don’t think I wanna tackle that myself. Meanwhile, we can use 12-volt to power it and/or use the ice chest. The fridge can work on propane, 12V DC, or 120AC. Unless we’re plugged in somewhere, we rarely use AC to power it. Propane is easiest and cheapest, rather than worrying about the deep-cycle batteries and charging them, except if it’s not working consistently…. Well, then, that’s a different story. Anyway, that’s our real-life PITA issue for today.

Headed into town today to hit the library for wifi and grocery for food. Food called to us from the depths of our souls and we sopped first a a little café. Breakfast for lunch. Yum! And a generous farmer-style breakfast, it was. Fortified, we hit the library and logged on. Our only consideration was getting back to the ranger station for 5:00pm for a talk by a long-time paleontologist at Dinosaur.

I got done with my online stuff and prompted Ronnie to go, even though it was early. I said we could shop the grocery slowly. However, when we got in the car, we realized we’d been keeping time by our computers which were still set to Pacific Time. Shit! We had to hurry to get back to the Visitor Center in time for the talk.

Made it just a few minutes late. Fascinating stuff. I wish I’d recorded it. He talked about one proto-dinosaur I *must* find out about. Of course, I forgot its name promptly and will have to research it. It sounded amazing.


Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Roadtrip Day 047

Roadtrip Day 047

8/24 Monday

Today is our 25th (wedding) anniversary! What will today bring?

Well, it’s starting with a lazy, late wakeup and a casual, slow breakfast. It’s also the day where we have hardpoints in our future schedule, rather than our usual, indeterminate gallivanting. (Apologies to Katie Pybus for stealing her identifier. *wink*) We’ve just scheduled ourselves to meet Ronnie’s mom, Mary, in Lost Wages, New Vader (aka Las Vegas, Nevada) for a coupla days, starting on September 1. We also now have a plan to meet Chloe and her friend Casey in San Diego on the 14th for a week. It feels so *rigid*. (grin)

Today, during and after breakfast, I composed the next post in my series of “Katrina plus 10” posts (series titles: K+10 *something*), a post about our anniversary then, just days before Katrina. Memories.

Ronnie started her day after breakfast with some time under the sunshower. Its water was a bit chilly for me right now. I’ll wait until the sun’s been heating that sucker a while longer before I have my “anniversary shower”.

We’re planning a night hike tonight. Should be interesting and beautiful. Clouds and wind threatened rain but it never materialized. I took my shower in the heat of the afternoon and it was good. Genny and electronics time now, then dinner, and finally night hike.

Yep, we did the night hike. It was beautiful in the moonlight or twilight moonlight when the clouds covered Luna from our sight. 11:00pm now. Very tired. Goodnight.

Roadtrip Day 046

Roadtrip Day 046

8/23 Sunday

Woke, fortified with oatmeal, and headed over to Colorado and out to the Harper’s Corner hike. We were early enough that it was not hot and there were few people on the trail. Lovely hike along the ridge out to the point where you look down at the confluence of two rivers in tight, windy canyons almost a mile below. Amazing geology and scenery.

Back to the Visitors’ Center there, which is a *very* secondary one. Had a nice chat with the ranger on duty, looked around, then headed back to camp. Three Rs for the afternoon, then some genny time, dinner, and blog updates. Fresh asparagus were tasty.

Met some homeschoolers who are in a campsite near us. The teenager had a small telescope. It’s too bad they didn’t arrive a day earlier; he could have attended the star party of last night where there were a coupla BIG scopes. Oh well…

We’re both tired, so I’m gonna call this bedtime.

Roadtrip Day 045

Roadtrip Day 045

8/22 Saturday

After a comfortable, long night’s sleep, I woke with a delicious glass of cold Ovaltine. We’re writing a bit (gotta keep those legionaries moving!), then we’re thinking we’ll drive around to the North side to Jones’ Hole, which is supposed to be beautiful, then into town to hit the museum there and score some groceries.

Skipped Jones Hole and hit the museum. It was pretty nice. Some of their models and art were outdated but some were very current. From there, we sat in the county library for a good while doing wifi: blogs, email, facebook, new library books, etc. Then a grocery trip and back to camp.

Only to find that we were less than an hour from a ranger talk by the granddaughter of the guy who did all the original digging here. So we did a quick New York steak on the BBQ and sautéed some mushrooms in butter on the stove, wolfed it down, and made it to the ranger talk in time.

Fascinating talk. Maybe I’ll hit some highlights tomorrow. Right now, it’s late because at the talk we heard that there would be a star talk and telescope event starting at 9:15 at the boatlaunch campground not too far away. So, we went to that. That was very fun. Some big, expensive telescopes were there. Had a great viewing of Saturn. Watched the ISS fly by. Had a fun talk about the constellations from various mythologies.

