Yesterday’s Word of the Day was desolate which means, “deserted, joyless, barren, or gloomy.” That basically describes my mood the past week. If you read my most recent blog post, then you understand why I say that. That said, there’s something beautiful in photos of desolate landscapes. You know, some lonely road out in the middle of nowhere, seemingly going on forever. You can’t see the end of it because the horizon goes on for that long. U.S. 50 as it goes through Nevada is called “The Loneliest Road in America” because it goes through the least populated, least interesting, most featureless part of the state. There’s literally nothing. You better hope you have a full tank of gas before you hit the state line. The stretch of highway between Fallon, Nevada and Delta, Utah is the same distance as Boston to Baltimore. There’s only three small towns in that whole 400 mile stretch. That’s a whole lot of nothingness.
BTW, the above picture is not U.S. Route 50 in Nevada. It is, however, a lovely picture nonetheless.
Road trips always provide great inspiration for music, and when I think of road trips, I think of songs that should either inspire singing along OR blasting as loud as possible with the top/windows down as you go down the road. It’s been a long time since I’ve last been on a road trip, but as soon as it’s possible to do it safely, “Blinding Lights” by The Weeknd will be at the top of the list. It was either that one or “Radar Love” by Golden Earring, but I wanted to demonstrate that my tastes also run contemporary, not just classic rock and oldies. LOL
It’s not the most exciting bridge in the world, but Yoopers think it is.
Today’s Word of the Day is Yooper which means, “one from the upper peninsula of Michigan.” Now, I’m not from Michigan, I’m from Illinois, but most everyone in the Midwest knows what a Yooper is. The “trolls” in my post title refer to people who live below the Mackinac (pronounced Mack-eh-naw) Bridge, which connects the UP to the lower peninsula. The mitten, if you will. I’d love to go to Mackinac at least once in my life because the scenery is absolutely breathtaking. The upper Midwest has some of the most beautiful country you’ll ever see. I think I’m biased about that, being a Midwestern gal myself, but I don’t care. My grandmother called it God’s own country, and while I’m not religious and thus don’t subscribe to that view, I agreed with her about its charm.
(no, this wasn’t a paid advertisement for Illinois/Wisconsin/Michigan travel agencies)
Today’s Word of the Day is excursionwhich means, “a usually brief trip or expedition.” I’ve been on more than a few excursions in my life. I’d like to go on a few more someday. Day trips can be fun because no matter where you live, there’s at least one interesting thing within a few hours of you. I can drive to Wrightsville Beach on the coast in about 3 1/2 hours. I can be in Asheville out west in the mountains in roughly the same time. I say “roughly” because it depends on traffic and the weather. Hell, I can drive to Washington D.C. in about 5 hours. That’s not exactly a day trip since it wouldn’t give you much time to do some sightseeing before you had to drive back, but that would be a good weekend excursion if you lived in my neck o’ the woods. With the concept of travel firmly lodged in my mind, I thought for today’s Musical Interlude Friday selection I’d go with a song that definitely evokes a feeling of travel, though it’s a rather sad feeling. Here is “Silver Wings” by Merle Haggard. Enjoy!
Today’s Word of the Day is tchotchkewhich means, “a knickknack or trinket.” If I look around the room right now, I see more than a few things which would qualify as a tchotchke. I used to have a lot more little doodads and whatnots all over the place, but they made it look cluttered, so I either gave them away or donated them to Goodwill. I do love souvenirs and other mementos, and whenever I know someone is traveling to one place or another, I always request some postcards or something. The problem is, I don’t really know what to do with them after I get them, hence the clutter. Maybe I should just stick to requesting postcards; I can put them in scrapbooks and put the scrapbooks in my bookshelf. No clutter there.
Today’s Word of the Day is wanderlustwhich means, “a longing to wander or travel.” Now, I was always taught not to define a word with the word, but Merriam-Webster has been doing this a lot longer than I’ve been alive, so if they say the word wander belongs in the definition, then that’s how it shall be. I definitely want to travel more than I have, and though I don’t fly, there are plenty of things in the United States I’d like to see before I die. Road trips are especially fun because I think you can really experience the country better that way. You can really take the time to see things, talk to people, get a real feel for where you are. I’d love to visit some of the old mining towns in Colorado like Silverton, Ophir, and Telluride, as the scenery there is almost too beautiful to describe with words. Google Street View is the best I can do right now, but one day…one day I’ll get there.
What do you call someone who has wanderlust but doesn’t like to fly?
It’s always been a dream of mine to travel, but as I have a crippling fear of flying (even the thought of being inside an airport makes me sick to my stomach), there is 0% chance of it ever happening. As such, I have to resign myself to using Google Earth to see the world outside my neck of the woods, and while it’s nowhere near as wonderful as the real thing, it’s better than nothing. I’ve seen a fair bit of the United States, but all by car. I’ve only been on an airplane twice in my life — once coming, once going — and that was more than enough. I suppose if you sufficiently drugged me, I’d get on an airplane again, but I’d need to be nearly unconscious to be comfortable, and I wouldn’t saddle whoever had the misfortune of sitting next to me with that.
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why? I’d go to Tahiti or Bora Bora, somewhere in the South Pacific, to work on my tan and find some black pearls.
I’ve never been Baltimore, Maine, or Florence. Though I would like to go to Baltimore. I love crab cakes.
I am no good at reading maps. If you plunked me down in the middle of nowhere and told me to head east, I’d look at you like you had four heads. If I need to be given directions, you have to tell me in terms of turning right or left, going straight ahead or turning around and going back the other way. East/West/North/South means nothing to me. I know what direction east is in the morning because that’s the direction the sun rises in, so I also know what direction west is at sunset, but in the middle of the day or in the middle of the night? Yeah, I’m boned. People with an inherent sense of direction astonish me. I’m supremely jealous of their skills, as I have none.
I am terrified of flying. TERRIFIED. The idea of getting on an airplane literally makes me sick to my stomach, and I can feel my legs getting shaky and wobbly just typing it. It has nothing to do with 9/11 or terrorism or anything else like that — I have been petrified of flying since well before that. I don’t like not being able to see the ground. I’m not scared of heights because I can be in tall buildings or ride on Ferris wheels without a problem. When you’re 30,000 feet in the air, you can’t see anything below you but clouds. Or if you’re flying to another continent…the ocean. Oh goody. I understand completely that it’s an irrational fear, that I’m more likely to die in the shower than I am in a plane crash or something, but I don’t care. If I can’t get there by car or by train, then I’m not meant to see it. I can live with never seeing Australia or even Hawaii. There’s plenty in the continental United States I’d like to see before my time on this rock is up.
I love road trips. I know some people that hate long car rides, but I love ’em. One of my favorite things to do is pick an Interstate and just ride it for a while, seeing what’s there. I don’t drive, so I’m always the passenger, and being the head passenger comes with a lot of responsibilities. You’re responsible for procuring directions and/or handling maps, you have to dole out drinks and snacks to everyone else in the car, provided their not being kept in the back seat, and if part of your road trip happens at night, you have to keep the driver awake and alert IF they don’t want to stop somewhere until morning. I remember when my family moved to Georgia from Chicago — my sister got to sleep in the backseat the whole way there, while I had to stay awake in the front seat keeping our mom company and awake. I got to see what Cincinnati, OH looks like at night when you cross into Louisville, KY, so there’s that.
Just so you know, the Ohio River looks the same at night as it does during the day. You’re not missing anything.