If the major cities represented punctuation marks in my 1990 travels, then the grammar of the journey was filled with sentences of woodlands and seabords – places off the beaten track, and places full of enchantment. I had set a course and I was heading to Philadelphia, home of the Second Continental Congress, seat of that remarkable Sherman Edwards-Peter Stone musical, 1776. But before I could reach it, I first took on the central woodlands of West Virginia followed by the candy beach houses of Cape May on the New Jersey coast. Continue reading
Category Archives: Travel_
To commence Leg 1 of my own ‘1990 US Amazing Race’ I hired a car (1989 Oldsmobile Calais), filled it with gas ($11, can you imagine), borrowed a tent, bought a gas primer and an esky, acquired a full set of AAA road maps (for free ) that ranged from New England to Florida, Kentucky and the Great Lakes, and on June 4 waved goodbye to Erik and wonderful new friends Elissa and Mary-Ellen, and drove off at 4pm, picking my way down the right-side of the road in pursuit of Central Pennsylvania. Central Pennsylvania? …. why?
In his 1999 travelogue A Walk in the Woods?, c’est tres amusant, Bill Bryson wrote of Central Pennsylvania in terms so glowing they were positively radioactive; which was intentional. He hated the place, especially the petrochemical feel to the industrial landscape (it rests on huge deposits of anthracite, an immensely hard coal which, once lit, is nearly impossible to extinguish) with its heavy reliance on mining and refineries. He recounted the tale of how the near-ghost town of Centralia, “the strangest, saddest town I believe I have ever seen”, had been laid to waste because a fire had started in one of the labyrinthine mines laced underneath the town 34 years ago and still smouldered to this day. In my 1990 travels I saw a State in a very different state, green, fresh, unspoiled. The Delaware River, the Allegheny Forest, beautiful. Mind you, many of the en route towns had such utilitarian names as to invoke industrial waste and make a smoke stack blush … Oil City, Uniontown, Pithole. Continue reading
It was 1990; and I was in the US, and alone for six months. I had barely set foot out of Australia before let alone on my own. These days kids have done all of that by Tuesday after their 6th birthday. But I was 3o, on my own, full of fear for fear itself, and all set for the journey of a lifetime. (It has proved to be the biggest journey of my life – this was before Robert and before love everlasting).