We also found out there’d be a talk at the Visitors’ Center at 5 pm on Tuesday by a paleontologist who’s been working here since the 70s and who discovered two new species while working here. Gotta schedule attendance at that.

A glass of cold Ovaltine to bookend my day while I type this little bit, then bedtime. Been a long day.

K+10 August 24 Anniversary

I’m composing this post on August 24, 2015 (our 25th anniversary) at Dinosaur National Monument, exactly 10 years after the title of the post. We’re travelling now, on land, as we were preparing to do then, on water. It feels quite symmetrical and appropriate.

For our anniversary, we had good reason to celebrate. First, of course, was that it was our anniversary. We were also celebrating that the ZP and her crew were essentially ready to go cruising. Any boat always need tweaks, but all our major systems were done; we had a lovely, new dink; we were provisioned up; and we were excited for the future. I still had some engine gremlins but that wasn’t unexpected in an engine that old and I felt they were addressable in the next coupla days. Or in the Florida Keys, once we reached there.

The four of us went to a nice restaurant (the Louisiana Grill) on the North shore of Lake Pontchartrain, opposite New Orleans herself. We gorged on delicious Creole food and generally had a delightful time. Cruising was just around the corner.

K+10 August The Grave Tender

From the moment I arrived in New Orleans in June, I’d been looking for a used dinghy. I could have bought any number of worthless, crapped-out dinks but I wanted a good one and those weren’t being sold. Ultimately, we decided to buy new.

Paying full, new price was painful but that way we were getting what we wanted. Bought a RIB and a 4-stroke 9.9HP motor. Uninflated, the dink fit into an easy-to-carry flat-ish case. I installed a motor mount on the stern pulpit to hold the motor and we created a space on the foredeck to stow the dink in its uninflated form in its protective carrycase. With a power inflator, it fattened up quickly and we could drop it over the side, walk it back to the stern, and hand down and attach the motor. Poof! Ready to go!

Names are always the big trick. Because we were the Zombie Princess, we needed an appropriate name for our dinghy. Since an ancillary craft is variously called a dinghy, dink, tender, et al., we settled on calling the new dink the Grave Tender. Perfect.

B y this time, we were moving into the fourth week of August; and, with the addition of the dink, we were pretty much prepped to go. The best-laid plans of mice and men gang aft agley. Katrina had other plans for us.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

K+10 August Arrival

I had spent all of July on my own, working on the ZP. In the beginning of August, Ronnie and he girls arrived, accompanied by Grandma Mary who helped with the driving. It was the first time Ronnie and Chloe (and Mary) had actually seen the boat. I’d been working on “systems” all during July and hadn’t spent any effort on overall condition in the interior. The gang soon disabused me of my slovenly ways. They began cleaning and organizing the ZP.

With the arrival of the family, we moved me out of Judy’s and moved aboard the ZP as a family. We put Mary on a plane back to civilization. Bye! and Thanks!

With the boat clean and ready for occupancy, we started moving stuff from the minivan onto the ZP. Our original plan (modified by Katrina, as was everything) was that Bob would crew with me down to the Keys while Ronnie and the girls drove down there. Then Bob would drive the car back and park it on his property while we cruised. The Gulf of Mexico can be terrible and we wanted to spare the girls (and prone-to-seasickness Ronnie) that experience.

K+10 July Generator

The other side of the lazarette from the propane locker was destined to become the home of our generator. After doing all the fiberglass work (Ack!) to seal that space up, except for input vents in the stern and an exhaust port, also in the stern, plus the electrical connections needed to feed the ZPs electrical system, I bought a (relatively) cheap 5.5kW generator from Home Depot. I stripped off all the framework and ancillary crap until I had just the generator itself. It fit through the laz lid (barely) with some help from my friend Bob. Heavy sunnavabitch to maneuver into such a small space; but it did fit. I drilled holes to secure the feet from below to keep it in place and juryrigged a setup to feed it from an external fuel tank which was attached to the stern pulpit with a pivot to flip it down out of the way most of the time or up when feeding the genny.

I wrapped and secured the exhaust to try to keep it as quiet as possible but those cheap gennys are just loud. Happily, we weren't gonna use it a lot, just occasionally to top off our deep-cycle house batteries, although, if we were willing to spend the money for gas, it could power our airconditioner, if needed or desired.

It was heavy, painful work but infinitely cheaper than paying for a marine-approved genny, installed by a boatyard. And it worked like a champ.

K+10 July Head

Who doesn’t love working on 20+ years worth of other peoples shit?

The head setup on the ZP when we bought her was illegal. And old and tired. I wanted to refurbish it to modern, legal standards. So I started taking apart old boat plumbing.

