The Peripatetic Traveler

Monthly Archives: July 2014

I don’t know whether today was a great day that ended up lousy, or a lousy day that started out great. You can’t make this stuff up. I left the motel this morning about 9:30 for a day-long tour of the Smoky Mountains and the surrounding area. Jen had given me a map of the region with a couple of loops highlighted on it (the map comes that way), with one taking about… Read More

I was originally going to title this entry “Old Friends … and Broken Systems” because of the first two “little bits” below, but then there were so many other things to mention that I couldn’t limit it to just those. 1. I’m sure I’m not the only one who notices these things, but sometimes it takes me by surprise to see a route number that I’m familiar with in one place suddenly… Read More

1. I have found the WORST. ON. RAMP. EVER. It was in Pennsylvania, where US 51 meets the Pennsylvania Turnpike. The Turnpike is one of the oldest superhighways in the country, and as such it’s narrow, has no median, has sharp turns and has a 55-mph speed limit. And lousy on ramps. The one from US 51 actually has a STOP sign at the bottom, and there is NO merge lane. You… Read More

While I was at my friend Mike’s house this weekend, I actually had some time to read a little bit, and I found this article in the current (July – August 2014) issue of Smithsonian: It’s a travel story called “The Soul of the South” and provides an interesting perspective on some of the southern states. I recommend it. Back to the travelogue… I deliberately chose a scenic route from Richmond, VA,… Read More

In my very first post ( I mentioned that I would be discoursing on all kinds of journeys. This is one of the not-a-travelogue ones. I would like to say this at the outset: I am not trying to change anyone’s opinion. This is simply a description of my thoughts and conclusions. Now, onward and upward, as they say… There are many subjects these days on which I have an opinion, but… Read More

Well, after Friday night’s fiasco and Saturday’s exhausting trek through the Udvar-Hazy Center, I ended up having quite a quiet day today. I’m staying here in Richmond with my high school friend Mike, and he and I had hoped to meet up with two other friends from that era, Richard and Tom. But Richard had a hip operation last week and isn’t home from rehab yet, and Tom called today to tell… Read More

1. There are too many people along the East Coast. I-95 southbound from Washington to Richmond was nearly at capacity, with random sections of stop-and-go traffic, on a Saturday afternoon! And by capacity, I mean parking-lot capacity! 2. MapQuest can be infuriating sometimes. 3. …<fzzzztttttt!!!!> fatal memory error. Rebooting…

Today I went to the Smithsonian Air and Space museum’s Steven F Udvar-Hazy Center ( and all I can say is WOW…. Aircraft ranging from the Enola Gay to a Concorde to an SR-71 to the Gossamer Albatross are all displayed – some on the floor and some from the ceiling. The Shuttle Discovery is also there, along with lots of other spacecraft and space artifacts. Here are some representative pictures. If… Read More

Hoo-boy. Thursday I was coddled; Friday I was rudely returned to reality. The day started out all right. I had a leisurely morning getting ready to check out of the Nittany Lion Inn and then delivering a copy of the video of the Drill Team’s 1970 Mother’s Day performance to the AFROTC cadre; then I pointed the truck in a sort-of-southerly direction and headed off to a motel near the Smithsonian’s Udvar-Hazy… Read More

That’s the only way to describe my day today – I was coddled all day long! Maybe I *am* a VIP … nah. SOIP is the best I can do. This morning I was scheduled to tour the Leonhard Building at 10 AM. This building is the home of the Industrial Engineering Department at PSU, and the School of Engineering folks thought that, as an IE alumnus (obligatory grammar note here: “alumni”… Read More

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