Monday, July 13, 2009

An Argument for Traveling by Car Instead of Air

Marco, keep your eyelids up and see what you can see.
Dr. Seuss

The United States is a large country.....3.7 million square miles (9.6 million square kilometers). Much of the population is centered along the Eastern seaboard, the West coast, around the southern Great Lakes, the Gulf Coast, and in a strip across the mid-South. Otherwise, aside from a few pockets of large isolated metropolitan areas around the country (Dallas, Denver, Phoenix, etc), there is a lot more open land than there are people occupying it.

We have deserts, rain forests, wide open plains, majestic mountains, and rivers that hold the balance of life inside their riverbanks and stretch for thousands of miles. Beaches of white fluffy sand, hard-packed sand, black sand, and shorelines with rocky, deadly coasts with no beach at all. We are a country with areas that never see snow, and areas that never see an absence of snow.

But, what makes the United States such an awesome country to drive across (and I use that in a biblical sense) are not the range of landscapes, but the people that make up the United States. This is a country that is beautiful from both the ground, and from 35,000 feet in the air. But, I assure you, at 35,000 feet you will never see a sight like this.

This photo was taken by me at a rest area on Interstate 74 in central Illinois, partway between Champaign and Bloomington. What made this site truly unusual was the group of shirtless guys standing around the car. They looked like extras from "American Chopper." They would've looked right at home standing next to a bunch of Harley Davidsons. Instead, they're standing next to a Japanese commuter sedan with a moped tied to the back.

Knowing he would immediately appreciate the humor, I emailed this to my brother, E. Within minutes, I received the response, "Is that a Vespa tied to the back of a Nissan Sentra?" I knew any elaboration could do no justice, so I simply replied, "Yes it is. Don't fall asleep while driving through Illinois, you never know what you'll miss."


  1. That is, I believe, the 'lifeboat' for the Sentra. Rather a shame a big RV wasn't pulling them both.

    That pic was taken at the Farmer City rest area on I-74. I know it well-I've took many a leak there. The wind blows cold there between October and April-nothing to stop it.

  2. That is heroically stupid. Great post.

  3. Lol YD, I was going to do a lifeboat style but you have beaten me to the punch. Oh and you were funnier too.

    In Bali you would have seen an entire family and the Nissan perched on top of the Scooter.

  4. Honestly...what a girly man.

    Naut: oh yeah! Or some guy trying to tow his entire banana plantation on a bicycle!

  5. Looks like somebody won a HIGH stakes card game.

  6. YD, I once went through there around Halloween. You can feel the wind blow so hard, you wonder if you'd be better off pissing your pants.

    To my Aussie friends, these guys probably also own the Redneck Houseboat:

    Heidi, either that or they are trying to recreate a scene from "Megaforce."

    (bonus points to anyone who's seen that movie)

  7. "Megaforce!" I just lol'd all over myself.

  8. My brother and I discussed that movie recently, via long-distance phone, and IMDB'd it. Neither of us had any idea that "Ace" was played by Barry Bostwick.

    That guy was a very prolific actor, but good God, he had no standards when it came to a script.

    Producer: "Barry, we need an actor willing to roll around naked in raw sew..."

    Barry: "Say no more, I'll do it!"

  9. He HAS been around forever and you're right about his discriminating taste.

    Like "Weekend at Bernie's II" for instance. But even worse than his acceptance of the role, who do you think green lighted that piece of shit in the first place?

  10. I've often said the same thing about "Nothing But Trouble." The producers couldn't have possibly read the script. They probably thought, "Hell, Dan Akroyd wrote it, it's probably great."