“If you’ve seen one redwood tree, you’ve seen them all.”

It’s raining slightly, but still it’s raining. The paper got it wrong. The prediction is for rain tomorrow so I don’t know if that means two more days of rain despite all the rain we had last week. I swear this is Mother Nature’s way of erasing all the memories of summer. She gives us nothing but dreary days, and we start to expect them. Fall becomes winter far too quickly.

Today I have to go to Boston where I haven’t been in a while, other than the airport. I used to go all the time, but I’ve become a country bumpkin. Now I gripe and complain when I have to drive to Hyannis, a trip taking about 15 minutes. I don’t know if it’s age, retirement or just being comfortable here at home and on the Cape. Once I get on the road, I’m okay with the travel, but it’s getting the incentive to move that takes time. Today I have a doctor’s appointment, just a regular one so I have no choice.

When I was a kid, any car trip of great length was pure agony. Three of us were crammed in the backseat of a car which had that big hump in the middle of the floor. The windows never let in enough air, and I was prone to car sickness. We elbowed each other and whined about space and who was violating our space. I couldn’t read in the car and we had nothing but looking at the scenery to keep our attention. We’d play state license bingo, twenty questions, and I spy with my little eye but interest was difficult to maintain. How much can you spy in the same car for hours? We seldom stopped. My dad believed that any trip anywhere could be made in a single day. He groaned about bathroom stops and lunch never took much time, always at a picnic bench with the lunch my mother had made.

The only trip I remember with sightseeing was the one to the White Mountains. We saw the Old Man of the Mountain, now a memory since his collapse, went up Mount Washington and toward the end of the day stopped to the Flume. It was late in the afternoon and we got the last bus of the day to the Flume which meant we had to walk back to the car. I remember how cold it felt on the top of Mount Washington and how the road seemed far too close to the edge. The old man did look like a face, but he didn’t impress us all that much. We were kids, and he was a rock. All I remember about the flume is a bunch of walkways and some waterfalls. I can still see the tarred road we dragged ourselves on to get back to the car.  And, yup, we did all of that in one day.

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10 Comments on ““If you’ve seen one redwood tree, you’ve seen them all.””

  1. olof1 Says:

    I loved long rides in the car but I guess that’s because I always fell asleep 🙂 🙂 We were three in the back seat as well except for when we hade volswagen beetle, because I was so amll that I fit right in to the luggage space just above the engine by the v´back window 🙂 🙂

    My m,other also belived that any trip could be made in a day but she didn’t mind lots of breaks along the way. I guess that’s why she wasn’t bothered when she realized she had driven 150 km north instead of south last time she had been here and was driving home again 🙂 🙂 🙂 (well she had driven several kilometers towards west as well 🙂 🙂 ) A trip that normally takes three hours took twelve that day 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Have a great day!

    • katry Says:

      I finally outgrew car sickness, but I still hated long rides with few breaks. On the way home, I usually fell asleep too which made the ride seem much shorter.

      The story about your mother gave me a laugh!

  2. Zoey & Me Says:

    Christer had a rare experience. I think if we were stuck with Dad driving 12 hours on a 3 hour planned trip he would have walked the plank, if you know what I mean. The days with no air conditioning in cars were the worst. Especially if you had a sister that gave little notice and barfed in the car. The smell made us all sick. We hated to travel if she was included. But it was a long ride back then from the Panhandle in Florida to Miami. Most times we had to sleep in the car. “Under the stars” my Dad would say.

    • katry Says:

      Complaining never work with my dad. We just sucked it up. I hated those hot days in the car. I’d put my hand out the window as if it were a fan blade and direst a little breeze toward me to cool me off a bit.

      I never got sick in the car-I usually directed it out the window or told my father to pull over.

  3. J.M. Heinrichs Says:

    Vancouver to Oklahoma City in 2.5 days (two 3-hour sleep breaks) with six kids in the car.


  4. Hedley Says:

    Herges Tintin is being readied for Christmas release under the direction of Spielberg and Jackson using 3D and motion capture. We already have billboards and heck even the beanie baby folks have rolled out Tintin, Captain Haddock and Snowy (Milou)….. And two months before our release, Europe has the movie.
    Sadly the reviews are poor..Times, Telegraph and Guardian mirror an expressionless imagery. So disappointing.

    • katry Says:

      My Dear Hedley,
      I think the beanie babies might be worth the money. I have all the characters from Rocky and Bullwonkle and a few from A Christmas Carol. I like ones from books and stuff.

      I’m sorry about the reviews. I suspect they may be accuarate as Tintin is not all that well known here.

  5. Bob Says:

    Another warm and clear day here in North Texas, home to the American League Champion Texas Rangers.

    Our family car trips involved two to three days driving from North Texas to Brooklyn New York every June to visit the relatives. We were fortunate because my sister and I could each have a place in the back seat on either side of the hump while my mother rode shot-gun. My father covered his sales territory in the car so we had air-conditioning in the early 1950s. My sister still got car sick which I now blame on my parents smoking in the car. We were so accustomed to the rancid smell that we didn’t realize it was making us all sick.

    After a week with the relatives we headed to Miami Beach for a week vacation at a beach front hotel and then the return drive to Texas. These were the days before the interstate highway system and most of the roads were one lane in each direction. My father could pass a truck and get back into the right lane seconds before colliding head on with oncoming traffic. My mother would gasp each time he pulled out to pass. I thought it was fun to see how close he could come to killing us all. He was very skilled at passing.

    My parents stopped at various eating establishments along the way to try the local regional fare. I have never become accustomed to eating grits or mustard greens. We kids always wanted dad to stop at the Howard Johnson for ice cream. We always ended the day’s drive at four in the afternoon so that my sister and I could swim in a motel pool and burn off some energy.

    Do you remember the Burma-Shave signs along the side of the road? Each small sign contained a pithy saying ending with the Burma-Shave sign.

    • katry Says:

      All ready for Wednesday I bet! Good luck!!

      I think I was in college before my parents got an air-conditioned car. They also smoked, but I too was used to it. Weird looking stuff made me sick too so I don’t think I could blame it on smoke. When I went to my first Ghanaian market during training, the balls of goat dung made me sick and I went outside and threw up.

      With 4 kids, there was little money for morels. I remember being 16 before we stayed at a motel. We seldom stopped for a snack, but it was always a great treat when we did.

      I do remember those signs. We’d all read them out loud as we went by them.

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