Tag Archives: Barcelona

A travelogue from the couch …

I guess this is what retirees do. Hit the road. 

This must be – has to be – the first letter Ellen and Reid have ever received that deals exclusively with their old man’s travel. Maybe not the travel itself, but the looking forward to it. Now if only I was better at the planning …

June 12, 2017

Ellen/Reid: Tomorrow marks a drastic change for me in terms of fishing with Miss Emma in Charleston; I’ll finally overnight there to milk a second day out of the excursion. I booked a fleabag on the west end of Rte. 17 north of Bowens Island. It’ll be interesting to see how it plays out since the down-and-back in one day routine just flat wore me out. Don’t ask why this tact has not been taken before. Beats the hell out of me. I’m cheap, I guess.


Bowens Island is my escape route. Escape to the water. Miss Emma got a full taste of the brackish salt creeks last week, and she’ll get more of same this week, too.

There’s an added factor in that my friends Jill and Troy want some of my fish as an glitzy appetizer for a big, formal sit-down meal they plan to serve to 20 – 25 guests. They are both chefs as opposed to cooks so they’ll doll up whatever is caught and really make it delicious. So for once we will be a production fishing operation. It means we can spend way more time on the water on Day One rather than scoot out of town at 2 p.m. or so to beat the horrid Charleston traffic. So it’s exciting in a way.

Wyoming is really creeping up soon. This time next month everything might be in the pack. Got to get some new tires for the Camry for the Westward trip since there are nearly 48,000 miles on the car in barely 19 months. My trail meals have already been purchased from an outfit called Packitgourmet.com. The food is all dehydrated rather than freeze dried which takes, in my opinion, too much time to rehydrate. What I’ve seen from Packitgourmet.com is some really good stuff. Almost cuisine. Lunches will be the standard peanut butter and flour tortillas along with tuna in foil packs. Tom buys dried fruit at Trader Joe’s which is really good. Breakfasts will be equally standard; oatmeal with raisins and Starbucks instant coffee. The Tyvek hustled from a construction site has been trimmed to fit the one man tent (and the two person tent, too, Reid). That saves some weight and it compresses better than the plastic sheets. We’ll stay at the super-duper Four Winds in Jackson on the eve of the hike. Reid, Pinedale was nearly full. I had to scrounge for a motel. Must be a lot of roughnecks staying overnight. No way I want to spend another night in the car under a full moon like we did 11 or so years ago. What a memory that is.

Been paging through the Camino de Santiago guide, trying to wrap my arms around the whole idea of an enormous trip. It’s interesting that the author of the guide asks readers early in the book to consider why they would make the trip at all. Really a good question. He assumes, and treats readers thusly, that most make a pilgrimage rather than treat it like a hike or sporting event (my friends Tom and Vince and Richard who’ve all made the trip think it’s more of a walk than a hike). Certainly it’s not race walking or push every day for miles, miles, miles. As I look at the map of Spain – my sense of geography is just awful – my anticipated side trips to Madrid and Barcelona won’t happen. Both are just too far off the trail. In fact, I might book my initial flight in to Barcelona rather than an airport to St. Jean Pied de Port, France, the traditional starting point for the Camino. That way I can spend a day or two traipsing around Barcelona and then hop a bus toward Pamplona which is three days walk from St. Jean. Tom sent me his exacting and incredibly detailed (go figure, huh, Reid?) gear list and that is an enormous help. I’ve been bending Vince’s ear, too.

All this has me thinking about other adventures of this sort that might be made since we shouldn’t be afraid to live. It would be so fun to launch Miss Emma offshore to paddle the length of the Carolinas. It’d take some planning but what fun that would be. There isn’t much other international travel that trips my trigger. Reid, remember that guy we saw up in the Bridger who walked the Continental Divide Trail? Now that would be an extraordinary feat. I’d do that, too, but again, I’d need Tom’s sense of planning since such minute details tend to escape me. No surprise there. Sigh.