The good thing about that was that it was an inside-the-boat task, which meant that I was working in the airconditioning instead of outside in the 95-degrees-plus-99-percent-humidity on the deck. Everything else about it was, as you’d expect, nasty. It took me three days. At the end of each day, I’d return to Judy’s house, my headquarters (grin), and have her pour betadine all over my hands and forearms. Then, I’d take a long, hot shower.

I needed a decent toilet (new) and all the complex plumbing to send the output of the toilet to the holding tank or directly overboard. Holding tank use was required in most U.S. waters. The boat had a holding tank but the previous owner had the boat plumbed so that it only and always went to direct overboard discharge.

To change (fix) that, I needed a bunch of new plumbing hoses and valves. Buying things in the airconditioned store was by far the best part of that job. Removing the old plumbing and installing the new stuff in the cramped conditions of the boat head was significantly unpleasant. Many people just rely on using a pumpout station at a marina to empty their holding tank. We didn’t plan to spend a lot of time at marinas, so I also installed a hand pump in the system which would let us pump out the holding tank ourselves when we were offshore.

Eventually, I got it done. Nice, new plumbing, all legal and functional. Offshore, we could do direct dump. Inshore, we could use the holding tank. Neat, clean, and legal.

Roadtrip Day 044

Roadtrip Day 044

8/21 Friday

Slept in, lazed around, then headed to the Visitors’ Center and the quarry. I am always amazed at the sight of all those fossilized bones in one place. And to walk up and touch fossilized bone in situ is very exciting. Nowadays, all cars are required to stay at the Visitors’ Center and take an open sided cart up to the quarry. There’s a hike down from the quarry to the Visitors’ Center called “Fossil Discovery” which sounded fun. So after we enjoyed the quarry, we took the cart back down, got our hiking boots and a camelback, took the cart back up, and hiked the trail. Hot, hot, hot. But we saw fossil bones in bas relief in the rock and some petroglyphs left by peoples of the past, including “Tommy” from the 20th century and a few other assholes.

I got a little heat exhaustion doing that. We got in the car, cranked the airco, and drove out East a way to a homesteader cabin which was inhabited into the 1960s. Several petroglyphs out that road. They’re fascinating.

Eventually back to the campground where Ronnie babied me with cool cloths, water (Ugh!), and spray-downs, while I recuperated. As evening came on, we sat outside under the cottonwoods and read a bit. A ranger came around, reminding us of her talk that evening, so we went to that. After the ranger talk, it was getting on toward full dark; so we had some dinner and crashed.

Roadtrip Day 043

Roadtrip Day 043

8/20 Thursday

Travel day.

We spent a lotta hours trying to decide how/when/where to go from Gros Ventre and the beautiful Tetons. Ronnie mapped out several possibilities with bunches of campgrounds marked. We finally decided to start South, generally toward Dinosaur National Monument and make choices at each decision point as we came to it. South it is. We folded our tent (trailer) casually and eased on down the road.

The Tetons elected to give us a fabulous sendoff by lining the road from the campground with a large bison herd. Lotsa cute babies; we even saw one actively nursing just a few feet from the road. Stop and go traffic as they occasionally crossed the road with no thought to vehicular traffic. Delightful and impressive.

As we rolled, we decided to head down the efficient path toward Dinosaur. Scenery changed from mountains to plains-ish as we progressed but the damned haze continued. Rangers said it was from all the fires West of here but, DAMN!, that’s a lotta haze over a whole lotta territory. After a lazy breakdown and departure, we weren’t sure we wanted to go all the way to Dinosaur in one day; but as we got closer, we decided to just go for it and try to get a site at the campground in the park.

Scenery was lovely the whole way. First, leaving the beautiful mountains, then the vast vistas across open or bluffy territory, then the mountainous, layered terrain and the amazing views of Flaming Gorge as we closed in on the park. We arrived about 7pm and asked the ranger at the gate if the Green River campground had openings. (Oh please!)

Yes! Hooray!

We drove around the whole campground and chose a spot in the shade of a coupla cottonwoods, with the Green River to the East, a bluff to the West, and a fabulous view of the amazing geology of Split Mountain to the North.

And it was warm!

By this time of day all through Washington, Montana, and Wyoming, we’d be in our Winter clothes with the trailer completely closed up. Here in the Green River campground, we set up in our shorts. It was wonderful. Also, we are now out of bear country. We can leave food, dishes, toiletries, garbage, etc. in the tent trailer. Much easier living than the constant back and forth between the trailer and the car to stow things in the approved bear-safe manner.

We sat outside in our shorts and played some guitar as we watched the night fill in. A curious rabbit sat very close and watched us for a while. He finally departed, casually, at “Rockin’ in the Free World”. Guess my voice on that one was too intense. (grin) A quick dinner, then bedtime at a park with many fond memories of previous trips.

Sweet dreams.