As my regular readers know, I’m currently on a three-week (roughly) road trip with my father, from Chicago to San Diego for Conjecture and then back. I let my Dad plan the route. If I ever do that again, I will double-check it a week in advance and find out whether there is anything going on that might necessitate actual room reservations at various planned stopping points along the way (we’ve already had one town nearly full-up with a state-wide convention and another full because of a free music festival). Dad tends not to worry about stuff like that.
Some things I expected to hear on this trip:
“Nebraska is very flat.”
“Didn’t we already cross the Platte River? Twice?”
“Did you remember the charger for the iPad? I forgot mine.”
Some things I didn’t expect to hear:
Dad: “This isn’t the right place! There’s a lake here, I don’t remember a lake!”
Me: “Dad, when was the last time you were here?”
Me: “So that would probably be BEFORE they built that nice new-looking dam over there?”
Also, while I’m driving on a twisty mountain road with a sheer drop on one side:
Dad: “I can drive if you want.”
Me: “Not now, there’s nowhere to pull over. Why do you want to drive?”
Dad: “I like this road. It looks just like the spot where your Uncle Richard and I ran over the edge when our steering went out.”
Me: “Why are you still alive?”
Dad: “Oh, there were some pine trees that caught us about twenty feet down and some guy came by in a truck and pulled us out.”
Me (with some trepidation): “Who was driving when you went over the edge?”
Dad: “Oh, I was! But it wasn’t my fault.”
Me: “I think I’ll just keep driving for a while.”
So far, we’ve been to Estes Park and driven the high road through Rocky Mountain National Park, then spent a couple of hours at Bryce Canyon before we got to Zion National Park this afternoon. Which seems like a lot to me, but apparently Dad and my uncle hit 32 national parks in a 2-month driving trip in 1938 that should, from the sound of it, have killed both of them several times over. So he’s showing me the high spots. Literally, in some cases; according to the signage, we were 2 miles above sea level at a couple of points on the trip. He’s currently peeved because he bought a lifetime National Parks membership about 30 years ago when he turned 62, and didn’t remember to bring it (that’s assuming he could FIND it, which I doubt, but it’s really kind of a moot point).
If the hotel internet connection I’m currently using were more reliable, I’d probably try to twist this into some sort of writing point, but I’m afraid of losing it (again), so that’ll have to wait. With luck, I will be able to return you to your regularly scheduled blog post by Wednesday, by which time we should be in LA or San Diego, which I trust will be a bit more reliable as far as connection goes.