Love, Dad


Filed under Writing to adult children

Back to normal…

This was a weekend for varying members of the clan to hit the skies.

Reid landed Friday in Chicago after his extended work trip to London.  He’s already back in the swing of things.

Emma had her parents accompany her to Michigan and back.

Emma easily claims the Gold Medal for her knack of sleeping anywhere and everywhere – including a comfy spot on her dad’s lap on the trip home from Michigan.

She displayed the inherited trait of being able to sack out on a noisy plane and wake just in time to announce her presence to other passengers within 2 -3 rows of her.

Moreover, now that Reid is back stateside, we will resume the practice of tossing his weekly letter into the mail.

This brings our world back to normal.

Here is last week’s letter to the kids.


August 6, 2012

Ellen/Reid: The ribs are feeling better day by day although the couch remains the most comfortable place to sleep.  I still feel like a doofus for allowing the slips to happen at all.  Tom thinks a change from heavy boots to more of a running/cross training shoe would help.  Could be.  All in all it could’ve been much worse.  We did see one rescue helicopter venture into the high country, and the destination appeared to be in the direction of a group of 20-some kids we learned about from their adult leaders.  We also read in the Jackson Hole paper about a woman from New York who suffered a compound fracture of the femur – ouch, ouch, ouch – near Lake Lozier (which we sped by save but a few minutes of fishing time) just before we went up top, although there was no real news about how they got her out.  An online search found nothing.  Now that would be real, excruciating pain.  My aches would have been like so many insect bites by comparison.  My golf has taken a hit while the ribs mend but I haven’t missed it a whole lot.  There’s plenty of time to get back in the swing of things down here, like 12 months a year.

So it is back to the daily grind.  That’s okay, I like what I do.  My mid-year review was last week and it was good.  It prodded me again to think about when to pull the plug, and if they will have me until I’m 65, that would be close enough to call it a ‘career’ – if such things still exist.  If you’re counting, that’s about two and a half more years of toil.  Of course, you’re only as good as your most recent week so even the best laid plans can go awry.  But that seems relatively feasible.

Sorry to bother you both with my back-and-forth nonsense about the iPad and MacBook Air.  No sooner had I signed the iPad sales slip at Target when a serious case of buyer’s remorse set in.  The Air seems a relatively good choice.  I leaned on Bob F., too, for his advice, and to sum up he said why get an iPad when the hand-held iPhone is so closely akin to it.  I like the way the Air handles and feels, and the operating system is probably a little more stabile.  Yet to be bought are the equivalents to MS Word.  I’ve got to keep the clunky Acer around for the church newsletter but that is probably the highest and best use for that contraption.  Ellen, the Air comes with Facetime, so keep little Emma within arm’s reach in case Gramps calls.

Reid, you have travel in your veins.  Barcelona?  How the heck does one get from London to Barcelona in the face of all that Olympic zaniness?  Good for you.  I’m envious that you just pull up stakes and go.  It takes some nards to do that when you’re by your lonesome.  What is the total count of nations you’ve visited?  11 by my rough tally, and that may be off a few.  Hey, when you are back stateside, look at the first opportunity to A) get your carcass down to Charlotte or, B) tell me when we should get up to Chicago so you can meet Felicia and vice versa.

Keep the Emma videos flowing to the Southeast, Ellen.  She looked so unhappy, but cute, on the way back from Cass Lake.  She’s a good sport to be in her car seat all the time, especially when she wants to stretch her legs and kick out the jams.  One thing about that sort of trip; you know you’re not childless anymore.  It probably seems as if you had to pack enough gear for a round-the-world-cruise.  Get used to it.

The Olympics have taken up some of the evening tube time although by confession, it seems pretty formulaic; gymnastics, swimming, basketball and the track events.  It gets pretty boring sometimes.  I’m a shoo-in for gold if/when it comes to lazing around on the couch while the rest of me mends.   Too bad I don’t get to go to London to collect my medal.

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Filed under Writing to adult children